OAKLAND, Calif. - The wife of the gunman responsible for the Orlando nightclub massacre last summer had her first court appearance Tuesday in Oakland.
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Noor Salman spoke briefly and quietly in court. The attorneys who had been representing her since the mass shooting had not arrived in Oakland from out of state. This appearance will continue tomorrow morning. Federal prosecutors from Orlando want to try her in a Florida courtroom.
Outside Oakland Federal Court, Salman's uncle Al told a throng of reporters that she was as surprised as everyone else when she learned her husband Omar Mateen had just committed the biggest massacre in U.S. history.
"She called him, or text him. He respond. He said, 'Don't you see the news,'" said Al. "She said, 'No.' He said, 'I love you babe,' and hang up. That's all she knows."
Salman had her first appearance in federal court wearing a simple yellow jail shirt. She's been indicted by a federal grand jury for obstruction of justice as well as aiding and abetting her husband Omar Mateen in providing material support, or resources, to a designated terrorist organization, namely the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.
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In court, the federal judge asked if Salman understood the charges, and the potential life sentence associated if she is found guilty.
In Orlando, the police chief said Tuesday that Salman knew what was going to happen before the massacre. "It's still an active investigation," said Chief John Mina of the Orlando police. "So I'm not going to talk about details, but I will say that there's definitely information that she aided and abetted and could have prevented this tragedy."
The City of Orlando released photos of the interior of the Pulse nightclub, giving the public a first glimpse of the chaos inside, including , bullet holes in some rooms and walls that were knocked down so police could get to Mateen and save people.