Omar Mateen, the man who killed 49 people at the 2016 attack at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando originally had his sights set on Disney World, according to prosecutors.
This revelation was made as prosecutors wrapped up their closing statements in Noor Salman’s trial. She is the wife of Mateen. Her federal trial kicked off a few weeks ago and soon a jury will decide whether or not Salman helped her husband Omar Mateen commit the massacre, which injured an additional 50 people.
Prosecutors said that Mateen’s original idea was to hide a gun in a stroller to attack a shopping and entertainment complex inside Disney World, according to NBC News.
"The target of that terrorist attack was not the Pulse nightclub," Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Sweeney testified. "The target of the attack was Disney.”
It appears that Mateen changed his mind about Disney just hours before his deadly attack. Sweeney showed the court footage of him at Disney hours before the shooting this week. In the clip, Mateen appears to be spooked by police.
"He had to choose a new target," Sweeney explained, adding that Disney World was where Salman thought he was going that night. The two had also visited the theme park in the days before the attack.
Salman has pleaded not guilty to providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization and to a charge of obstruction for justice. Her lawyers have described her as a woman with a low IQ who was abused by Mateen. They claim she didn’t know about his deadly plans.
"Omar Mateen is a monster. Noor Salman is a mother, not a monster. Her only sin is she married a monster," her attorney Linda Moreno told jurors, according to CNN.
The case went to jury deliberation on Wednesday afternoon.
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