The Pulse Nightclub Shooter's Wife Metaphorically Pulled the Trigger

Posted: Jan 07, 2018 11:45 AM
The Pulse Nightclub Shooter's Wife Metaphorically Pulled the Trigger

At the end of December, federal authorities quietly released new information on the Pulse Nightclub Shooting, USA Today reported. In the 12-page statement, authorities detail what Noor Salman, the gunman's wife, knew about his actions leading up to the June 2016 shooting.

Salman was arrested last year on federal charges for providing material support to a terrorist and tampering with evidence. She has pleaded not guilty and maintains the notion that she was suffering from PTSD stemming from abuse by her husband, Omar Mateen.

Salman's current stance contradicts a signed statement she provided the FBI back in 2016, when she goes into details of Mateen's plan of attack. On multiple occasions, she told the FBI about his plans to attack Pulse Nightclub. She even told the FBI that when he left their house that night that he was planning to carry out his attack.

According to USA Today's report, Salman's said in her 2016 statement that Mateen spent the two years before the attack visiting Islamic State-related websites on a daily basis and frequently watched beheading videos. 

Salman told FBI agents that Mateen had become obsessed with violence in the Middle East and ISIS recruitment videos, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Because Mateen was upset with how Muslims were treated in the Middle East, he wanted to retaliate against Americans. 

"He said if he did jihad everybody would know who he is," Salman wrote in the statement.

Salman also wrote that Mateen purchased a rifle four days before the shooting. When she saw the rifle in his car, she asked him about it. He told her not to tell anyone about the firearm, said it was for his security job and covered it up.

According to Salman's statement, Mateen purchased ammo and went to the gun range "a lot" in the days leading up to the attack. In her statement, Salman also said Mateen showed her the nightclub's website and told her that was his target.

"I knew that the time to attack the club was close," Salman told the FBI in 2016.

The night before the attack, Salman said Mateen looked "pumped up." He had a handgun in a holster on his waist and a backpack with ammo. 

“I knew on Saturday, when Omar left the house about 5 p.m. that this was the time that he was going to do something bad. I knew this because of the way he left and took the gun and backpack with ammunition … ” Salman said, according to the statement she signed, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

“I knew later, when I could not get ahold of him that my fears had come true and he did what he said he was going to do,” Salman said. “I was in denial and I could not believe that the father of my child was going to hurt other people.”

Noor Salman Was the (Silent) Second Shooter

Even though Noor Salman didn't directly pull the trigger at Pulse, she did so in a number of ways. Her husband was acting suspiciously. He was watching ISIS recruitment videos that showed people being killed. He was purchasing new firearms and ammo and going to the gun range on a frequent basis.

Mateen even told Salman very specifically that he was going to carry out an attack. And what did Salman do? Absolutely. NOTHING.

Salman had more than enough information to go to authorities and turn her husband in. She could have stopped 49 innocent people from dying. She knew his target. She knew his motive. She knew his weapon of choice.

Salman's lack of action is just as cowardly as Mateen's massacre at the nightclub. 

What was her reason for not wanting to turn him in? Is it because Mateen was her husband? Is it because she was afraid? Or was it because she shared the same values and beliefs as he did? 

It's hard to have empathy for someone when they could have picked up the phone and made a two-minute phone call that could have drastically changed American history.

While it's important to take notice of the horrific scene Mateen caused, it's also important for the victims and their families to know the dramatic role the shooter's wife played. After all, this could have been prevented if she spoke up.