Widow of Orlando shooter acquitted

Pulse nightclub attacker Omar Mateen's wife Noor Salman cleared of helping him plan attack

The widow of the man who shot dead 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida almost two years ago was acquitted Friday of aiding and abetting her husband.

"While Salman's acquittal should be a cause for celebration for anyone who cares about basic justice and civil liberties", wrote Greenwald, "justice will not be truly served in this case until punishment is doled out to the prosecutors who purposely hid key facts from the court in order to keep her imprisoned for a full year, along with meaningful reforms to prevent future Federal Bureau of Investigation deceit and manipulation regarding interrogations".

Salman was arrested seven months later for aiding and abetting Mateen and for obstruction of justice.

"The more we learned", he said, "the better Noor Salman looked".

An anonymous juror told ClickOrlando.com that, while they found Salman innocent, they were "convinced she did know".

Outside the courthouse, Salman's family said they were eager for her to be able to see her young son again. However, we were not tasked with deciding if she was aware of a potential attack.

Salman was charged with providing material support to the Islamic State and with obstructing justice.

A Florida jury deliberated for just over 12 hours before acquitting the widow of the Pulse nightclub shooter.

"Noor Salman should never have been on trial", said Ahmed Bedier, a civil rights advocate and the president of United Voices of America.

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In a brief statement, Sarah C. Sweeney, an assistant USA attorney who helped prosecute the case, thanked the jurors.

Indeed, the evidence, as The Intercept documented previously, is very clear that the first time Mateen ever went to Pulse was to attack it, after simply searching Google for "nightclubs downtown Orlando".

Patience Carter survived the Pulse Nightclub shooting that took the lives of friend Akyra Murray and 48 other people on June, 2016. They also heard his conversations with an Orlando police negotiator, in which he declared his support for the Islamic State, blaming US military strikes in the Middle East for the attack.

The SWAT team stormed the club after a few minutes of Mateen's terror, and they gunned him down at the scene. Her family says that after spending a year in jail awaiting trial, her priority is to be reunited with her five-year-old son.

After the verdicts were read, Salman began sobbing with joy and her family held each other.

Bruce Frumkin, a forensic clinical psychologist, testified Tuesday that a lack of sleep, mental issues, low IQ scores and lengthy interrogations contribute to false confessions. She knew that he had a sick fascination with violent jihadi videos and an affinity for Islamic State group websites and gave him a "green light to commit terrorism", prosecutors said. "She knew what he was doing".

Prosecutors argued the messages show Salman was helping her husband concoct a cover story to tell his parents, who had invited the couple to a fast-breaking dinner at their mosque.

In the early morning hours after the attack, she was questioned by federal authorities and her story changed multiple times, prosecutors said. His intended target was the Disney Springs complex, prosecutors said.

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