“Prosecutors relied on a confession Ms. Salman gave F.B.I. agents in which she admitted she had known about her husband acquiring weapons, watching Islamic State videos and discussing possible locations in apparent preparation for the June 12, 2016, attack. Defense lawyers argued that Ms. Salman’s statement, obtained after more than 11 hours of questioning without a lawyer present, amounted to a false confession. Ms. Salman told investigators that she and Mr. Mateen scouted Pulse as a target, yet investigators found no evidence to corroborate that.”
There you have it. She said she knew that he was plotting a jihad attack, but this was discounted because she said it without a lawyer present.
Meanwhile, there is more to this case than has been publicly announced. Omar Mateen’s father, Seddique Mateen, was revealed during the trial to have been an FBI informant, and this prevented the clueless and corrupt FBI from investigating his son properly. And Seddique Mateen showed up grinning happily and prominently displayed at a Hillary Clinton rally last summer. There is more to this case than we have been told.
“Noor Salman Is Acquitted in Pulse Nightclub Shooting,” by Patricia Mazzei, New York Times, March 30, 2018:
ORLANDO, Fla. — Noor Salman, the widow of the man who gunned down dozens of people at the Pulse nightclub two years ago, was found not guilty by a federal jury on Friday of helping her husband carry out a terrorist attack in the name of the Islamic State.
Jurors acquitted Ms. Salman on charges of aiding and abetting the commission of a terrorist act in the 2016 mass shooting and also found her not guilty of obstructing justice. She had been accused of giving misleading statements to law enforcement officers who interviewed her following the massacre, the worst terrorist attack on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001. At the time, it was also the deadliest mass shooting in United States history.
Ms. Salman, 31, had faced a sentence of up to life in prison if convicted.
The jury deliberated for more than 11 hours and had launched a third day when they reached their verdict Friday morning.
From the start, Ms. Salman had insisted she had nothing to do with her husband Omar Mateen’s rampage in Orlando, Fla., which left 49 people dead and 53 others injured. Prosecutors built a convincing case that Mr. Mateen methodically made arrangements for the attack, apparently inspired by the ISIS propaganda he obsessively consumed online. But they were less successful in tying Ms. Salman to his actions.
Prosecutors relied on a confession Ms. Salman gave F.B.I. agents in which she admitted she had known about her husband acquiring weapons, watching Islamic State videos and discussing possible locations in apparent preparation for the June 12, 2016, attack. Defense lawyers argued that Ms. Salman’s statement, obtained after more than 11 hours of questioning without a lawyer present, amounted to a false confession. Ms. Salman told investigators that she and Mr. Mateen scouted Pulse as a target, yet investigators found no evidence to corroborate that.
“She was a suspect, and they wanted to get a confession — except that she was still denying that she knew anything,” a defense lawyer, Charles D. Swift, said during his closing argument on Wednesday.
Jurors were asked to decide whether Ms. Salman had aided and abetted her husband’s support of a foreign terrorist organization.
James D. Mandolfo, an assistant United States attorney, acknowledged during his opening statement on March 14 that the case against Ms. Salman was not built around a single incriminating fact but rather on the “totality” of evidence regarding her support of Mr. Mateen.
Delivering the prosecution’s closing argument on Wednesday, Sara C. Sweeney, also an assistant United States attorney, pointed to unusually high spending and cash withdrawals by the couple in the 11 days leading up the shooting, totaling more than the $30,500 Mr. Mateen made in a year as a security guard. The couple, whose son was 3 at the time, also added Ms. Salman as a death beneficiary to Mr. Mateen’s bank account, where they expected to soon receive a federal income tax refund.
But the jury of seven women and five men appeared to have been persuaded by the defense, which cast Ms. Salman as a naïve woman of limited intelligence, kept in the dark by a scheming husband who cheated on her, knew she did not share his radicalized views and did not need her assistance to carry out his deadly plot. Her lawyers argued that Mr. Mateen had no reason to ask his wife for help — and Ms. Salman had no reason to provide it.
“Why would Omar Mateen confide in Noor, a woman he clearly had no respect for?” Linda Moreno, a defense lawyer, asked the jury.
In the hours before the attack, Ms. Salman made plans to visit family and friends in California, telephoning them to ask about arrangements and presents, and browsed for leather jackets online. She had dinner at Applebee’s and was home in her pajamas, texting her husband about his whereabouts late into the night.
Ms. Salman did not testify during the trial. On Wednesday, after eight days of witness testimony, Judge Paul G. Byron of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida asked Ms. Salman if remaining silent had been her own decision. “Yes,” she responded….