Even though Noor Zahi Salman, wife of the Orlando gunman who killed 49 people and injured 53 more was nowhere the scene when the attack went down and did not share her husband’s jihadist ideology, as far as evidence made public suggests, she presented herself in front of a federal judge in jail clothing on Tuesday, January 17th as the only culprit charged in the attack.
In the summer of 2016, Omar Mateen shot and killed more than 40 people and injured 53 others at a gay nightclub called Pulse. The 29-year-old assailant was ultimately taken down by law enforcement officers. U.S. authorities deemed the attack as one of the most violent and worst terrorist attacks on American soil.
Prior to the attack, Omar Mateen worked as a security guard. As he drew his final breaths, the attacker swore his allegiance to the Islamic State. Even though suspicion inevitably falls on the attackers’ closest people, they rarely face charges in relation to the acts committed by the suspects. In this case, however, Roger Handberg, a federal prosecutor, believes that Ms. Salman had knowledge to some extent about her husband’s intentions.
On Tuesday, January 17th, he accused the 30-year-old gunman’s widow of provisioning material support to a foreign terrorist organization. If she is found guilty, the woman could spend the rest of her life behind bars. The prosecution also claimed that the woman obstructed an ongoing federal investigation, having allegedly misled law enforcement officers in relation to the mass murder. Prior to her conviction, Noor Zahi Salman had been interviewed for 12 hours by police officers on the day of the shooting.
According to law enforcement officers, the gunman’s wife went shopping for ammunition together with the assailant and drove him to Orlando prior to the attack. The prosecution also claims the woman knew all along about her husband’s jihadist ideology and claims the woman knew Omar Mateen was watching propaganda videos at home. At the same time, however, some evidence suggests that she could have been a victim of abuse, having reported her husband multiple times for acts of domestic violence against her in the past. At the moment, the judge is considering whether to grant bail while police officers are looking for more evidence.
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