The FBI quietly released documents from the 2016 Orlando nightclub massacre -- and the shooter's wife made a stunning admission

Orlando police officers outside of Pulse nightclub after a fatal shooting and hostage situation on June 12, 2016. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)
  • Noor Salman, the wife of the Pulse nightclub shooter who killed 49 people in 2016, told authorities that she knew about her husband’s planned attack in advance.
  • Last month, the FBI released a 12-page account of Salman’s first interview with authorities shortly after the massacre.
  • Salman’s lawyers claim that account shouldn’t be used in court because no attorneys were present at the time.

The wife of Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen told the FBI just hours after the June 2016 rampage that she knew about her husband’s plot ahead of time, USA Today reported Friday.

Noor Salman reportedly told authorities that she knew that Mateen was “going to do something bad,” and that she was aware that Pulse nightclub would be the target. She also said her husband would regularly go to the shooting range, browse jihadi websites, and watch beheading videos while fuming about how the US treated Muslims in the Middle East.

The revelations surfaced last month when the FBI quietly released a 12-page account of Salman’s interview with an FBI agent shortly after the attack. The document appears to confirm previous reports that Salman was with her husband when he went to buy ammunition and a holster before the attack.

Mateen, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, shot and killed 49 people and injured dozens more at Pulse nightclub, a popular venue among Orlando’s gay residents. He was eventually killed in a shootout with police, but it was too late to prevent what was one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern US history.

Noor salmanScreenshot/Social MediaNoor Salman (left) with her son and husband (right), Omar Mateen.

The story of Salman’s involvement has changed over time. Though she initially told investigators that she knew about her husband’s plans to attack the nightclub, she later told The New York Times that she was “unaware of everything.”

“I don’t condone what [Mateen] has done,” Salman said. “I am very sorry for what has happened. He has hurt a lot of people.”

In January 2017, Salman was arrested on federal charges of obstruction of justice, and aiding and abetting the attempted provision of material support to a foreign terrorist organisation. She pleaded not guilty and said she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from spousal abuse.

Her attorneys argued that her 12-page admission to the FBI should not be considered as evidence in court because she made the statement without a lawyer present. It’s unclear whether their motion will be granted. The trial is slated to begin in March.

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