Pulse shooter's father was an FBI informant, government reveals

Defense requests a mistrial or dismissal in Noor Salman trial over information about Mateen's father

Defense requests a mistrial or dismissal in Noor Salman trial over information about Mateen's father

Seddique Mateen, the father of the Pulse nightclub shooter, was an FBI informer for more than a decade before facing an investigation into financial transfers overseas, a lawyer for the shooter's widow said in a weekend court filing.

Salman's attorneys say prosecutors informed them Seddique Mateen was an informant from 2005 to 2016 in an email Saturday that also revealed he's now being investigated for suspicious money transfers to Turkey and Afghanistan discovered in his home the day of the Pulse attack.

Her lawyers began their defense today, after prosecutors rested their case on Thursday.

Her lawyers claim that the new revelation prevented them from probing whether or not Seddique Mateen knew of his son's plans to attack the nightclub on June 12, 2016, according to CBS affiliate WKMG. The attorneys are seeking a mistrial in her case.

If convicted, she faces life in prison.

Her lawyers' federal court motion filed Monday says prosecutors contacted them Saturday night and told them about Seddique Mateen's relationship with the FBI.

The money transfers occurred in March and June 2016, before the June 12 attack on the Pulse nightclub. It adds that a 2012 anonymous tip indicated that Seddique Mateen was seeking to raise $50,000 to $100,000 to contribute toward an attack against the government of Pakistan. That, they argued, is grounds to dismiss the charges against their client, or at least declare a mistrial.

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According to The Intercept's reporting, U.S. District Judge Paul Byron, who is overseeing the case, rebuked the prosecutors for withholding what he viewed as evidence central to the case. A spokesman offered no response to or comment on the motion, which was being argued in court Monday.

In a 12-page handwritten statement to the Federal Bureau of Investigation written just hours after the attack on Pulse, Salman claimed she saw her husband prepare for the assault.

Mateen's father, Seddique Mateen, was on the government's witness list but was never called to testify.

They said prosecutors also told them in an email Saturday that the government found evidence on the day of the attack that Omar Mateen's father, Seddique Mateen, had been sending money to Afghanistan and Turkey, and that he had been accused of raising money to fund violence against the government of Pakistan. Specifically, they questioned whether the father had foreknowledge of Omar Mateen's attack and whether he "played a significant role" in the FBI's decisions to drop its investigations of his son in 2013 and 2014. While it is hard to know what evidence the prosecution possesses, the decision to continue prosecuting Salman raises questions about whether the terrorist's identity as a non-white Muslim has influenced government prosecution of Mateen's spouse. His report continued to say "She said that after hours of questioning, with law enforcement telling her that they knew she aided her husband, and according to her, threats that her son would be taken away and would be raised in a 'Christian home, ' she said she eventually relented and signed the statements so she could be allowed to go home".

A man who answered a Florida phone number for Seddique Mateen hung up after asking an AP reporter to identify himself. "It's about Noor Salman", he said.

In 2013, Omar Mateen was investigated for making allegations against co-workers.

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