Noor Salman, the widow of the terrorist has been accused of obstructing justice and aiding and abetting her husband’s material support to the Islamic State.
Although Oakland-based Judge Donna Ryu said the government’s evidence was “debatable”, she insisted that Salman is not a flight risk or a danger to public safety, according to the BBC.
Under the conditions of her release, Salman will not be able to travel outside of California and Florida, but she can travel between the two states with advance approval.
Salman’s lawyer, Linda Moreno, said it was “extraordinarily rare” for bail to be given in terrorism cases.
But the court heard Salman was described by her friends and former teachers as “peaceful and nonviolent”, a woman without a criminal record.
Judge Ryu added, according to CBC news: “She herself is not charged with providing material support to a terrorist organisation.”
Salman will not be immediately released from federal custody, giving prosecutors 48 hours to appeal the judge’s ruling.
Ms Salman has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and claimed she was victim of domestic abuse.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina said in a statement that he was “disappointed” by Wednesday’s move to free 31-year-old Ms Salman.”
Nothing can erase the pain we all feel about the senseless and brutal murders of 49 of our neighbours, friends, family members and loved ones. I have full faith that she will ultimately be brought to justice.”
The June 2016 attack was the worst mass shooting in modern US history.
Chris Hansen, a shooting survivor, expressed his shock at the judges decision as he told the Orlando Sentinel: “You’ve got people who are behind bars for selling marijuana but she might be allowed free, how does that make any sense?“The whole situation is heartbreaking. It’s going to make it hard to sleep at night again.”
Update: Overruled for now – Source: U.S. judge orders Florida nightclub shooter’s widow to remain in jail
The widow of the gunman who killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Florida must remain in jail after prosecutors argued that she was a threat to the community and a flight risk, a U.S. judge on Thursday ordered.
The federal judge in Florida stayed another judge’s order issued on Wednesday that would have released Noor Salman, 30, from a California jail. He put the release order on hold pending further arguments in the case.