SAN FRANCISCO â€” Lawyers for the widow of the man who carried out a deadly attack at a Florida nightclub are urging a judge to release her from jail pending trial on charges she supported her husband’s terroristic plans.
Noor Salman’s attorney on Wednesday are expected to argue in an Oakland federal court that the widow is not a threat to public safety or at risk of fleeing. Family members have pledged their homes as collateral.
Salman was arrested in November at her mother’s home in Rodeo, California, a San Francisco suburb. She is charged with helping her husband plan his attack of the Pulse nightclub, where he killed 49 people and wounded 53 others.
Attorney Haitham Amin said prosecutors have yet to turn over to Salman’s legal team much of the evidence they have collected to make their case. Amin and court papers filed Tuesday by Salman’s lead attorney Charles Swift say it appears Salman is charged with being present when her husband was making plans to attack the nightclub.
In particular, Swift cites media accounts reporting that Salman accompanied Mateen on a “scouting trip” in a car to the nightclub in the days before the attack and that she was with her husband when he purchased ammunition at a Walmart near their Fort Pierce home.
Swift wrote “the evidence will show that the purported scouting trip occurred while the family was on their way home from babysitting the children of a relative, that Mateen chose to drive into Orlando and to pass by the Pulse Night Club, and that Noor, who did not possess a driver’s license at the time, was at most a reluctant passenger who wanted to go home.”
Federal authorities arrested Salman in November at her mother’s suburban San Francisco home and charged her with aiding Mateen’s support of the Islamic State and then lying to FBI agents and police investigating the Orlando, Florida nightclub attack.
Salman has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to appear in federal court Wednesday in Oakland, California.
Salman and Mateen lived with their 3-year-old son in nearby Fort Pierce, Florida before the attack. Salman and her son moved in with an aunt in Mississippi immediately after the attacks before settling with her mother in her hometown of Rodeo, California, about 25 miles east of San Francisco.
Details of the charges remained under seal Tuesday and the U.S. Attorney’s office in San Francisco did not return phone calls from The Associated Press.
Mateen told her he needed the ammo for his job as a security guard when she asked him about buying the ammunition, the court filing said.
“Although Noor may have been present when Mateen was possibly making preparations, mere presence alone is insufficient to establish aiding and abetting,” Swift wrote.
Paul Elias, The Associated Press