Noor Salman, the wife of a terrorist who killed 49 people in the name of ISIS at an Orlando nightclub in 2016, has been found not guilty of charges connecting her to her husband’s jihadi rampage against innocents.
For well over a year, prosecutors have been making the case that she knew about Omar Mateen’s plans to attack the location, but did not attempt to stop him or alert police. Her defense team, however, claimed that she was abused by her husband and that she has a low IQ, rendering her not responsible for her actions as alleged by prosecutors.
The jury did not agree with the prosecutors. After three days of deliberations, the jury acquitted her on charges of obstruction and providing material support to a terrorist organization (ISIS).
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 30, 2018
It was revealed this week that prosecutors had withheld key information pertaining to the case, calling into question the evidence that has emerged over the past couple of years.
We learned that Seddique Mateen, the father of shooter Omar Mateen, had been an FBI informant from 2005 to 2016. In calling attention to the bombshell, Salman’s team made the case for a mistrial, which was denied by the judge presiding over the case. In continuing the case, the judge claimed that “it does not change the dynamic of whether Noor Salman aided and abetted.”
It’s unclear whether the Seddique Mateen information affected the outcome of the case, but it certainly helped the defense by calling into question the legitimacy of the prosecutors’ arguments.
For well over a year, prosecutors have been making the case that Salman played an integral role in plotting the attack. Before the terrorist attack, Salman reportedly drove with Mateen two hours to Orlando to case several sites, including Disney World and the LGBT nightclub.
In an interview with the New York Times, Salman admitted that she saw Mateen watching jihadist videos. Officials who secured Mateen’s electronic records said he frequently watched ISIS propaganda videos and radical sermons by the deceased al Qaeda preacher Anwar al-Awlaki.
And before conducting the terrorist attack, which resulted in his death, Mateen added Salman to his life insurance policy and gave her access to his bank accounts, according to reports.
But all of that evidence couldn’t convince the jury of Salman’s guilt as a co-conspirator, after the bombshell revelation that the FBI had worked with the terrorist’s father as a paid informant for over a decade.