The man responsible for the worst mass shooting in modern American history may have had another target in mind: Disney World.
FBI officials who had been briefed on the investigation into Orlando nightclub gunman Omar Mateen say that he made surveillance trips to the Pulse club, a Disney shopping complex, as well as Walt Disney World, CNN and People magazine reported. An official told the magazine he had been “scouting Downtown Disney and Pulse [nightclub] for attacks.” A month before that, he and his wife, Noor Zahi Salman, visited Disney World in April, where officials believe he conducted surveillance.
A spokesperson for Disney, Jacquee M. Wahler, told Epoch Times via email that Disney had installed metal detectors at parks in December 2015, and it will be ramping up security in the wake of the attacks. Disney World is located near Orlando.
“Unfortunately we’ve all been living in a world of uncertainty, and we have been increasing our security measures across our properties for some time, adding such visible safeguards as magnetometers, additional canine units, and law enforcement officers on site, as well as less visible systems that employ state-of-the-art security technologies,” Wahler’s statement read.
Federal authorities have questioned Salman, who told them that her husband talked about a jihadist attack, but she denied knowing he’d attack a the gay nightclub, a law enforcement official told CNN. Hours before the nightclub shooting, Mateen made one last trip to Disney Springs—alone, the official said.
Unnamed officials said Tuesday that Salman might be charged in connection with the mass shooting. A law enforcement source told Reuters that a federal grand jury had been convened and could charge Mateen’s wife as early as Wednesday, June 15.
It appears she had “some knowledge” of what was going on, said U.S. Senator Angus King, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on CNN. “She definitely is, I guess you would say, a person of interest right now and appears to be cooperating and can provide us with some important information,” he added.
Mateen, who was shot and killed by police, called 911 during the shooting rampage to declare his allegiance to the Islamic State, or ISIS.
NBC News reported that Salman told federal agents she tried to talk Mateen out of carrying out that attack. She also told them she once drove him to the Pulse nightclub because he wanted to scope it out.
“He appears to have been an angry, disturbed, unstable young man who became radicalised,” President Barack Obama told reporters after a meeting of the White House National Security Council.