Date: February 21, 2001
Abstract: Former CIA officials told United Press International that Southern California's Disneyland and Seattle's Space Needle were targets of foiled 1999 millennium bombing attacks financed and advised by Saudi millionaire terrorist Osama bin Laden.
According to these sources, who asked not to be identified, the plot came to light when a 32-year-old Algerian man, Ahmed Ressam, was stopped by U.S. Customs officials on Dec. 14, 1999, at Port Angeles, about 60 miles northwest of Seattle, after crossing the Canadian border.
When Customs officials began to search Ressam's car, he ran away but was caught several hours later hiding a few blocks away. But what U.S. officials found hidden in the tire well of Ressam's car was chilling: Ten 110-pound plastic bags of urea, a legal substance used in fertilizer that can also be used to make explosives.
There were also two plastic bags of the absorption agent sulfate and four small black boxes containing timers.
"He had enough material to make four or more bombs," said one former U.S. intelligence official.
On Dec. 28, Seattle Mayor Paul Schell canceled the city's New Year's Eve celebration including music, dancing and other festivities scheduled under the 52-story-high Space Needle because he said the threat of terrorism made it impossible to ensure citizens' safety. At least 50,000 people had been expected to attend.
Schell was widely jeered by city residents for being "paranoid," according to newspaper accounts at the time, especially because celebrations went forward in larger cities such as Washington, D.C., and New York City.
Although federal officials had warned that major millennium celebrations worldwide could be terrorist targets, Schell told ABC News that the FBI told him they had "no information that Seattle was being targeted."
The FBI made other public statements that there was "no specific information" that the Space Needle was in danger.
But former U.S. intelligence officials flatly said Schell's statement was "rubbish" and that the FBI had "plenty of indications" that the Space Needle "was a bin Laden target."
Ressam had reservations under the name of Benni Antoine Norris at a hotel only five blocks away from the Space Needle. Most importantly, U.S. investigators discovered that "Ressam had a map with other targets circled on it." The Space Needle was one; others were in California. One of these was Disneyland, one former CIA source said.
Especially chilling to investigators were the timers Ressam was carrying. According to a U.S. government official, they were made from a Casio digital watch that had been transformed into a timing switch. Such timers were the trademark of Ramsi Youssef, the mastermind of the World Trade Center bombing who had developed the Casio watch timer and a tiny "Mark II bomb" during his stay in the Philippines in 1994, sources said.
According to U.S. intelligence sources, several Arab Afghans, affiliated with bin Laden, arrived in the Philippines to set up terrorist cells, most of them in major cities. One such terrorist was Ramsi Youssef, who visited several major Philippine cities and within a short time had a group of 23 followers.
According to a U.S. government official familiar with the transcripts of an interrogation of Youssef by Filipino security forces, Youssef was able to develop his own brand of liquid but stable nitroglycerin that he would put in a contact lens case with cotton wool as a stabilizer. Besides nitroglycerin, other ingredients of the bomb included minute parts of sulphuric acid, silver azide, acetone, nitrobenzene and nitrate, the U.S. official said.
Youssef would attach wiring to the arm of the watch using a tiny space under the calculator. The alteration was so minute that a courier or bomb-maker would still be able to wear the watch in a normal manner. The watch would then be connected to two 9 volt batteries connected to light filaments that would detonate the bomb. Youseff smuggled the batteries past airport metal detectors by carrying them in the hollowed-out heels of his shoes.
Youssef made an early test of his bomb by breaking into a mall in Cebu City, the third-largest city in the Philippines. The device detonated several hours later in a generator room, causing only minor damage but convincing Youssef that he had at his service a workable device.
Youssef left Manila for a few days, but on his return was met by several emissaries from bin Laden who had traveled from Sudan, according to U.S. government officials. "We know for a fact he had close contact with these people," one U.S. government counterterrorist source said (NewsMax, 2001).Title: Another Attack: It Can Happen Here
Date: December 29, 2002
Source: SF Gate
Abstract: The unthinkable has become the inevitable.
Each night in the coming year, Americans will go snug to our beds as eerie White House warnings reverberate in our heads: The United States should brace for a second-wave terrorist attack likely to be even more spectacular than the first. They say it's not a question of if, but when.
But many experts say our preparations for that attack are woefully weak and inadequate. No one from President Bush on down discounts the risk, however.
"We are entering a time of especially grave danger," reads a new Council on Foreign Relations report, published in the fall, from a task force that includes former secretaries of state, former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs, a former director of the CIA and FBI and three Nobel laureates.
Noting that America is planning to attack a ruthless adversary who may well have access to weapons of mass destruction, the report concludes we remain "dangerously unprepared to prevent and respond to" the likely terrorism in our immediate future.
"After a year without a new attack and with our leaders dithering over bureaucracy and funding, the lack of a sense of urgency is appalling," said former Sen. Gary Hart, co-chair of the task force and the U.S. Commission on National Security, which issued similar, largely ignored warnings before Sept. 11.
The frustration is echoed by participants in a science and technology panel assembled by the National Academies: Virtually all of the 134 emergency recommendations they made half a year ago for reducing our vulnerability are still on the shelf.
Panel co-chair Lewis Branscomb, professor emeritus at Harvard and former chief scientist at IBM, calls the coming Iraq venture "an expensive and dangerous diversion" from the real mission of defending against a next attack.
In another terrorist attack, Americans can count on first-responders -- firefighters, medics and police -- to demonstrate the professionalism and raw courage witnessed Sept. 11. But they will be forced to do so without many of the tools they need.
Less than half of public health departments have e-mail, for example. More than 70 percent of cities across the country still cannot afford to buy enough hazardous materials suits to protect the rescue workers who would arrive first following a chemical attack. And thus far, none of the $3.5 billion Congress authorized to local governments for first-responders has even been delivered.
"People running our cities are very, very aware that more needs to be done, " said Karen Anderson, outgoing president of the National League of Cities and mayor of Minnetonka, Minn. "I'd say, please follow through with the funds so desperately needed by our first-responders."
If another major attack exposes lax preparedness, many Americans will question delays that may have seemed justifiable inside the Beltway but were inexcusable elsewhere. Why should it take at least five years for the Homeland Security Department to become fully operational? Why has the smallpox vaccination program been mired in wrangling over legal liability? Wasn't it foolish for the Defense Department to purge some Arabic-language translators because they are gay?
In case of another attack, some political analysts predict, the American public once again will fail to blame President Bush, because they understand the impossibility of absolute security. Instead, they credit him with making progress in security matters, especially as long as another attack does not occur.
Others say the public will be less forgiving the second time around. "Nobody has accused this president of working too hard. If he's got time to go out on the campaign trail for all those Republican candidates for Congress, he's got time to deal with (civil defense)," scolded former Sen. Hart. "Franklin Delano Roosevelt fought a Depression and World War II at the same time."
No clairvoyant can predict precisely how the country would weather a second attack. But analysts are prepared to make educated guesses as a way of assessing our readiness.
The most optimistic scenarios are isolated and manageable -- say, a cyber- attack that plays havoc with air traffic control but is ultimately thwarted by a backup defense system, triggers no plane crashes and barely alters an economy that's looking up in 2003.
There are also worst-case scenarios. For example: "suicide terrorists" infected with deadly smallpox circulate through Disneyland, the Mall of America and other bustling icons, triggering an uncontainable epidemic on a yet-to-be-vaccinated population, forcing mass closures of schools and businesses and sending the economy into free-fall.
Last year, a government simulation indicated 15,000 people would contract smallpox, and 1,000 would die, within two weeks of the first patients showing signs of illness. Although the risky smallpox vaccine is effective up to five days after exposure, panicked Americans could swamp the public health system, and there wouldn't be enough licensed vaccine to go around.
When TEC International asked more than 1,000 CEOs this month about their greatest concern for the economic future, few cited higher taxes, energy prices, war or labor shortages. What 40 percent feared most was another terrorist attack here.
The financial ripples of terrorism spread in unexpected patterns, as Sept. 11 underscored. When the U.S.-Canadian border shut down briefly after the attack, many of the "Big Three" automakers' assembly plants went idle within two days, stopping production of $1 million worth of cars at each plant every single hour.
Imagine in 2003 an explosion at the ports of either Long Beach or Los Angeles, which together take in almost half of the maritime containers arriving in the country, not to mention nearly a quarter of California's imported crude oil. The resulting shutdown of West Coast ports would cost at least $1 billion a day and strand much of the state without refined fuels.
"The most likely place for the next attack isn't on an airline, it's rail or a seaport or infrastructure. The shock to the system will be huge, and the country will insist on entirely revamping security at a huge cost," said David Kotok, president of Cumberland Advisors Inc., and a survivor of the World Trade Center attack.
On the other hand, the economy may bounce back from another attack better this time because more fiscal and monetary stimuli are in the pipeline, and because the Federal Reserve reassured the markets by responding calmly and efficiently to Sept. 11.
Public health labs, however, could crash under surging demand for tests in the event of a biological attack. For example, seven months after the anthrax mailings, there was a backlog of thousands of unexamined specimens suspected of contamination.
Many state and local public health agencies face budget cuts. The inadvertent result, according to Dr. Georges Benjamin, head of the American Public Health Association: 2003 will be a year of fiscal emergency for public health.
A second attack likely would precipitate a further crackdown on civil liberties.
"Privately, that's a huge concern for us," said Samuel Walker, author of a book on the history of the American Civil Liberties Union. "Another attack will undoubtedly be used to justify more government snooping, including on innocent people. I think we've learned from our history not to inter Arab Americans as we did Japanese Americans in World War II. It'll be something different -- maybe drastic immigration controls."
How would the American psyche weather another attack?
Psychologists say, in one sense, it will be more painful because Americans still haven't fully healed from the trauma of Sept. 11 -- a skinned knee bumped again is more likely to bleed.
"But one of the most fascinating things about human nature is our amazing adaptability," said Jana Martin, incoming president of the California Psychological Association. "We learn to live with the situations we're in, whether it's people in war-torn countries, or in families with rampant abuse, or in an area like California where a major earthquake could hit at any moment. "
If the experts are
right about more terrorism in America's future, resilience will be a prized
commodity (SF Gate, 2002).
Are Theme Parks Safe?
Date: August 11, 2006
Source: Theme Park Insider
Abstract: With the recent discovery of a plot in London involving liquids and discharging explosives mid flight, it is abundantly clear that we are still at threat of a terrorist attack on US soil. With that clarity in mind, how long before plans are discovered or made to hit yet another symbol of American disregard, the theme park? I'm not saying that theme parks are bad places with a disregard for human life or values...far from it. I am, however, saying that many religions who see the U.S. as an enemy, could see the theme park industry as a prime target because of the fact that so many people spend their time and money there.
The first thing that pops into mind is, of course, Disney. It is the
biggest theme park of them all, and certainly the most well known. Everyone has
been expecting an air attack, but what about ground attacks? Are theme parks
doing enough, by checking bags at the front gates to ensure no improper
materials be brought in?
In recent months security has been scaled down at parks like Universal Orlando to help move lines quicker. Instead of checking everyone at admission gates, they check certain individuals at the parking center. Are these measures enough?
Many parks say a resounding yes, saying that not only have their own security forces been stepped up, but the hiring of off duty sherriff employees as well.
Bomb Scare Leaves Disney Guests
Date: September 18, 2009
Source: Orlando Sentinel
Abstract: Thousands of Walt Disney World visitors were stranded at the resort's theme parks, hotels and water attractions Thursday when the company's buses were removed from service after a suspicious object was found mounted on one, authorities said.
A bomb squad spent 3 1/2 hours examining the device, which turned out to be harmless.
Nevertheless, Disney workers inspected the entire fleet of about 300
buses as a precaution. A line of buses waited for inspection at a maintenance
building near Disney's Animal Kingdom. They were returned to service, one by
one, as soon as they were deemed safe (Orlando
Tourist Arrested for Making Bomb Threat At Disney World
Date: November 30, 2009
Source: Fox News
Abstract: A German tourist has been arrested on charges of making a false bomb threat while visiting Walt Disney World.
A report from the Orange County Sheriff's Office says 37-year-old Jochen Naumann of Leipzig, Germany, was going through the security checkpoint at the entrance of the Magic Kingdom Sunday when he told a Disney employee that he had two bombs in his back pack.
The Disney employee questioned Naumann and he repeated the bomb threat.
A sheriff's deputy at the checkpoint had a bomb sniffing dog check Naumann's bag. No explosive devices were found.
Naumann claimed he was only joking about the devices. He was arrested on a charge of making a false report of a bomb and taken to the Orange County Jail.Jail records show bond was set at $10,000 (Fox News, 2009).
Is Al Qaeda
Ready To Vacation At Disney?
Date: July 17, 2011
Source: Activist Post
Abstract: First they came for us because we were rich and free; now they are after us because we are poor slaves.
Wrapped within the propaganda of the major military-industrial complex mouthpiece and apologist Homeland Security Today is a tacit admission that the federal government's out-of-control spending has made America more vulnerable.
“Under Osama Bin Laden, Al Qaeda’s goal had been to find a way to attack us in a way that would hurt us economically – and I mean really hurt us. So if Al Qaeda still wants to slam us economically, now is the time to do it,” said one of the US counterterrorism officials who, incidentally, seems a bit too enthusiastic and encouraging toward our supposed enemy.
More likely, this announcement is only the problem-reaction setup for their multi-pronged solution. The propaganda is two-fold: first, to sell the idea that if the debt ceiling isn't raised, al Qaeda will be further encouraged that America is crippled and ready to brought down for good; secondly, that a crippled America had better roll-out the entire counter-terrorism apparatus on American soil before it is too late.
After all, al Qaeda might just want to take a trip to Disney for maximum effect.
The shameless fear-mongering is at its height when we are encouraged to ask the question, “Can you imagine what would happen if Disney’s amusement parks in Florida were attacked?” asked Laura Hains, a ranking Customs and Border Protection officer when she retired in 2008. “Florida’s economy would collapse.”
Not content with this general scenario, another expert speculated about the exact tactics that might be employed: “And what’s scary is that that it can be any kind of attack," the official continued. "Certainly a catastrophic, mass casualty attack would have a dramatic impact on the economy, but so, too, would a coordinated small cell attack with automatic weapons at major amusement parks across the country.” ..."
This statement is curiously timed as our own federal government has been caught staging the false flag terror of Mexican gang violence by supplying guns in Operation Fast and Furious, which they knew would be used to kill Americans. Let us remember that they had been propagandizing all along that this threat was legitimate, which has resulted in Obama's first gun control initiative that requires border states' gun dealers to report the "type of weapons that the drug cartels in Mexico are using to carry out some of the violence." (Source)
Another potential al Qaeda strategy according to former officer Hains would be to attack one, or several, of our nation's ports. Yet, contrary to this assertion from an officer trained to implement security strategies and intelligence, head of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano recently visited the Netherlands and told reporters that the U.S. would back off of requirements set forth by the Secure Freight initiative of 2007 to pre-scan all cargo before entering the country:
'We believe the so-called 100 percent requirement is probably not the best way to go.' said Napolitano. (Source)We are either being primed for a coming false flag operation, or we are being frightened into accepting the need for further expansion of federalized VIPR teams showing up to dominate, intimidate and control American life.
Do we really need armed goons giving invasive pat-downs to us and our children as we enter fun parks across America (if we can afford to enter, that is). Or, are we just being taken for another ride? (Activist Post, 2011).
Plans Disney-Like Animated Cartoon To Recruit Kids
Date: July 21, 2011
Source: Washington Post
Abstract: First came al-Qaeda’s glossy English-language magazine Inspire, a publication intended to reach out to Western recruits with articles such as “Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom.”
Next was the arrival of a Yemen-based extremist group’s online women’s magazine, complete with makeup and chastity tips.
Now, in the latest attempt by terror groups to use media to recruit in unlikely places, an al-Qaeda affiliate says it plans to roll out what looks like a Disney-style animated cartoon to attract children to the terror network.
The proposed short film includes scenes of young boys dressed in battle fatigues and participating in raids, killings and terror plots, AP reports.
News of the animated film was announced by a group called Abu al-Laith al-Yemen on the Arabic-language jihadist Web site al-Shamouk, and reported by the London-based Quilliam Foundation on Wednesday.
Quilliam is a think tank formed by former jihadists devoted to getting rid of extremism.
”It's a Disney-like film aimed at kids that tells stories of the Prophet, stories of holy wars and anti-Western propaganda,” said Noman Benotman, a former jihadist with links to al-Qaeda who is now an analyst at Quilliam.
“But I think it could backfire. Families will be angry that al-Qaeda is directing this at their children.”
It hasn’t backfired yet. Moviemakers released four takes of the movie on the al-Shamouk Web site and largely got approval from users.
Moviemakers say the film, which is in Arabic, is in its final stages and will soon be distributed through the Web and DVDs.
The cartoon would be an anecdote to the “poison” of Western-made cartoons, the group said.
In GPS Treasure Hunt Closes Downtown Disney
Date: February 23, 2012
Source: OC Register
Abstract: Downtown Disney was reopened after about 90 minutes Tuesday following a report of a suspicious object that turned out to be part of a high-tech treasure-hunt.
Anaheim Police Sgt. Bob Dunn said police received a call of a suspicious object in Downtown Disney at 11:07 a.m. Assisted by Disney security, the object was located on a box on a walking bridge east of the ESPN Zone and west of the House of Blues and the Orange County Sheriff's Department Bomb Squad was called.
Disneyland Resort spokeswoman Suzi Brown said about half of the shops and restaurants in Downtown Disney were evacuated at 11:30 a.m. (CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that all of Downtown Disney was evacuated, based on initial reports from Disney officials.)
At 12:38 p.m., Dunn said the object was discovered to be a "geocaching" site – a location for high-tech scavenger hunters, who use GPS devices to find objects left at specific locations.
"We would like to inform those who geochache not to leave items out in open places where it could cause suspicion," Dunn said.
Workers and patrons in Downtown Disney took the evacuation in stride.
"If it's really a bomb threat, then why are we here?" said Jessica Taylor, a barista at Compass Books and Café.
Carol Coughman, a bookkeeper at Compass Books and Café, has worked at Downtown Disney since it opened in 2000. Coughman said the only other time the entire had been closed was after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Robert Root of Whittier was leaving Disneyland with his wife and was attempting to cut through Downtown Disney when the couple was rerouted.
"We had to walk all the way around," said Root, 67. "It's no big hassle for us. We just got to walk a little further."
The Disneyland bomb scare may not be the first time this month that a geocaching site had garnered a bomb-squad response.
The bomb squad and the Huntington Beach Fire Department hazardous-materials team responded to a muffler shop on Goldenwest Street on Feb. 7 for a suspicious device that was eventually determined to be safe. Several tipsters told investigators that the device was a geocaching unit, although detectives haven't released an official determination, Westminster police Cpl. Van Woodson said.
The bomb squad was also called out to the Anaheim Plaza to deal with a suspicious device that ended up being a geocaching unit about a year ago, Dunn said.
However, Sheriff's officials who oversea the bomb squad say that other than the scattered incidents they haven't seen a larger trend of geocaching responses (OC Register, 2012).
Bomb Scare Today Prompts Closure, Lockdown Of Entrance
Date: March 3, 2012
Abstract: A Disneyland bomb scare today has prompted a lockdown of all entrances and exits of the Anaheim park. Disneyland’s bomb scare today March 4, 2012 has not resulted in the closure of the actual amusement park. But officials confirm to news that all entrances and exits are on lockdown and will remain closed until the matter is resolved.
Bomb squad investigators are on scene at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA currently as of 10 am PST. The scare comes after a park official confirmed a suspicious package found on park ground. While Disneyland remains open for customers inside the park, all entrances and exits are currently closed until the bomb scare is completed.
Sgt. Bob Dunn of the Anaheim Police Department tells news that the package was located near the park’s entrance. The package was discovered by a park employee shortly after 8 am PST.
Anaheim police is aiding in the investigation. They are focused on the area around the ticketing booths. No persons are being let in and out of the park until the matter is resolved.
In July 2009, Austin Wuennenberg died in a Disney World monorail crash in Florida. Two monorails collided while transporting park visitors who had just witnessed the 4th of July fireworks. Officials said in a news statement at the time “The safety of our guests and Cast Members is always our top priority.” They added “The monorail is out of service as we continue to work closely with law enforcement to determine what happened and the appropriate next steps.”
That same year, Anislav Varbanov died on the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular while he was rehearsing for a stunt. Days later, a 47 year old Disney World park worker died on “Captain Jack’s Pirate Tutorial” .UPDATE: The alert has been lifted, the park is open. For more, click HERE (LALate, 2012).
Lockdown Ended After False Bomb Scare 2012
Date: March 3, 2012
Abstract: A Disneyland lockdown has ended after a false bomb scare 2012 today. Disneyland confirms the lockdown of all entrances and exits has ended, and that the park is open with business as usual today March 3, 2012. Disneyland, in a news statement before noon today, confirmed that caution prompted the lockdown. But the object was reportedly determined as harmless.
Shortly after 7 am today, a Disneyland park official spotted the object during a walk near front door ticketing. Officials would not confirm the nature of the object. But they do confirm it was harmless.
The object was reportedly found near a tree at the entrance. Local reports claim that the person who put the object in the tree called the park and informed them it was not harmful. Moreover, he detailed it as a simple a paper item stating a “spiritual message of goodwill” for visitors to the park. The “spiritual message” prompted safety concerns instead. The object was placed high in the trees, preventing security guards to see it from foot initially.
By 10:30 am, the park was opened and all security alerts were ended. “The
safety of our guests and cast members is our top priority,” park spokeswoman
Suzi Brown said in an emailed statement. “In an abundance of caution and to
allow the security teams the opportunity to learn more, we are keeping guests
away from the area at this time” (LALate,
Title: Local Man Sparks Disneyland Bomb Scare, By Accident
Date: March 7th, 2012
Source: Rohnert Park
Abstract: Last weekend’s bomb scare at Disneyland that locked thousands of visitors out of the park for up to three hours was unwittingly triggered by a Rohnert Park man who had placed a scroll of paper in a tree near the ticket booths.
The unidentified man went to the famed amusement park with his daughter and her Rohnert Park youth football spirit team for a national cheerleading competition there. He apparently wrote something ornately on paper, rolled it up and placed it in a tree to bless or encourage the girls.
A park employee performing an inspection Saturday spotted the object at 7:10 a.m., and Disneyland officials reported the discovery to Anaheim police.
Sgt. Bob Dunn said officers who responded couldn’t make out what the item was.
“It was a bit out of the reach of the officers,” he said.
Concern that it might be something hazardous led officers to summon the Orange County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad. The gates to Disneyland and adjacent Disney California Adventure Park had been opened and a small crowd had entered when officials locked them down.
People in the parks did not have to leave, but no one else was allowed in while the bomb squad mustered.
Hundreds of Sonoma County girls on youth football cheer squads were at Disneyland for a national competition and some of them were headed in for the day’s meet when the gates were shut.
In the midst of the rare lockdown, the Rohnert Park dad phoned police after seeing news coverage of the bomb scare “and noticing that Disneyland was not open,” Dunn said.
The man met with officers and described what he had innocently placed in a tree for the benefit of the Rohnert Park Warriors cheer team.
“We were able to confirm that what we were looking at was what he was describing,” Dunn said.
Disneyland’s entry gates had been closed for about three hours when park officials resumed normal operations at 10:30 a.m.
Asked to describe the man’s response to the shutdown and its effect on the thousands locked out, Dunn said, “What I would say is remorseful.”
He said that causing a great commotion “certainly was not the intent of his action.“
“At this time it does not appear we will be pursuing charges,” Dunn said.
He said it was unclear why the man put the rolled-up paper in the tree.
Tracey Poueu-Guerrero, president of the Rohnert Park Warriors football and cheer team, said in an e-mail that the man “set up a scavenger hunt for the cheer team.”
“It was an innocent act intended only as a game for the girls while we were down at the Nationals,” Poueu-Guerrero said.
She declined to identify the man. Anaheim police also would not provide the man’s name because he has not been cited or charged with any crime.
Dunn said he did not know if the man had placed the scroll as part of a scavenger hunt. If officers couldn’t easily reach it, it seems it also would have been out of reach of the girls.
“To our knowledge, it was the only item” that the man placed, Dunn said. He said it appeared the scroll was created and placed “to spur team unity and spirit.”
Coaches and parents with other of the Sonoma County football cheerleading teams at Disneyland said the park’s closure wasn’t a serious problem.
Jennifer Crum, cheer director for the Petaluma Panthers, said she and her 53 girls were walking toward the park when the gates were closed.
She said they waited an hour to get in but the girls weren’t bothered by the police activity.
“It was exciting to them,” Crum said. “It wasn’t scary to them at all.”
As consolation for the lockdown, Disney officials kept the main park and California Adventure open an hour later than usual Saturday night.Saturday wasn’t the first time Disneyland has been closed by concern over an unknown device. On Feb. 22, 2011, part of the park was closed because of a suspicious box that turned out to be a “geocaching” site — a location for high-tech scavenger hunters who use GPS devices to find objects left at specific spots (Rohnert Park, 2012).
Title: Burbank, California Purchases Biodetection Equipment
Date: March 9, 2012
Abstract: The city of Burbank, California, has made a purchase order with Universal Detection Technology for bioterrorism detection equipment, including the company’s 5-agent detection kit.
The order, placed following an independent congressional report that took to task the U.S. government for its failure to respond to the growing, serious threat of bioterrorism, is part of a continuing awareness of the growing threat of bioterrorism.
The January report was issued by the bipartisan Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism. The commission gave an "F" letter grade to the government for failure to “enhance the nation’s capabilities for rapid response to prevent biological attacks from inflicting mass casualties.”
“The order from the Burbank Fire Department and the recent order from the U.S. Army indicate the growing awareness of the threat of bioterrorism within the first responder community,” Jacques Tizabi, CEO of Universal Detection Technology, said. “Our goal is to continue to supply first responders and the military with the most advanced, high-performance bioagent detection equipment available in the market."
The city of Burbank, which is located north of downtown Los Angeles, is home to several major Hollywood studios, including ABC, NBC, Nickelodeon, The Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros.
The city, with a population of 105,000, is also home to the Bob Hope Airport, which services 4.9 million travelers per year (BioPrepWatch, 2012).
Title: Officials Investigate Link Between Dozens Of Illnesses, Animal Kingdom
Date: July 25, 2012
Source: Click Orlando
Abstract: The Orange County Health Department is investigating Walt Disney World's "Wild Africa Trek" experience after several dozen parkgoers became ill.
Orange County Health Department spokesman Dain Weister confirmed with Local 6 that the majority of the illnesses, described as a stomach bug, were reported in June. Since the illness was first reported in early June, more cases continued to appear. Since then, Disney said it voluntarily did a "deep clean" of the affected area and stepped up measures to promote hand-washing and the use of hand-sanitizers.
"We are working closely with the Orange County Health Department to review the situation," said Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger.
Symptoms were nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and in some cases vomiting, Weister said. Symptoms usually lasted two to five days. Two people felt sick enough to go to the emergency room, although none were hospitalized overnight.
One guest posted his experience on www.DISboards.com more than a month ago. That guest was so sick he "even ended up in the ER." It appears, he was the first to come down with the illness. He called Disney and prompted the health department to "launch an investigation" that is ongoing. He wrote that he and two friends went on the tour and all -- from "3 separate households" -- were sick within 24 hours.
"It is difficult for epidemiologists to track down the specific source," said Wiester. "A lot of times, they don't actually find a source."
It's also a mystery how the outbreak was able to spread from person to person. The trek features VIP access to crocodiles, hippos and exotic animals in Disney's Animal Kingdom through a guided tour and a tasting of African-inspired foods on a savannah. Weister confirmed none of the guests on the tour touch animals, and so officials have ruled out animal-to-human transmissions. While some guests thought it was a food-borne illness, that's also still unclear.
"The health department also did inspections - two different inspections - of the restaurant that provides food to that tour. No problems were found whatsoever," said Weister.
Another guest wrote on the online forum that they were "extremely sick," saying, "it was the sickest I've ever been." By then, the health department's investigation was underway and that guest, along with everyone who went on the tour, were sent a letter explaining the situation.
"The majority of the symptoms have been more mild than severe," said Weister. "We're just trying to trace back and figure out exactly what may have caused this."
The health department said it has interviewed hundreds of people in an attempt to piece together what links the sickness between patients. So far, those who did not get sick said they often wash their hands and use hand-sanitizer.
"They feel it is concentrated on the Trek, because several people who visited the park and got sick only went on that tour and did not go to other parts of the park," Weister said.
Weister also said some of the people who got sick are family members within a family or group, and a few cast members (Click Orlando, 2012).