U.S. judge approves release of Orlando nightclub shooter's wife

Posted March 03, 2017

A San Francisco federal judge on Wednesday said it was "debatable" there is evidence showing that Noor Salman abetted her late husband in carrying out an attack on an Orlando nightclub past year in which he killed 49 people and wounded 53.

The prosecutors claim that Salman helped Mateen case the club, knew of his plans because of unbridled spending before the attack, and created a false cover story.

The judge said there's no evidence that Salman has connections to the Islamic State or holds extremist views. During the June 12 attack, Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS during a phone call with hostage negotiators before he was fatally shot by police. Wife of Pulse shooter charged with aiding and abettingSalman has been charged with aiding and abetting Mateen in the deadly shooting. Federal prosecutors say she went with Mateen on scouting trips to Pulse, and before the shooting, the couple spent $25,000 in credit card purchases and $5,000 in cash purchases.

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If released, Salman will live with her uncle in the San Francisco Bay Area and be required to wear an electronic monitoring device.

The ruling essentially puts Salman under house arrest, allowed to leave only for court appearances, to meet her attorneys or for medical appointments for her and her son, Ryu said. Salman's lawyers say the judge's decision to release her while she awaits trial shows that the government has a weak case. They point to her actions on the night of the attack in which she shopped for a Father's Day gift for Mateen and planned a family vacation as evidence that she was unaware of her husband's violent plans.

Noor Salman was arrested in California in January on federal charges accusing her of knowing that her husband, Omar Mateen, was planning the June 2016 attack, and of concocting a cover story for him. Salman's uncle Abdallah agreed to be her main supervisor.

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Salman told The New York Times previous year that she was not aware of her husband's plans.

"She knew he was going to conduct the attack", federal prosecutor Roger Handberg told the judge, according to the Associated Press.

But prosecutors argue that Salman remains a danger to the public.

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