Father of Pulse nightclub killer was FBI informant

Saul Bowman
March 27, 2018

According to defense lawyers, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Sweeney sent them an email on Saturday night that revealed Seddique Mateen was a confidential FBI source and is also under investigation for suspicious money transfers to Turkey and Afghanistan, based on documents that were discovered in his home on the day of the nightclub massacre.

Her defense attorneys filing the motion Saturday, in light of new information that the shooter's father, Seddique Mateen, was a confidential Federal Bureau of Investigation informant up until days before the massacre.

Mateen killed 49 people in the Orlando nightclub on June 12, 2016, before he died by police gunfire.

According to Ms Salman's lawyers, the USA attorney's office acknowledged in an email over the weekend that Seddique Mateen was an "FBI confidential human source at various points in time between January 2005 and June 2016".

The email also said that, in 2012, an anonymous tipster had accused him of "seeking to raise US$50,000 - US$100,000 via a donation drive to contribute towards an attack against the government of Pakistan".

The defense team argues that the prosecution's decision to withhold evidence for more than a week after the trial started violated her rights to due process, citing a 1963 Supreme Court case Brady v. Maryland.

Seddique Mateen, who is originally from Afghanistan, was on the government's original witness list but was finally not called to testify. If so, then the judge could reasonably conclude that they deliberately hid the information from the defense, and a mistrial would likely be the result.

According to Salman's attorneys, prosecutors informed the defense over the weekend that the elder Mateen was an informant, which sent the defense scrambling to say the move was unconstitutional since prosecutors are compelled to turn over evidence that could be helpful to the defense. Authorities arrested Salman in January 2017 and charged her "with obstruction of justice and abetting the attempted provision of material support to a foreign terrorist organization".

The money transfers occurred in March and June 2016, before the June 12 attack on the Pulse nightclub. His wife, Shahla Mateen, did testify for the government.

"It is apparent from the government's belated disclosure that Ms. Salman has been defending a case without a complete set of facts and evidence that the government was required to disclose", Scheller wrote in the motion.

According to prosecutors, Salman initially told investigators her husband acted without her knowledge but later said she knew he was watching Daesh recruitment videos, had purchased an assault rifle and examined three possible attack locations.

A man who answered a Florida phone number for Seddique Mateen hung up after asking an AP reporter to identify himself.

The motion comes as Salman's lawyers are slated to begin presenting their case this morning after government prosecutors rested Thursday.

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

The FBI has previously come under criticism for investigating Omar Mateen for 10 months starting in 2013 and ultimately concluding he was not a threat.

He also said that Mateen made controversial remarks because he felt harassed at work; Mateen worked as a security guard. Questioning revealed that FBI investigators knew the claims were false only days after she signed the confession statements.

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