“I wish I had done the right thing, but my fear held me back. I wish I had been more truthful”
Friday, Noor Salman, widow of Omar Mateen, the Pulse nightclub shooter was acquitted of aiding her husband in his murderous rampage that left 49 people dead. Salmon was also acquitted of obstructing justice.
Noor Salman, the widow of the Pulse nightclub gunman, sobbed Friday as she was acquitted of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization and of obstruction of justice in connection with her husband’s 2016 rampage.
A visibly anxious Salman, wearing a dark suit, stood in federal court as the verdict was read. She wept and heaved as her attorneys — one of them also crying — embraced her. She looked back at her relatives.
“Thank you,” she whispered to her lawyers.
One of her uncles, seated in court behind her, stifled a sob as relatives held one another.
As Salman left the courtroom, she looked back at her family again, her eyes red and teary.
“We are so grateful to them, so grateful for their verdict,” Susan Clary, the spokeswoman for Salman’s family, said outside court. “She can go home now and try to pick up the pieces.”
The trial took a bizarre turn when it was revealed that Mateen originally planned to shoot up Disney World. Mateen was spooked by armed security and at the last minute, decided to shoot up the nightclub (a gun free zone). Thursday I blogged:
Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS and was killed by police after the attack. The incident was used by anti-gun activists to push for more gun control.
First, it was disclosed that Mateen’s father had worked as an FBI informant from 2005 to 2016. As a result, Salman’s attorneys requested a mistrial that was denied.
Wednesday, it was revealed that contrary to previous reporting, Mateen had not intentionally selected the gay nightclub as a theater for mass murder, but sought a Plan B after cops spooked him away from his original target — Disney World. Put in other terms, Mateen was deterred by armed guards and so headed for a gun-free zone.
According to NBC News, Mateen hid a gun in a stroller and planned to shoot up Disney World’s shopping and entertainment complex.
Salmon said she wished she had been more truthful. CNN again:
During 10 days of testimony, jurors watched surveillance video showing Mateen buying weapons prior to the shooting and also opening fire inside the nightclub.
Security cameras also recorded Mateen going with Salman on a shopping spree for clothing, toys and jewelry at several stores in central Florida at least a week before the shooting.
After Salman’s arrest, she said in a statement to the FBI that she knew in advance that her husband was going to do something violent.
“I wish I had done the right thing, but my fear held me back. I wish I had been more truthful,” she wrote in the statement, which was shown in court.
FBI special agent Ricardo Enriquez testified that Salman said in several statements to the FBI that Mateen watched jihadi beheading videos, purchased a rifle and ammunition and went to a gun range to practice.
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