Prosecutors portray Orlando gunman's widow as a liar

Daniel Fowler
March 29, 2018

She was married to Omar Mateen, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June 2016. She's facing life in prison on charges of aiding and abetting her husband and obstructing a federal investigation, according to Orlando's News 6. The defense is arguing that Salman's intellectual disability made her "someone who has more in common with children than adults", which made her susceptible to giving a false confession after being interrogated for hours by the Federal Bureau of Investigation without an attorney present.

Prosecutors said that she knew that he was going to attack the Pulse nightclub and she helped him scope it out.

She stands accused of knowing about the plans for the attack in advance, but her attorneys and family insist she did not know what her husband was planning. The expert gave Salman a test in August to grade her suggestibility and she scored an 18, more than double the average score of 7.5, making her much more likely to acquiesce to leading questions. To see more, visit WLRN 91.3 FM.

Swift took the jury through the hours of Salman's life before the attack. Frumkin followed that route as well, suggesting having a subject sign a statement written by someone else was part of questionable law enforcement tactics.

According to Click Orlando, an email from prosecutors to Salman's legal team said that "an anonymous tip indicated that Seddique Mateen was seeking to raise $50,000-$100,000 via a [2012] donation drive to contribute toward an attack against the government of Pakistan".

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They argue that Salman, the sole person charged in connection with her dead husband's rampage, was a "simple woman" with a low IQ, easily influenced and badly abused by Omar Mateen - and, they assert, utterly ignorant of his violent designs on the club.

Salman's legal team told CNN that this information would have allowed them to argue with "strong support" that "Omar Mateen and his father, rather than Ms. Salman, conspired to support ISIS; or the FBI's focus on Ms. Salman was based on its own motive to avoid responsibility for its failures with its own informant, Seddique Mateen, as well as his son". He rarely spoke to Mateen in recent years, he says, because Nemo was busy studying at medical school in Washington, D.C. He did know, however, that Mateen used his name often.

In the disclosure emailed to the defense Saturday, prosecutor Sara Sweeney said Mateen served as an informant "at various points" between January 2005 and June 2016. Salman was at home with the couple's then-3-year-old son during the attack and was unaware of Mateen's plans, they have said. But none of that came up in trial, where defense said the theory Mateen targeted gay people should not be allowed in court. Security footage shows he went to Downtown Disney in Orlando before heading to Pulse.

In addition, it said, Seddique Mateen was the subject of an investigation for money transfers he had made to Turkey and Afghanistan.

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