Mar 14, 2018, 1:57 PM ET

Noor Salman, wife of Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, stands trial on terror charges

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Prosecutors and defense attorneys painted radically different pictures of Noor Salman, the wife of Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, in the opening of her federal terrorism trial -- on the one hand helping her husband prepare for the attack and on the other, an abused woman who "married a monster."

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Florida Assistant U.S. Attorney James Mandolfo told jurors that Salman spent the weeks preceding the mass shooting at an Orlando, Florida gay nightclub helping her husband prepare for the massacre -- which killed 49 and wounded 53.

"This trial is about what the defendant knew,” Mandolfo said.

Mandolfo said Salman knew in the spring of 2016 that her husband was stockpiling weaponry and ammunition, casing potential targets, adding her name to his bank accounts and buying her tens of thousands of dollars in jewelry, purses and clothing.

“Together they spent $30,000 in the 11-day period leading up to the terrorist attacks,” Mandolfo said, a figure that roughly represented Mateen’s entire annual salary.

Mandolfo told jurors that in the tense, early hours of the investigation, Salman lied repeatedly to investigators about what she knew, only later admitting to an FBI agent that in the days preceding the attack, her husband asked her on one occasion, “How bad would it be if a club got attacked?” and on another occasion, “What would make people more upset: an attack at a club or an attack at Disney?”

Salman is being tried on charges of obstruction of justice and providing material support to a terrorist organization and could face up to life in prison if convicted on both counts. Mateen was killed in a shootout with police at the club.

Defense attorney Linda Moreno portrayed her client as a battered wife who was physically and verbally abused by Mateen for years, behavior echoed in a similar account Mateen’s previous wife, Sitora Yusufiy, gave to the New York Times in 2016.

“Omar Mateen was a monster. Noor Salman was a mother, not a monster,” Moreno told jurors. “Her only sin is that she married a monster.”

Moreno urged jurors to see her client for who she really is –- a frightened, battered wife.

“We turn to the this stricken community of Orlando for justice,” Loreno said. “You understand, especially, that to honor the dead and respect the living, you must get to the truth.”

Salman’s defense attorneys have said in court papers that they intend to call an expert in false confessions to testify about the unreliability of her confessions to police, and a domestic violence expert who will testify that Salman was so badly beaten that she was afraid to challenge her husband.

News - Noor Salman, wife of Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, stands trial on terror charges

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  • edward stengel

    Let's not forget the fact that Noor Salman was locked up for 2 years and denied bond while awaiting trial. How do you compensate an innocent person for taking away their freedom for 2 years, while violating their Constitutional right to post bond? The terrorist United States government is doing the same thing right now to whistleblower Reality Winner,who exposed the fact that the government was doing nothing to stop the Russians from hacking into our 2016 Presidential election, so she told the news media of that government failure. She too has been denied bond and has been sitting in the Lincoln county jail in Lincolnton, Georgia for almost a year now.

  • Thomas

    It will be an interesting case to follow. I would be interested in knowing the evidence the prosecution has for supporting the "material support to a terrorist organization".

  • Pat Dunne

    I don't think many people can understand her situation, bring married to a crazy man who has lots of guns doesn't some like marital bliss.

  • Pingy

    So in other words, she considered gay people infidels and that's why she valued her own life more than them. Battered woman, maybe, but this does not negate the fact that she placed zero value on everybody else's lives but her own.

  • Indy

    After reading all the comments on here, written by commenters from both sides of the aisle, I don't think her chances will be all that good of getting off in this case. But all of that is based on my assumption that this is a decent example of what one can expect in a diverse group of common every day Americans being the same as what one could expect to be on the jury in her trial.

  • George Columbo

    Hang her, period.

  • Victor

    I think an attack at Disney would be worse than an attack at a club?

  • Loue Whose

    only diversity should be considered in this scenario
    just release her for the good of the country, she won't vote for Trump
    if she nurtures another terrorist, THEN maybe worry about her
    #LIAMD

  • Brutusmaximus

    The future terrorist need to know their family will also pay for their actions.

  • Kajsa Williams

    No mercy for this sleazy creep.

  • Wanbleeman

    Let's hear the facts before condemning her. I don't like kangaroo trials. If she is found guilty after all of the facts and circumstances are aired and examine, then I would judge her. Also if you never been in a abusive situations you have to walk carefully in your judgments. As an old tv cop show quote: ("Just The facts, Mam , just the facts").
    Rushing to judge some one because of terrible event , is never a good thing and creates more hurt and pain. What I am saying here is be patient and judge with the wisdom of King Solomon .

  • DestinysNow

    When she went to this gay club with her husband as a smokescreen, knowing what he was planning to do, she put herself into a role of assisting and facilitating. She fully deserves a life sentence in a max prison, which hopefully will serve as a warning to others who assist terrorists.

  • dancer92136

    She knew and said nothing. Sorry, but 50 lives were lost for that, and I don't believe a word she says.

  • Jim Key

    DEATH!

  • imhere60

    In the months and weeks prior, there must have been a point where she could have called the police to report what he was planning. She did not do this. She is just as guilty as he is.

  • Mari Marigold

    She needs to go to prison for the rest of her life!

  • zack

    Lock her away for life, even if she knew just 1 thing about what her husband was doing or preparing to do. .

  • just saying

    they were paid for the bloodbath. Same thing in Boston, the wife shopping a Macy's right before the masacre.

  • ExtraStealth

    Maybe her trial will be a wake-up call for women not to protect their monsters. Maybe if they understood these t#rds can screw up their lives forever, they will say no to the next one who thinks they would make a good predator meal.

  • End of Life Ritual

    Sorry, but being an abused wife should not mean she's off the hook not reporting to the police that her husband is about to blow away dozens of people.

  • PhatDevil

    From the beginning, she always looked like the "controlling" type. Probably created the entire plan.