Noor Salman, whose husband, Omar Mateen, carried out a deadly terrorist attack at a popular Orlando, Florida, gay nightclub will be detained until trial as the result of a court order issued Friday. U.S. District Judge Paul Byron reversed U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu’s decision to release Salman on $500,000 bond, reports said.
Ryu said Salman, 31, is not a threat and there is no proof she has any ties to the Islamic State group or holds extremist views, but Bryon said he believes otherwise, noting Salman texted Mateen, asking, “Where are you?” The judge said the question could mean she, in fact, did not know where her husband was, or that she was asking which target he had attacked, WFTV, Orlando, reported.
Previously, Salman said the night of the shooting, Mateen was going to a friend’s house. Investigators said they believe Salman accompanied Mateen to City Place, Disney Springs and Pulse nightclub to scout for potential targets.
The widow was charged last month with obstruction and providing aid to a terrorist organization, and was taken into custody by FBI agents at her home outside San Francisco where she had been living with her 4-year-old son.
Salman told police she was unaware of her husband’s motive in killing 49 people and wounding dozens on June 12. She made similar remarks to the New York Times in an interview in November.
“I don’t condone what he has done. I am very sorry for what has happened. He has hurt a lot of people,” she said.
However, investigators doubted her story. They interviewed Salman for days after the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history and agreed she was not honest about her husband’s plans to carry out the rampage.
Mateen, 29, who died after a gunbattle with a SWAT team in the club, pledged allegiance to ISIS and tied the attack on the American bombings of Muslim countries.
No trial date has been set for Salman, who has another hearing in California on April 10. She has pleaded not guilty to charges of aiding and abetting, and obstruction of justice. If convicted, she faces life in prison.