In the statement, Noor Salman says she saw him prepare for the deadly attack for months and knew Pulse was his target.
The 12-page statement was quietly released by federal prosecutors in a batch of court records at the end December.
Though prosecutors say she was not under arrest at the time, Noor Salman was questioned for hours without a lawyer after authorities learned her husband was the gunman behind the attack. She was eventually arrested early last year on federal charges of aiding and abetting a terrorist and obstructing a federal investigation, but has since plead not guilty, claiming she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
In court filings and public statements released through her attorney, she claims Mateen abused her and claims she did not know of his plot. Though this defense conflicts with the signed statement she gave the FBI, which details her knowledge of Mateen’s planning and his path to carry out an attack on behalf of the Islamic State.
She told agents several times that she knew his plans and that he was going to attack the Orlando club when he left their home.
She said she knew “my fears had come true and he did what he said he was going to do. I was in denial and I could not believe that the father of my child was going to hurt other people.”
Her signed statement includes knowledge of Mateen browsing jihad websites almost everyday and frequently watching beheading videos over the 2 years leading up to his attack. She says he was angry and frustrated about treatment of Muslims in the Middle East and talked about retaliating against Americans.
In the signed statement, she says he told her that “if he did jihad everybody would know who he is.”
Salman’s attorneys have been fighting to keep the statement out of evidence to be used at trial, claiming that she was in custody and had not been read her Miranda rights.
Prosecutors have said she was not under arrest and that all of her statements were voluntary, though she told agents several stories before writing the statement, which included an apology for lying to the FBI.
She wrote that Mateen bought a rifle about four days before the attack. She saw it in the trunk of his car and asked him about it. He told her “not to say anything to anybody,” covered it up then said it was for his security guard job.
She said that Mateen bought ammunition and went to the shooting range “a lot,” in the days before the attack, telling her it was for work. He also spent a large amount of money and made Salman a beneficiary on his bank accounts, telling her it was “in case something happened,” she wrote in the statement.
In her confession, Salman describes driving slowly by several destinations, including Disney World and Pulse nightclub, before the shooting. The statement says that when they drove by Pulse, he asked “How upset are people going to be when it gets attacked?”
Federal prosecutors say Mateen was casing potential targets. According to the Orlando Sentinel, nightclub patrons say he frequented the club at least 12 times and messaged other men on gay chat apps for at least a year prior to his attack.
Two days before the shooting, Salman saw Mateen looking at the website for the club. When she saw what he was doing, he said, “this is my target,” the statement reads.
Salman told FBI agents, “I knew that the time to attack the club was close.”
The night before the attack, he left the house and looked “pumped up,” she wrote, adding that he told her, “This is the one day.”
She wrote that he had a handgun in the holster on his waist and put on a backpack filled with ammunition, and she says she knew “this was the time that he was going to do something bad.”
“I knew when he left the house he was going to Orlando to attack the Pulse nightclub.”