Noor Salman, Wife of Orlando Shooter Omar Mateen, Arrested by FBI
Noor Salman, wife of the Orlando Pulse Nightclub gunman, Omar Mateen, was arrested in California on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, and taken into federal custody on aiding and abetting charges.
“I can confirm the arrest did occur,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch in a statement on MSNBC. “This is a matter that we continue to take very seriously. We said from the beginning that we will look at every aspect of this case, every aspect of the shooter’s life to determine not only why did he take these actions, but who else knew about them. Was anyone else involved, is there any other accountability that needs to be had here in this case?”
Although complete and specific details on Salman’s arrest have not immediately been revealed to the public, law-enforcement officials say that the charges being filed against Salman are related to aiding and abetting and obstruction of justice. Early on in the investigation of Mateen’s life, authorities stated that they were considering filing criminal charges against Salman if there was evidence that demonstrated that she knew of Mateen’s actions and didn’t act according to the law. However, authorities say that there is no way that Salman couldn’t know about her husband’s plans.
During the Pulse nightclub massacre, which lasted over 3 hours, Mateen received a text from his wife, asking “Where are you?” To which he replied, “Do you see what’s happening?” She replied “No.” and as a final farewell, Mateen said “I love you, babe.” Shortly after, he pledged allegiance to ISIS, and was killed by law-enforcement.
Salman didn’t speak publicly on the incident until November, where she had told the New York Times that she did not have any knowledge of Mateen’s rampage before or during the crime. She stated that she thought her husband was out with a friend that night. Before the attack, Salman had accompanied Mateen to buy ammunition along with body armor from a weapons shop; however, the owner said that Mateen looked suspicious, and that he would not sell weapons to the future ISIS sympathizer. Salman also reported that she took a trip with Mateen to Orlando, Florida, unaware that her husband was planning the massacre. The Pulse nightclub, which had a total of 49 casualties, was dubbed the second deadliest terrorist attack on the United States, with 9/11 being the first.