Pulse Gunman's Father Was FBI Informant Under Criminal Investigation, Attorneys Say

Judge rules against Pulse nightclub shooter’s widow

Attorneys for Noor Salman are calling for a mistrial after they say new details from prosecutors reveal that Pulse gunman Omar Mateen's father was an FBI source and is now under a criminal investigation.

Pulse nightclub gunman Omar Mateen was considered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for development as a possible informant prior to carrying out the 2016 mass shooting, an agent testified today during the trial of Mateen's widow, Noor Salman.

"It is apparent from the Government's belated disclosure that Ms. Salman has been defending a case without a complete set of facts and evidence that the Government was required to disclose", the attorneys said in the motion, according to CNN.

U.S. District Judge Paul Byron rejected the request.

According to Salman's lawyers, the US Attorney's office acknowledged in an email over the weekend that Seddique Mateen was an "FBI confidential human source at various points in time between January 2005 and June 2016".

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It added, "During a consent search conducted at Seddique Mateen's residence on June 12, 2016, receipts for money transfers to Turkey and Afghanistan were found".

The FBI also said it had received a tip that Seddique Mateen was engaged in fund-raising that may have been meant to contribute to "an attack against the government of Pakistan".

Prosecutors' failure to turn over relevant information, though, is considered a serious transgression, and attorneys for Salman argued that this was not the government's first offense in the case.

Defense attorneys argued that they also might have explored whether the FBI's interviews with Salman were an attempt at "evading the negligence they exercised with their own informant", and whether their "unwavering focus on Noor Salman, rather than Seddique Mateen, could have been created to find a culprit other than the father". If the court does not dismiss her case, he said, it should declare a mistrial.

Salman's attorneys also argued that Seddique Mateen used his connections with the FBI to block an investigation into his son in 2013.

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Salman is charged with providing material support to the Islamic State, a foreign terror organization, and with obstructing justice.

Seddique Mateen spoke to CNN's Don Lemon in the days after the killing and said he was shocked to learn his son gunned down 49 people at Pulse nightclub. Further, the government is looking into money transfers Mateen sent to Turkey and Pakistan.

His 31-year-old widow is accused of aiding and abetting his actions, though her defense attorneys say that Salman has suffered vast domestic abuse, leading to PTSD. The prosecution had already rested its case; the defense was expected to begin its case this week.

The attorneys reportedly argued that the timing of the disclosure meant that the defense team did not have an opportunity to investigate whether Mateen's father was aware of his plans to attack the nightclub.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the destination of money transfers for which Seddique Mateen is under investigation. As a result, a criminal investigation was opened into Seddique Mateen. After investigating him, putting him under surveillance, interviewing him twice, and even obtaining a written statement in which Omar Mateen admitted he lied to agents during the interviews, the operation concluded in March 2014 that he was not a threat.

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Efforts to reach Seddique Mateen on Monday were unsuccessful. Questioning revealed that FBI investigators knew the claims were false only days after she signed the confession statements.

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