(JTA) – Investigators believe the wife of Orlando gunman Omar Mateen reportedly knew in advance about her husband’s plans to mount a mass shooting attack on Pulse, according to an unnamed official briefed on the progress of the case.
Investigators are “reluctant” to charge Noor Zahi Salman, 30, only on the basis that she had prior knowledge of the attack on the gay nightclub in the central Florida city, the official told The Associated Press.
The early morning attack Sunday left 49 people dead and 53 wounded. Mateen, 29, was killed in a shootout with police.
Salman, the daughter of Palestinian parents, rode with Mateen to pick up ammunition and a holster for the attack, and she drove him to Pulse to look it over before the attack, according to NBC News. She reportedly was not a religious Muslim and did not wear a hijab.
NBC News cited sources in law enforcement who said Salman is cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and may have tried to dissuade her husband prior to the attack.
She and Mateen met online and were married in September 2011; they have a 3-year-old son.
Salman grew up in Rodeo, California, but her parents were born in what their naturalization papers call “Palestine.” The naturalization papers for Salman’s parents were approved in 1984.
She had a first failed marriage arranged in the West Bank to a Palestinian man living in Chicago. The marriage did not work out in part because of cultural differences stemming from the fact that Salman grew up in the United States, AP reported.
Salman reportedly has been in seclusion since the attack. She reportedly visited her parents’ home on Monday night to retrieve some fresh clothes.
Salman’s mother told a neighbour that Mateen did not allow her daughter to drive and prevented her from seeing her parents, including when her father was ill.