Wife of Pulse Nightclub Gunman Arrested, Charged By Police

  • Wife of Pulse Nightclub Gunman Arrested, Charged By Police

Wife of Pulse Nightclub Gunman Arrested, Charged By Police

Al Salman defended his niece Tuesday morning outside of the Oakland courthouse where she was scheduled to appear.

In an indictment released Tuesday, the wife of Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen is accused of helping her husband's efforts to supply "material support or resources" to a terrorist organization.

Authorities also charged her with obstruction of justice, claiming she misled FBI agents during the investigation.

Mateen killed 49 people and injured dozens of others as he opened fire at the gay nightclub, in what became the deadliest mass shooting in recent United States history. Her uncle Al Salmanuncle spoke to the media after her court appearance and defended her by saying she is a sweet girl who had "no idea what that insane guy was doing". She was arrested Monday in the San Francisco Bay area.

However, investigators waited to arrest Salman until Monday because they sought to question her friend, a Pakistani national, who left the USA right after the nightclub attack.

Kaplan said it's clear federal authorities do not believe that's true.

For her part, Salman told the New York Times in an interview published in November a year ago that she knew her husband had watched ISIL videos but that she was "unaware of everything" regarding his intent to shoot up the club. Could she have said something or tipped off authorities to prevent the deadliest mass shooting in United States history? She told the Times that she met Mateen on a dating site in 2011 and the couple married later that year.

Salman's attorney, Tampa-based Linda Moreno, repeated that her client had no knowledge of her husband's deadly plans and said she was a victim of domestic abuse - both physical and emotional.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina said he welcomed the arrest. "I thought she was not a suspect, I thought she was fine", the neighbor said.

Her family say she is a victim herself and innocent of the charges. At one point, Salman sent a text to Mateen saying that she loved him, a law enforcement official said. "I don't condone what he has done". Salman told the Times she did not know the objective of their trip to Orlando, and she thought nothing was suspicious about Mateen's purchasing ammunition. "He has hurt a lot of people".