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FBI: Theme parks weren't targets

©Associated Press,
published October 15, 2001

LOS ANGELES -- The FBI is discounting reports that Disneyland and Walt Disney World in Orlando were among possible targets canvassed by terrorists linked to Osama bin Laden.

"There are numerous stories in the media about terrorists targeting Walt Disney World or Disneyland. The FBI is not aware of any specific or credible threat against theme parks," the bureau said in a statement.

"If we or any other agency had specific threat information, we would immediately notify the intended target and the potentially affected public."

Published reports in newspapers this weekend said terrorist groups studied at least five sites for possible attacks in the United States, including Disneyland and Walt Disney World, the Sears Tower in Chicago, the Mall of America in Minnesota and unspecified sports complexes. The reports cited two senior Bush administration officials speaking on the condition of anonymity about internal government reports.

The published reports said there was no evidence that attacks were planned on any of the buildings or theme parks.

Representatives of the buildings and theme parks mentioned said they had no reason to think their facilities were targeted.

Disneyland has "not received anything from the FBI" about a threat, said spokesman Ray Gomez in Anaheim.

Cheryl Mimura, FBI spokeswoman in Los Angeles, echoed that Sunday.

"If there was something specific, obviously we would let the public know," she said.

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