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March 26, 2018

Omar Mateen's Father Was an FBI Source; Noor Mateen's Defense Team Was Not Told This Until After the Prosecution Had Rested

Which means she didn't get to cross-examine the prosecution's witnesses with this information. Her claim -- probably a lie, but who knows these days -- is that Omar Mateen's father, Seddique Mateen, was actually the Pulse nightclub shooter's co-conspirator. She would use this claim to buttress a new defense, that she herself was Just a Girl Standing In Front of Boy Saying She Likes Him (and Would Be Interested in Helping Him Buy Guns and Stuff).

This is kind of a mess, and could very well result in a mistrial.

I can kind of understand why no one would want to disclose the identity of a confidential informant. And I'm not sure why the prosecution would necessarily have to disclose this. Prosecutors have to disclose all exculpatory information, but how is the fact that Omar Mateen's father being an FBI informant exculpatory? Sure, Noor Mateen and her lawyers can retroactively construct some kind of conspiracy theory in which the FBI is trying to cover up the Real Co-Conspirator, but... a claim is not evidence.

Possibly evidentiary: The fact that Seddique Mateen, Omar's dad, is under investigation for sending sums of money to Turkey and Pakistan.

However, as Ed Morrissey notes, Seddique Mateen had already been reported by the media to be an online agitator for jihadists. Noor Mateen's defense team must have known that much -- so why didn't they already have this theory that Seddique was Omar's partner-in-crime and explore that at trial? Why was it only when they learned that he was an FBI source that this angle became interesting to them?

In addition, Seddique Mateen's FBI handler had met with Omar Mateen and was considering developing him as a source too.

It's a bit weird that the FBI had an informant whose son turned out to be a terrorist, and thought about recruiting a guy who turned terrorist too, but... you know, if you're looking to get information on the drug trade, you're going to recruit informants who are junkies and dealers. If you're trying to get information about terrorists, you're going to recruit CI's who move in the world of radical jihadism.

The judge has delayed ruling on whether a mistrial should be declared until after the testimony of Omar Mateen's handler.

I'm not sure if I can say the FBI acted wrongly here, but, as usual with the FBI, it's at least all a mess.

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posted by Ace of Spades at 03:35 PM

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