Pulse Nightclub Shooter’s Widow Noor Salman Is Acquitted, FBI Admits She Did Not Case Pulse, US Justice Department Lied For Months
Noor Salman, the widow of Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, was found not guilty of providing material support of terrorism and obstruction of justice for allegedly lying to the FBI in the 2016 Pulse mass shooting.
U.S Justice Department prosecutors claimed that Salman had helped Mateen “case” the Pulse nightclub, but FBI Special Agent Richard Fennern told U.S. District Judge Paul Byron on March 22 that the FBI knew “within days” of the shooting that was not true because Salman’s cellphone records show she was never near Pulse, notes The Intercept.
Despite this knowledge, the U.S Justice Department pushed the falsehood for months, which reportedly angered Judge Byron:
I’ve heard many, many times the drive around Pulse nightclub had occurred. I think I’ve kicked the beehive.
The U.S Justice Department’s only proof was a “confession” that the FBI wrote for Salman to sign during hours of interviews that were not recorded, noted The Intercept:
That “confession” was not something that Salman wrote herself, but rather one FBI agents wrote for her based on their claims about what she said during their interrogation of her (an interrogation that they chose not to record)…
FBI agents spent hours questioning her — during which they threatened to take her son and told her what they believed had happened — she began to submit to their suggestions.
Subsequent examinations revealed that Salman, in addition to having a low IQ, is also at the extreme end of suggestibility tests, which could have been exacerbated upon learning that her husband had just slaughtered 49 people and then killed himself in a police shootout.
The Intercept reports that the Department of Justice was using Mateen’s father as an informant — a fact that prosecutors tried to hide — which was apparently the reason the FBI did not arrest Mateen in 2013:
DOJ prosecutors also hid the fact that Mateen’s father, Seddique, had been an FBI informant since 2005. It now seems clear that the FBI did not previously arrest Mateen in 2013 after they investigated him, in deference to his father, with whom they were working directly. Salman’s lawyers suggested that the reason for prosecuting Salman was to scapegoat her for [Mateen’s] attack [at Pulse in 2016].
The Intercept reports that the “U.S. government has prosecuted 850 people for terrorism since the 9/11 attacks. Most of them never even got close to committing an act of violence:”
Since the 9/11 attacks, most of the 850 terrorism defendants prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice have been charged with material support for terrorism, criminal conspiracy, immigration violations, or making false statements — vague, nonviolent offenses that give prosecutors wide latitude for scoring quick convictions or plea bargains.
552 defendants have pleaded guilty to charges, while the courts found 183 guilty at trial. Just 2 have been acquitted and 3 have seen their charges dropped or dismissed, giving the Justice Department a near-perfect record of conviction in terrorism cases.