The wife of Orlando shooting massacre gunman Omar Mateen knew about his attack plans, NBC News reported on Tuesday, and she told federal agents she tried to discourage him from carrying out the rampage. According to officials cited by NBC News, Noor Zahi Salman told the FBI that she knew of the planning, drove her husband to the Pulse nightclub on a scouting mission, and accompanied him while he purchased a holster and ammunition. ABC News also reported that she told federal investigators she tried to talk her husband out of attacking the night club. Watch video below of NBC News reporter Pete Williams breaking the story.
According to the report, Salman later tried to talk Mateen out of launching any type of attack. In the early morning hours on Sunday, Omar Mateen carried out a shooting rampage at gay nightclub Pulse that left 50 dead, including himself, and 53 wounded. It was the worst terror attack on U.S. soil since 9/11. Six victims are reportedly still “critically ill” in the hospital, medical officials said on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.
Federal officials say Salman is now cooperating with investigators and that they are considering filing criminal charges against her. She has a 3-year-old son, Mateen is the father. According to The Daily Beast, Facebook posts by her relatives show they are Palestinian and that Salman and her sisters declined to wear a hijab. The Mercury News reported neighbors said that before Salman married Mateen, she lived for 10 years in Rodeo, California, along with her three sisters, and added that Salman moved back into the home after the death of her father. One neighbor the paper spoke with said that Salman’s mother complained about Omar’s controlling nature.
“Her mother would always complain that the husband did not let her visit the family,” a neighbor told The Mercury News.
News footage shows Salman, accompanied by police officers, leaving her apartment late on Monday night, covering her head with a sweatshirt hood and ignoring reporters’ questions asking whether she know of the plot to attack the Pulse, and whether she was aware her husband was a terrorists. Salman gets into the backseat of a car, where a young child can be seen sitting in the back seat on the passengers’ side.
Salman, who conflicting reports say is 29 or 30 years old, was Mateen’s second wife. He had a brief marriage to Sitora Yusufiy in 2008 that ended after four months and was legally dissolved in 2011. Yusufiy has been outspoken since the massacre, telling the news media that Mateen was an abusive husband, and that he had “gay tendencies.”
Read the full story at NBC News.