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Florida jury acquits Noor Salman, wife of Pulse nightclub shooter, on all charges

Noor Salman, the widow of the man who killed 49 people at an Orlando nightclub, was found not guilty by a Florida jury Friday of all charges against her in relation to her husband's rampage.

Omar Mateen opened fire at Pulse, a gay nightclub, in June 2016, pledging allegiance to the Islamic State. Mateen died in the attack, but Salman had been a target of federal investigators who were trying to ascertain whether she was aware of her husband's plans to target Pulse. After months of interviews, Salman was arrested in January 2017 and charged with aiding and abetting Mateen by providing "material support," as well as with obstructing the investigation, as law enforcement officials believed she was being untruthful in her statements.

Central to the case was a confession Salman had given to an FBI agent in the hours after Mateen's rampage. The confession was transcribed by the agent, and in it Salman admits to helping Mateen case the nightclub and to knowing that her husband was going to carry out the deadly attack. She also mentions that Mateen had been browsing "jihadist websites" and that when he left their home on the day of the attack, she "knew" he was going to Pulse. At the end of the confession statement, in Salman's own handwriting, she says, "I'm very sorry I lied to the FBI. These are my words."

But cellphone data contradicts the idea that Salman was ever near the Pulse area, and browsing history also did not reveal any suspicious activity about Pulse. The defense called a clinical psychologist to the stand during the trial, who said Salman was more "vulnerable" to offering false confessions than the average person because of her low IQ and the extreme pressure she was under, as well as the duress of her 11-hour interview with investigators.

If convicted, Salman could have faced life in prison. Read more at BuzzFeed News.