The shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in 2016 left 49 people dead. The attack was carried out by Omar Mateen. He died in the attack, but was survived by his wife and child. After, his wife was arrested on the premise that she knew about the attack and did nothing to stop it. Now the trial has reached its end and the verdict is in.
Noor Salman, 31, was found not guilty by a federal jury on Friday of helping her husband.
“Jurors acquitted Salman on charges of obstruction and aiding and abetting the commission of a terrorist act,” The Daily Mail writes. “The jury of seven women and five men deliberated for more than 11 hours and were in their third day of deliberations when they reached their verdict Friday morning.”
Prosecutors tried to establish greed as a motive for Salam’s silence. Mateen, they argued, bought her expensive gifts to keep her quiet as he amassed his weapons cache and planned the attack.
Salam even confessed to the FBI that she knew about the attack ahead of time, but did nothing to stop it. “The last two years, Omar talked to me about jihad,” Salman admitted in her statement. This confession, though, came into question when the defense argued that Mateen didn’t choose his target until the last minute.
Mateen had originally wanted to target Disney Springs, a commercial center associated with Disney World. After finding too much security, Mateen chose a softer target.
Salam knew there would be an attack, it seems, just not where. Still she told no one. Yet the defense was able to argue that her FBI confession was bogus as she couldn’t have know about the Pulse as a target.
“Her attorneys described Salman as a simple woman with a low IQ who was abused by her husband,” DM writes, “and who didn’t know of his plans because he concealed much of his life from her.”
“Why would Omar Mateen confide in Noor, a woman he clearly had no respect for?” Salam’s lawyer Linda Moreno asked the jury.
“It’s a horrible, random, senseless killing by a monster,” her other lawyer, Attorney Charles Swift said. “But it wasn’t pre-planned. The importance to this case is that if he didn’t know, she couldn’t know.”
The jury agreed.