Judge rules widow of Orlando shooter may be released on bail

Sketch of Noor Salman’s appearance in a California federal court, March 1, 2017.

Vicky Behringer

OAKLAND, Calif. -- A federal judge in California ruled that the widow of the gunman who killed 49 people at an Orlando nightclub may be released on bail until she goes on trial on charges of aiding his attack. 

U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu decided Wednesday that 31-year-old Noor Salman isn’t a flight risk or a danger to public safety. The judge says there’s no evidence that Salman has connections to the Islamic State or holds extremist views. 

However, Salman won’t be immediately released. The judge put the order on hold for two days so prosecutors can appeal.

Noor Salman and Omar Mateen are seen in this photo from Salman's Facebook page, which has been deleted.

Noor Salman and Omar Mateen are seen in this photo from Salman's Facebook page, which has been deleted.

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Salman’s husband, Omar Mateen, pledged allegiance to several terror organizations during the attack before police shot and killed him. 

Salman is charged with aiding and abetting Mateen and lying to investigators after the shooting. She has pleaded not guilty. 

The government alleges Salman knew Mateen would carry out the attack and “cased” three locations with him he might use for a terrorist act. A judge said the “bulk” of the government’s case is based on “alleged admissions” Salman made during a 16-hour interrogation during which time she didn’t have counsel.

Salman’s family has said she is a “simple and innocent” woman who was mentally and physically abused by Mateen.

Salman will live with her uncle in Northern California and has to wear an electronic ankle monitor. She will be released on $1 million bond and can travel to and from Florida, with supervision.

She cannot apply for a passport or visa while her case is being prosecuted.

A trial hasn’t been scheduled.