Noor Salman, the wife of Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, has broken her silence regarding her husband and the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub massacre. Salman told the New York Times she was unaware of her husband’s actions, which differs from the testimony she gave the FBI in the hours after the shooting.
The Orlando nightclub shooting was the deadliest shooting in American history with 49 left dead and dozens more injured. Numerous details have come out regarding Mateen’s background and his intentions for committing the heinous act, but until now, Salman has kept relatively quiet. This decision may have been at the urging of her lawyers and police officials. In her interview with the Times, Salman said she asked her husband not to go out that night and was under the impressions he was going to see a friend. She claims she wasn’t aware of what was about to take place:
“I was unaware of everything. I don’t condone what he has done. I am very sorry for what has happened. He has hurt a lot of people.”
Salman’s recent comments don’t appear to line up with what she told authorities in the hours after the shooting. Salman initially told the FBI she was with Mateen when he bought the ammunition used in the shooting the previous night. Salman does say she was a victim of social and mental abuse at the hands of Mateen. Georgia State University Professor Mia Bloom, who studies the role of women and kids in terrorist groups, told Business Insider that either of her stories could be correct:
“It’s possible she didn’t know because he was not confiding in her, but she does have every incentive in the world to retell this story as a different kind of victim.”
Salman is now in, what the Times calls a “legal limbo.” Prosecutors are debating whether they are going to charge her with lying to the FBI, but her lawyers maintain that she did nothing wrong. Salman does not elaborate on the current investigation, but the Times interview offers some insights into the two’s relationship and Mateen’s psyche.