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Noor Salman, widow of Orlando nightclub shooter found not guilty

March 30, 2018  |  Posted by: Michael Falzarano
Noor Salman, widow of Orlando nightclub shooter found not guilty

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A jury has found Noor Salman, the widow of the gunman who killed 49 people at an Orlando nightclub in 2016, not guilty of obstruction and providing material support to a terrorist organization.

Salman had faced up to life in prison if convicted. She has been acquitted on charges of lying to the FBI and aiding her husband in the attack.

Prosecutors had argued Salman and her husband, Omar Mateen, scouted out potential targets to attack together — including Disney World’s shopping and entertainment complex — and she knew he was buying ammunition for his AR-15 in preparation for a jihadi-inspired attack. In the end, Mateen chose the Pulse nightclub for the deadly shooting on June 12, 2016.

Defense attorneys described Salman, who was born in California to Palestinian parents, as a simple woman with a low IQ. She was abused by her husband, who cheated on her with other women and concealed much of his life from her, they said.

Attorney Charles Swift said there was no way Salman knew that Mateen would attack the Pulse nightclub because even he didn’t know he would attack the nightclub until after he went to the Disney Springs complex.

During the trial, prosecutors said Salman advised Mateen to lie to his mother when she inquired of his whereabouts on the night of the shooting. They said Mateen, who was born in New York to Afghani parents, intended to attack Disney World’s shopping and entertainment complex by hiding a gun in a stroller but became spooked by police and instead chose the gay club as his target.

Mateen, who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, was killed by police in the hours after the Pulse shooting.

Earlier this week, defense attorneys asked the judge for a mistrial after they found out that Mateen’s father had been an FBI informant for years. The judge rejected the request, saying the trial was about Salman, not Mateen’s father.

Noor Salman did not testify in her defense.

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