Pulse Shooter's Father Served as Secret FBI Informant

Attorneys for shooter's wife say prosecutors' late revelation worthy of having case thrown out
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2018 9:45 AM CDT
Seddique Mateen, father of Omar Mateen, in a 2016 photo.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

(Newser) – The ongoing trial of the wife of Pulse Orlando shooter Omar Mateen has revealed a new wrinkle: It seems that Mateen's father, Seddique Mateen, served as a confidential FBI informant from 2005 to 2016. Prosecutors only told the defense team about it over the weekend, and defense lawyers for Noor Salman think it's enough to have the case against her tossed, reports ClickOrlando. Why is a little unclear, but they say it's fishy that prosecutors didn't reveal the information until now and cite two possible reasons. "First, Omar Mateen conspired with his father, rather than Noor Salman, to commit the acts," they write, per Orlando Weekly. Second, they suggest the FBI wanted to "avoid scrutiny of its own ineptitude" in regard to Seddique Mateen.

On the latter point, the defense team says it was the elder Mateen's relationship with the FBI that prevented authorities from going after the younger Mateen more aggressively in 2013 when he was accused of making threats against co-workers. The new court documents don't specify what Seddique Mateen served as an informant about, but they reveal that he was being investigated for money transfers to Turkey and Pakistan that were discovered during the Pulse investigation. They also show that in 2012, he allegedly tried to raise money to help fund an attack against the Pakistani government. The defense team says the failure to reveal all this until now constitutes a failure-to-disclose offense worthy of at least a new trial. If the judge disagrees, the trial of Noor Salman continues Monday. (Seddique Mateen once showed up at a Clinton rally.)

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