The shooter’s wife tried to talk him out of an attack
The nation is still reeling from its latest mass murder at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, ruthlessly perpetrated by Omar Mir Saddique Mateen. In the wake of the tragedy, law enforcement officers are debriefing the killer’s wife, Noor Salman. At this time the FBI doesn’t think she’s a co-conspirator, meaning she didn’t help to plan the attack with him.
However, she also told agents she tried to talk him out of harming people, and that he’d previously expressed an interest in committing a jihadist attack. She also admitted to visiting both the Pulse nightclub, in Orlando, and the Disney Springs Entertainment and Shopping Complex, with Mateen, before the attack. It appears that the Disney complex was alternative venue Mateen had cased out as a possible target.
Exactly what Noor Salman knew, and exactly when she new it, is of course, of paramount importance. Law enforcement is weighing whether or not to file charges against the young woman, who is an American Citizen of Palestinian descent, born and raised in California. If the evidence shows that she failed to report an attack to Law Enforcement that she’d believed to be imminent, then she could be charged with a serious crime.
However, what did she really know? Did she know an actual terrorist attack was on the horizon, or did she merely grapple with a generalized fear that her husband’s growing fascination with jihadist activity might someday take a dark turn? Were the trips to the Disney complex and Pulse nightclub framed as pleasant outings, while her husband secretly plotted his horrific crime, or was she fully aware of their true purpose?
And even if she knew the attack was imminent, what if she genuinely feared for her life? Mateen’s previous wife reported suffering many terrible incidents of domestic violence at Mateen’s hands. If he abused and threatened his current wife, would this be considered a mitigating factor in her failure to inform authorities of a pending attack? These are the considerations the FBI and other Law Enforcement services must weigh in order to determine how to deal with Noor Salman. It’s clear her cooperation and testimony will be very important to the FBI in the days and weeks to come.
Photo: CNN (screen capture)