Thursday, September 23, 2021

FBI arrests wife of Orlando nightclub killer

Miami, Jan 16 (EFE).- Noor Salman, the wife of Omar Seddique Mateen, the man who killed 49 people last June in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, was arrested Monday in San Francisco for her alleged involvement in the massacre.

Salman was arrested and charged by FBI agents with aiding and abetting Mateen’s attempt to provide material support to the Islamic State jihadist group, and for obstruction of justice in the worst massacre ever committed with a firearm in the United States.

“Federal authorities have been working tirelessly on this case for more than seven months, and we are grateful that they have seen to it that some measure of justice will be served in this act of terror that has affected our community so deeply,” Orlando police chief John Mina said in a statement.

“Nothing can erase the pain we all feel about the senseless and brutal murders of 49 of our neighbors, friends, family members and loved ones. But today, there is some relief in knowing that someone will be held accountable for that horrific crime,” he added.

Salman moved to San Francisco after her husband went to the Pulse discotheque early on the morning of June 12, 2016, when hundreds of people were there celebrating Latino Night, and gunned down 49 of them before being killed himself in a shootout with Orlando police.

National media outlets said that Salman is scheduled to appear on Tuesday before a federal judge in San Francisco.
Investigators have suspected for some time that Salman could be implicated in the massacre and that she even accompanied her husband, an American citizen of Afghani origin, to a weapons store before the attack.

After the Pulse massacre, federal prosecutors decided not to bring anyone related to Omar Mateen to trial because they felt it would be a mistake and “unfair,” but the FBI has not shelved its investigation of Salman’s part in her husband’s deeds.

In an interview published last November by The New York Times, she said that she “didn’t know anything” about what her husband was planning.

Salman, who was born in California, said that she did not approve of what her husband did and feels very bad about what happened.

Shortly before being killed by SWAT team officers, in the telephone conversations he held with 911 dispatchers, Mateen swore allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and demanded that the United States stop its airstrike campaign against the group in Syria.

However, the FBI feels that the Pulse massacre was a combined terrorist attack and hate crime against homosexuals.