“I knew when he left the house he was going to Orlando to attack the Pulse Night Club,” [Orlando jihadi’s wife Noor] Salman said, according to a statement written by an FBI agent and signed by Salman during the 18-hour interview.
Salman’s statements to law enforcement were recently made public.
“I knew on Saturday, when Omar left the house about 5 p.m. that this was the time that he was going to do something bad. I knew this because of the way he left and took the gun and backpack with ammunition … ” Salman said, according to the statement she signed.
She is charged with providing material support to a terror organization and obstruction of justice. She is slated to stand trial in March. Lawyers anticipate the trial will last a month.
Salman’s husband, Omar Mateen, killed 49 people and injured at least 68 more when he opened fire in the nightclub. Mateen was killed in a shootout with Orlando police.
“I knew later, when I could not get ahold of him that my fears had come true and he did what he said he was going to do,” Salman said. “I was in denial and I could not believe that the father of my child was going to hurt other people.”
She told investigators Mateen became obsessed with violence in the Middle East and ISIS recruitment videos in the two years leading up to the shooting. Shortly before the shooting, he started looking at places and making comments about attacking them — including Downtown Disney, now called Disney Springs, and City Place in Palm Beach — according to Salman’s statement. The couple, with their young son in the vehicle, drove around Pulse a week before the shooting.
“ ‘How upset are people going to be when it gets attacked?’ ” Mateen said, according to Salman’s statement.
“I knew he was talking about himself doing the attack on the Pulse,” she said, according to the statement.
Mateen spent thousands of dollars in the weeks before the shooting, including on a rifle, jewelry for his wife and toys for their son, she said. He added Salman as a beneficiary to his checking and savings accounts about two or three weeks before the shooting and said he was doing so “in case something happened to him.”
Salman said Mateen became angry when she asked him about the rifle and he told her “not to say anything to anybody,” she said. He then told her it was for his work as a licensed security guard for the private security firm G4S.
Mateen was armed with two guns — a 9mm semiautomatic pistol and a .223-caliber assault rifle — when he attacked the club.
Salman’s statement ended with an apology.
“I’m very sorry I lied to the FBI,” she said. “These are my words.”