Report: Authorities Thwarted Planned Gas Attack at Disneyland
BALTIMORE (AP) _ A Japanese cult was planning to release a deadly nerve gas at Disneyland during the crowded Easter weekend before federal authorities intervened and foiled the plot, The Sun reported today.
Authorities stopped two Japanese men at Los Angeles International Airport a few days before the April 16 holiday and found written instructions on how to make the highly toxic gas sarin, the newspaper said.
The men were allegedly members of the Japanese cult suspected of releasing sarin in the Tokyo subway system last month, killing 12 people, federal officials requesting anonymity told The Sun.
Authorities also found a videotape containing images about the planned attack, as well as additional evidence that the Anaheim, Calif., theme park was the target, The Sun reported.
Disneyland released a statement late Friday saying it had received a threat to park visitors before Easter weekend and notified federal authorities. Disney said, however, that the authorities, which it did not identify, determined the threat was a hoax.
FBI Special Agent John Hoos in Los Angeles said he had no information about the arrest or detention of any foreign nationals in the days prior to Easter. He told The Associated Press he could not confirm or deny if the agency is conducting a probe.
The Pentagon had no comment, and officials at the Japanese National Police agency said they could neither confirm nor deny the report.
The Sun reported that Tokyo police had alerted the FBI earlier this month that two Japanese men associated with the cult Aum Shinri Kyo were flying to Los Angeles. The newspaper could not determine whether the Japanese men were arrested or returned to Japan.