“I was unaware of everything,” says Omar Mateen’s wife, 30-year-old Noor Salman (whose whereabouts were a matter of controversy for some time after the massacre that killed 49 people while wounding 53 others on June 12), who has given her first interview to the NY Times since the Pulse Nightclub massacre.
The New York Times piece does not go into detail about her movements since the FBI seemingly lost track of her, although it suggests she is still a person of interest to law enforcement. Her lawyers pop up early in the article to insist she “did nothing wrong” and to forbid questions about her discussions with federal agents.
Salman said she had no idea what Mateen was up to on the day of the attack. She knew her husband watched jihadist videos, but she did not think much of it. But how could she have not suspected what her husband was planning – she knew he had the weapons, she drove him to the nightclub and dropped him off: Noor Salman, wife of Orlando shooter Omar Mateen, had all the hallmarks of a willing accomplice to her husband’s jihadist slaughter.
Georgia State University professor Mia Bloom told The Times that studies show relatives and friends are aware of budding terrorist activities about 64% of the time and argued that Mateen’s abusive relationship with Salman “doesn’t give her a free pass as a bystander to not come forward.”
Salman insists she had no dark suspicions about several trips she took with Mateen that have been viewed as preparation for his terrorist career, although the lawyers notably intervened to prevent her from discussing the most notorious of these incidents – the April 2015 trip to Disneyworld that Mateen may have used to case the park for an attack.
Salman did nothing to warn the police of her husband’s intentions. When the FBI first questioned Salman, she admitted to bringing Mateen ammunition and a holster. The piece describes her as “shattered and afraid,” to the point that she sometimes has trouble getting out of bed. (Awww…I bet those 49 people her husband slaughtered in cold blood in Orlando would love to have that problem)