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Orlando gunman’s widow says she was coerced into confessing she helped: report

Orlando gunman’s widow says she was coerced into confessing she helped: report
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The widow of Omar Mateen, the gunman in Orlando's 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, is reportedly arguing that federal agents coerced her into agreeing to a statement saying she had helped her late husband plan the attack.

Noor Salman, who is on trial facing charges of obstruction of justice and aiding in the support of a terror group, said on Wednesday that she could not have known about the attack on the gay nightclub, which left 49 people dead.

Salman was interrogated by FBI agents for 11 hours after the shooting, according to her defense attorney, Charles Swift. During the interrogation, Swift said, one of the agents produced a handwritten statement with phrases Salman would not have used.

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The FBI agents did not record her using audio or video equipment, Reuters reported.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Sweeney said that Salman had helped her husband scope out potential locations for the shooting and later misled officials that questioned her about it, but Swift says she couldn't have known about the massacre in advance.

Prosecutors said that Salman had helped Mateen by telling his mother a cover story on the day he carried out the attack.

Salman's jury is currently deliberating.

If she’s convicted, she faces the possibility of life in prison.

On Monday, the judge presiding over the case refused a motion from the defense to declare a mistrial or dismiss the charges against Salman based on the fact that prosecutors had failed to disclose that Mateen’s father had been an FBI informant.  

Salman initially told investigators that her husband’s actions were not known to her but later said that she knew he had left their home with a gun and had watched jihadist videos on the internet.

Prosecutors also noted that the shooter originally planned to target Disney World but then decided to go to Pulse.