Wife of Pulse nightclub shooter to be extradited
The widow of a shooter who killed 49 people in a Florida nightclub last year has agreed to be transferred to Orlando, Fla., to face federal charges of aiding her husband in the attack.
Noor Salman, 30, agreed to be moved to Florida in a court filing submitted Tuesday to U.S. Magistrate Donna Ryu of Oakland.
Today, Ryu signed an order committing Salman to the jurisdiction of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida in Orlando and directing the U.S. Marshals Service to transport her there.
Salman’s lawyer, Charles Swift of the Texas-based Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America, said Wednesday it will be up to the Marshals Service to decide when she will be transferred.
“I expect it to be fairly soon,” said Swift. He said he could not comment further on the case.
Salman’s husband, Omar Mateen, killed 49 people and wounded 53 others in a gunfire attack on the gay Pulse nightclub in Orlando on June 12, in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. He died in a shootout with police.
Salman was arrested on Jan. 16 in her mother’s home in Rodeo, where she and her 4-year-old son were staying.
She was indicted four days earlier by a federal grand jury in Orlando on two criminal charges.
The charges are aiding her husband in providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, namely the Islamic State; and obstructing justice by misleading local police and the FBI when she was questioned in the hours following the attack.
Because Salman was arrested within the jurisdiction of the U.S. District Court for Northern California, her initial court appearances were in federal court in Oakland.
On March 1, Ryu ruled that she could be released on a $500,000 bond into the custody of her uncle, Abdallah Salman of Rodeo, under conditions of home confinement except for court hearings.
But on March 10, U.S. District Judge Paul Byron of Orlando, the trial judge assigned to the case, overruled Ryu and denied bail. He agreed with prosecutors’ claim that Salman is a danger to the community and a flight risk.
Salman is now appealing Byron’s ruling to the 11th U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta.
Salman, one of four daughters in a family of Palestinian descent, was born in Richmond and grew up in Rodeo. She met Mateen on an online dating site and moved with him to Fort Pierce, Fla., when they married.
After the nightclub shooting, Salman lived with an aunt in Mississippi for several months before moving to her mother’s house in Rodeo.
Salman was entitled under court rules to have further hearings in federal court in Oakland to confirm her identity and determine whether she should be transferred to Florida. She waived those rights in her court filing on Tuesday.
Prosecutors contend Salman accompanied her husband on three trips to case possible shooting sites and was aware that her husband left their home on the evening of June 11 with a rifle and a backpack full of ammunition.
Defense attorneys maintain that she was abused by Mateen, has learning disabilities, has no strong religious or political views and was not aware of his plans.