Wife of Orlando Gunman Could Face Accessory Charges

Undated photo of Omar Mateen
Undated photo of Omar Mateen / AP

Authorities are considering criminal charges against the wife of the gunman who massacred 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

Omar Mateen’s wife, Noor Salman, could face charges as early Wednesday, Reuters reported. A federal grand jury was convened to assess Salman’s potential role in the attacks.

Salman reportedly feared her husband was preparing to attack Pulse nightclub overnight Saturday and begged him not to do something violent, according to NBC News. She failed to alert authorities after he departed for the club.

Federal prosecutors are seeking to charge Salman as an accessory to 49 counts of murder and 53 counts of attempted murder, along with failure to notify law enforcement of the imminent attack, and lying to federal officers, Fox News reported.

Salman told federal investigators that she drove Mateen to Pulse about a week before Sunday’s attack because he wanted to scout the location as a potential target. She also accompanied Mateen on surveillance trips to Disney World and Disney Springs, an outdoor shopping and entertainment complex.

Sources close to the investigation confirmed to NBC News that Salman was with her husband when he bought ammunition and a holster earlier this month.

Mateen, 29, was shot dead by police after a three-hour standoff early Sunday morning.

He told police during a 911 call that he pledged allegiance to ISIS, the terror group that claimed responsibility for attacks in Paris and Brussels. He also hailed the 2013 Boston Marathon bombers and a suicide bomber who was part of the Al-Nusra Front in Syria.

The assault Sunday was the worst mass shooting in U.S. history and the deadliest terrorist attack since September 11, 2001.

President Obama said Monday that authorities had not found evidence that Mateen’s attack was part of a larger terrorist plot.