ORLANDO — By all accounts, Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen was an awful person. And now Noor Zahi Salman, Mateen’s widow, has spoken to the press for the first time since June in order to clear her name from guilt-by-association.
But is she telling the truth?
On June 12, a heavily-armed Mateen attacked Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, killing 49 people and wounding 53 others.
The 30-year-old Salman, who lived with Mateen in Fort Pierce, spoke to the press this week for the first time in five months in an attempt to downplay her connection to the massacre.
“I was unaware of everything,” she said. “I don’t condone what he has done. I am very sorry for what has happened. He has hurt a lot of people.”
Regardless of Salman’s position, however, it remains the case that the FBI is currently investigating Salman’s role in the Pulse attack. Specifically, investigators are alleging that Salman helped Mateen buy ammunition and scope out attack sites.
With regard to warning signs, Salman said that she was aware of the fact that Mateen periodically watched radical jihadist videos. Her concern was lessened after two FBI investigations in 2013 cleared Mateen of any wrongdoing.
“The FBI let him go,” Salman said.
One of the great tragedies of the Pulse attack is that both Salman and the FBI had a chance to prevent Mateen’s attack before it happened.
Salman said she’s breaking her months long silence now because she wants people to know, “I am human. I am a mother.”
Unfortunately, she’s most likely only going to be remembered as the wife of a mass shooter.