Orlando Shooter's Wife Knew He Was Going to Attack 'Pulse'
Hours after the attack at the Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen’s wife, Noor Salman was taken in for questioning. During her time FBI Special Agent Ricardo Enriquez, she provided a 12-page hand-written statement that gave specific details of the attack including accounts of the months leading up to tragedy. The statement was kept by authorities by discreetly released in a batch of records from the case at the end of December 2017. When providing the statement, Salman was being questioned, to which authorities assert the information she provided was voluntary.
Salman was arrested in 2017 on federal charges of providing support to a terrorist and tampering with evidence, but has pleaded not guilty. She claims that she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder because she was being abused by Mateen and was not aware of his intent to attack. This all does not align with the statement that she originally wrote and signed. Her attorneys, however, claim she was never read her Miranda rights when being detained.
According to USA Today, in her statement, Salman describes that her husband was obsessed with viewing jihad websites. These caused Mateen to become enraged and he began to mention retaliation against Americans.
Salman’s statement also includes details of accompanying Mateen to drive by potential target locations such as Pulse nightclub and Disney World where he would make comments like “How upset are people going to be when it gets attacked?”
Mateen also purchased a rifle and ammunition and told his wife to keep quiet. He also visited the shooting range very frequently and eventually made Salman his beneficiary “in case something happened.”
The statement also includes Salman witnessing Mateen viewing the website for Pulse nightclub and saying to her “this is my target” informing her that the attack some coming very soon.
The night of the attack, Salman noticed that Mateen was “pumped up” and that he was preparing for something by wearing a handgun in a holster and a backpack with ammunition. She wrote in the statement “I knew when he left the house he was going to Orlando to attack the Pulse nightclub.”
Salman never saw Mateen again. He killed 49 people and injured 68 that night during Pulse’s Latin night before authorities shot and killed him.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, FBI Special Agent Ricardo Enriquez asked Noor Salman to include in her statement that no one was forcing her to write anything and that these were her own words.
When she completed the statement, she left the room and Enriquez noticed that she wrote at the end of the long statement:
I am sorry for what happened. I wish I could go back and tell his family and the police what he was going to do.
This statement will be crucial during Salman’s trial that is scheduled to begin on March 1st in the Orlando federal courthouse.