OAKLAND, Calif. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The widow of the Orlando nightclub gunman pleaded not guilty to charges that she aided and abetted her husband’s support of the Islamic State group and then hindered the investigation of the attack.
Noor Salman entered her plea Wednesday in an Oakland, California, courtroom two days after her arrest at the home she shared with her mother in suburban San Francisco.
She will return to court Feb. 1 to argue for her release pending trial on the charges that could result in a life sentence if she is convicted.
Prosecutors and Salman’s lawyers declined comment after the hearing.
Prosecutors alleged Tuesday that the 30-year-old Salman knew her husband Omar Mateen planned to attack the Pulse nightclub, a gay bar where he killed 49 people and injured more than 50 others.
Her attorney says Salman had no advance knowledge of the attack.
“Noor Salman had no foreknowledge nor could she predict what Omar Mateen intended to do that tragic night,” her attorney, Linda Moreno, said. “Noor has told her story of abuse at his hands. We believe it is misguided and wrong to prosecute her and that it dishonors the memories of the victims to punish an innocent person.”
Salman moved to the San Francisco area after her husband, Omar Mateen, was killed in a shootout with SWAT team members during the June 12 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Forty-nine patrons were killed.
Mateen pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group during the standoff.
As CBS News reported, Salman told the FBI that her husband had become radicalized in the year leading up to the attack.
Salman had been communicating with Mateen during the shooting as the couple texted each other, ‘I love you.’
On Tuesday, officials in Orlando released photos that show the aftermath of the shooting, depicting the damage done to the nightclub, the weapons involved, and more.
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