Noor Salman, wife of Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, stands trial on terror charges

Noor Salman faces charges in federal court

Florida Assistant U.S. Attorney James Mandolfo told jurors that Salman spent the weeks preceding the mass shooting at an Orlando, Florida gay nightclub helping her husband prepare for the massacre -- which killed 49 and wounded 53.

"This trial is about what the defendant knew,” Mandolfo said.

Mandolfo said Salman knew in the spring of 2016 that her husband was stockpiling weaponry and ammunition, casing potential targets, adding her name to his bank accounts and buying her tens of thousands of dollars in jewelry, purses and clothing.

“Together they spent $30,000 in the 11-day period leading up to the terrorist attacks,” Mandolfo said, a figure that roughly represented Mateen’s entire annual salary.

Salman is being tried on charges of obstruction of justice and providing material support to a terrorist organization and could face up to life in prison if convicted on both counts. Mateen was killed in a shootout with police at the club.

Defense attorney Linda Moreno portrayed her client as a battered wife who was physically and verbally abused by Mateen for years, behavior echoed in a similar account Mateen’s previous wife, Sitora Yusufiy, gave to the New York Times in 2016.

“Omar Mateen was a monster. Noor Salman was a mother, not a monster,” Moreno told jurors. “Her only sin is that she married a monster.”

Moreno urged jurors to see her client for who she really is –- a frightened, battered wife.

“We turn to the this stricken community of Orlando for justice,” Loreno said. “You understand, especially, that to honor the dead and respect the living, you must get to the truth.”