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Pulse nightclub shooter intended to attack Disney World, prosecutors say

“The defendant’s steps don’t have to equal to her husband,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Sweeney told jurors.

Defense attorneys have described Salman as a simple woman with a low IQ who was abused by her husband, and who didn’t know of his plans because he concealed much of his life from her. They will present their closing arguments later Wednesday.

Sweeney said Salman didn’t know that Mateen was going to the Pulse nightclub on the night of the attack — she thought he was at Disney World. They two had visited Disney in the days before the attack, according to one of her statements to federal authorities.

Pulse nightclub shooter intended to attack Disney World, prosecutors say
Pulse nightclub shooter intended to attack Disney World, prosecutors say

“The target of that terrorist attack was not the Pulse nightclub,” Sweeney said. “The target of the attack was Disney.”

Sweeney showed a video of the Disney Springs complex that captured Mateen walking near the House of Blues club in the hours before the Pulse attack. In it, he looks behind him at police officers standing nearby.

“He had to choose a new target,” she said.

Sweeney said Salman “knowingly engaged in misleading conduct” when she spoke to the FBI in the hours after the attack.

Prosecutors said she claimed her husband didn’t use the internet in their home, but he did. She also told investigators that Mateen had deactivated his Facebook account in 2013, but investigators found that he had an account up until the month of the shooting and was friends with his wife. She said her husband only had one gun when he had three, and that he wasn’t radicalized even though prosecutors said he spent time watching beheading videos and looking at ISIS sites.

Sweeney also said that Mateen had bought a baby stroller and doll at Walmart on June 11 — the day before the attack — and had a plan to hide a gun in the stroller while going to Disney.

The case went to jury deliberation shortly before 1:45 p.m.

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