Lawyers for the widow of the Pulse nightclub shooter say they have discovered that the attacker’s father was an FBI informant for over a decade.
Lawyers for Noor Salman are asking for a mistrial, arguing that this bombshell information should have been disclosed by prosecutors.
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Salman is accused of helping her husband, Omar Mateen, plan the June 2016 attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people.
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According to a motion filed by defense, prosecutors sent an email on Saturday admitting that Seddique Mateen was a confidential FBI source from 2005 up until June 2016 – ‘coincidently’ the same month the attack took place.
Clickorlando.com reports: The email also stated that Seddique Mateen is being investigated for money transfers to Turkey and Pakistan after documents were found in his home on the day of the Pulse attack.
Salman’s attorneys claim the late disclosure of the information prevented them from exploring whether or not Seddique Mateen knew of his son’s plans to attack the nightclub on June 12, 2016.
The government email to Salman’s attorneys also states that in 2012, “An anonymous tip indicated that Seddique Mateen was seeking to raise $50,000-$100,000 via a donation drive to contribute toward an attack against the government of Pakistan.”
According to the motion, the defense states that the decision not to give Noor Salman a polygraph was possibly “based on the FBI’s desire to implicate Noor Salman, rather than Seddique Mateen in order to avoid scrutiny of its own ineptitude with the latter.”
The defense also said Seddique’s connection with the FBI played a role in a 2013 investigation into Omar Mateen for allegedly making threats against coworkers.
“Mateen’s father played a significant role in the FBI’s decision not to seek an indictment from the Justice Department for false statements to the FBI or obstruction of justice against Omar Mateen” during its 2013 investigation into his alleged threats,” the motion stated.
Seddique Mateen previously made headlines when he attended a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton less than two months after the Pulse attack. He was positioned directly behind Clinton during her speech in Kissimmee.
“What went into your decision about going to this event right near Orlando, where this Pulse nightclub shooting happened?” Mateen was asked.
“I wish my son joined the Army and fought ISIS and destroyed ISIS,” he said. “That would be much better.”
Meanwhile, attorneys in federal court will try to convince jurors that Salman didn’t help her husband as he prepared for the attack on the Pulse nightclub in June 2016.
Salman is on trial, charged with providing material support to a foreign terror organization, the Islamic State group, and with obstructing justice.
Her attorneys will present their case on Monday.
Federal prosecutors rested their case Thursday. Details about what the couple did and where they were in the days prior to the shooting was presented last week in court.
Her husband, Omar Mateen, killed 49 people and injured at least 68 others when he opened fire inside Pulse before he was shot to death by police.
If convicted, she faces life in prison.