The widow of Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen was formally charged Tuesday with a terror-related offense and obstruction of justice.
The two-count indictment states that Noor Salman, who was arrested Monday in northern California, aided and abetted her husband’s attempt to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, namely the Islamic State group.
She is also charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly misleading local police in Florida and the Federal Bureau of Investigation on information relating to the attack.
Forty-nine people died in Mateen’s assault on the Pulse gay nightclub on June 12, the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
Salman, who had a four-year-old son with Mateen, made an initial appearance in federal court in Oakland, California, on Tuesday and had the charges read out to her.
She faces up to life in person if found guilty.
Given that it was unclear if she had an attorney, another hearing was scheduled for Wednesday, a spokesman for the US Attorney’s office told AFP.
He said Salman was provisionally represented by a federal public defender on Tuesday.
It was unclear what she was doing in California and her case is expected to be transferred to Florida.
Media reports have said that Salman may have had prior knowledge of her husband’s plan to carry out the massacre as she had accompanied him on at least one trip to the nightclub and on one occasion went with him to buy ammunition.
The indictment, which was returned in Florida on January 12, asks that Salman’s assets, including $30,500, be forfeited.
She was taken into custody early Monday in Rodeo, a community about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco. It was unclear if her son was with her.