VIDEO: Noor Salman, widow of Pulse nightclub shooter, pleads not guilty

Noor Salman

 

OAKLAND (KRON) — Noor Salman, the widow of the Pulse nightclub shooter that killed 49 people, has pleaded not guilty to all charges Wednesday morning.

Salman, 30, wife of Omar Mateen, was arrested in the Bay Area Monday and has been charged with aiding and abetting her husband in providing material support and resources to the Islamic State group. She is also accused of misleading authorities after the attack.

Salman pleaded not guilty in a federal court in Oakland.

Salman moved to the San Francisco area after her husband, Omar Mateen, was killed in a shootout with SWAT team members during the June 12 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

He was the only shooter, and by the time a three-hour standoff between Mateen and law enforcement had ended, 49 patrons were killed and another 53 people required hospitalization.

Mateen pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group during the standoff.

Eventually, the court proceedings are expected to move to Florida, where Salman was indicted last Thursday.

The FBI arrested Salman on Monday in Rodeo and she made an initial appearance in court on Tuesday. The case is expected to remain in Oakland until Feb. 1, when there is a bail hearing scheduled.

An attorney who represented Salman during the investigation, Charles Swift of the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America, appeared in court Wednesday on her behalf, but the Texas-based attorney is still determining whether he will be able to represent her in California. For now, San Francisco attorney Sam Amin is serving as her local counsel.

Amin said outside of court Wednesday that he has not spoken to her yet, while Swift sat in on an interview for her upcoming bail hearing.

Federal prosecutors have revealed little about the case, but Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Handberg from the Middle District of Florida said that prosecutors would be presenting evidence at the upcoming bail hearing.

A man who identified himself as her uncle, Al Salman, attended the hearings on Tuesday and this morning and spoke with reporters outside. He said Noor Salman is innocent and had no prior knowledge of what Mateen was planning.

On Wednesday, he said that Salman’s 4-year-old son had been made aware of the charges against his mother through news reports.

Mateen’s attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando on June 12 killed 49 people and injured 53 others in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

While Mateen died in the shootout after the attack, Salman has remained under investigation for what role she might have played.

In a statement Monday, Orlando police Chief John Mina expressed relief about Salman’s arrest “in knowing that someone will be held accountable for that horrific crime.”

“I am glad to see that Omar Mateen’s wife has been charged with aiding and abetting her husband in the commission of the brutal attack on the Pulse nightclub,” Mina said.

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