In a courtroom in Orlando, there has been some surprising news over the last few days, in case you didn’t notice. It has to do with the Pulse Nightclub shooting and the shooter’s – Omar Matteen’s – wife. Noor Salman’s attorney’s were faced with a bombshell dropped by prosecutors just a few days ago.

Omar’s father – Seddique Matteen – was an FBI informant for over a decade, from 2005 to 2016. And the FBI has information that he has sent money to Turkey and Afghanistan. As well the FBI had information in 2012 that Seddique played a part in helping fund or plan terrorist attacks on the Pakistan government, which, however, do not seem to have been carried out. As well, Seddique apparently managed to convince the FBI that his son Omar was not a threat despite being investigated by the FBI in 2013 for his possible ties to Hezbollah and his apparent online statements regarding the deaths of FBI agents.

There’s more.

The FBI considering grooming Omar himself as another confidential informant, alongside his father, around 2013 but decided against the idea. Interestingly former FBI Director James Comey described Omar as a “lone wolf” back in 2016 in the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub shootings. This now seems to be a deliberate misdirection on the part of Comey at the time.

One has to ask what the father knew of Omar’s possible plans, and if he covered up for his son both before and after the shooting. For now Judge Paul Byron has denied a motion by Noor Salman’s defense lawyers to dismiss the case because of this heretofore undisclosed evidence. According to Judge Byron it has no bearing on Noor Salman’s possible guilt of the charges of aiding and abetting her husband Omar and of engaging in obstruction of justice. There will likely be appeals by Salman’s defense team.

So if Seddique Matteen knew at least something about his son’s plans, are then the deaths of nearly 50 innocent people at the Pulse Nightclub reasonable collateral damage in terms of the information the FBI gleaned from Seddique?

That of course is an obscene question.

Of course those lives are not worth whatever information the father provided the FBI – and one doubts how useful someone like Seddique was in fact. Those 49 lives are precisely what Seddique Matteen’s information should have protected. The FBI and the intel community at large deal with people like Seddique Matteen in order, we hope and pray, to protect American lives. Not to cover up and protect their own bureaucracies. And it sure seems that Seddique as an informant chose to protect his son and not the victims of Orlando.

This needs to be investigated further. From the FBI to any other intel agencies possibly involved to every near and even more distant member of the Matteen clan. The Pulse Nightclub shooting is not what it appeared to be. It was something perhaps far worse.