Jurors have found Noor Salman not guilty with obstruction and providing material support to a terrorist organization.
The jury received the case Wednesday and talked about it for about three hours. Shortly after convening Thursday, the jury asked about the meaning of “willful” and for an example of aiding and abetting. The judge refused to give the panel an example but did explain the meaning of “willful” for them. They only asked that one question all day. On Wednesday, jurors asked to review Noor Salman’s statement and the judge printed out copies for them.
Her attorneys fought to keep the FBI statement out of the trial. They say it was coerced and she signed it because she was tired and feared losing her young son. Prosecutors said the statement showed she knew about Omar Mateen’s attack and did nothing to stop it.
Prosecutors said Salman and Mateen scouted out potential targets together, including Disney World’s shopping and entertainment complex and she knew that he was buying ammunition for his AR-15 in preparation for a jihadi attack. In the hours after the shooting, she lied to the FBI about the number of guns her husband had and his internet use, which included watching beheadings and visiting Islamic State group websites.
Defense attorneys described Salman, who was born in California to Palestinian parents, as a simple woman with a low IQ. She was abused by her husband, who cheated on her with other women and concealed much of his life from her, they said.
Attorney Charles Swift said there was no way Salman knew that Mateen would attack the Pulse nightclub because even he didn’t know he would attack the nightclub until after he went to his initial target, the Disney Springs complex.