Wife of Pulse Nightclub shooter faces potential life sentence for serving as accomplice in attack
Mounting evidence from the Pulse nightclub shooting case now suggests that Noori Zahi Salman, the wife of the deceased killer Omar Mateen, potentially served as an accomplice in the mass shooting. “She knew he was going to conduct the attack,” alleged federal prosecutor Richard Handberg of Ms. Salman, who’d apparently not only knew that Mateen had been watching Jihadist videos but also accompanied him in “scouting his target” and later on purchasing ammunition for his attack. As a result, Saalman was arrested on Monday, January 16 and brought to Florida for trial.
Charges against Mateen’s wife include aiding and abetting him in his attack, and even sharing his jihadist ideology. If convicted, she could face up to a lifetime sentence in prison. Despite being far away from the scene of the crime, officials who’ve spent hours interviewing her in addition to the prosecution team have concluded that she’d been assisting her husband since April of 2016, months before the attack.
Salman maintains her innocence, however, telling the court and media outlets that she was unaware of Mateen’s intentions. She’d disapproved of his viewing of Jihadist videos, she said, and thought nothing of the drive to Orlando or the purchase of ammunition, as her husband was a security guard who also enjoyed recreational shooting at the range.
Furthermore, she’d advised the court that she’d been a victim of domestic abuse throughout the marriage and that her husband had beat her constantly in order to maintain full control over her life. This argument could hold up in court, as previous research has linked extremist cases heavily to spousal abuse. Time will tell how the trial plays out.
H/T: New York Times