On the tenth anniversary of 9/11, as in previous years, mainstream Arab media are circulating conspiracy theories regarding the terrorist attacks, while avoiding an in-depth discussion of the events and their perpetrators.
The following are some examples:
Article in Saudi Daily: Twin Towers Brought Down by Explosives, Not Planes; Bush Administration Warned Friends Not to Fly That Day
In an article in the Saudi daily Al-Riyadh, columnist Muhammad Al-Suyani wrote: "Twenty years ago, when I was in New York, I was amazed at its skyscrapers. [Our] guide took us to the Empire State Building, now the tallest skyscraper in New York... In 1945, a B-25 bomber crashed into the [building's] 79th floor, which turned into a ball of hellfire that reached the 72nd floor. The fire was several times more intense than the one that [raged] in the [World] Trade [Center] 1 on September 11!
"After that fire, which happened almost 60 years ago, the Empire State Building is still standing, while the strong towers of the [World] Trade [Center], which were equipped with an automatic fire extinguishing system, did not survive more than 60 minutes [of fire]! [The Empire State Building] stood firm because no one had planted explosives in its basement.
"Ten years of stupidity, and the world still believes that two planes tuned [the World Trade Center] to dust, and that Muslim youth are the ones who did it. Ten years, and we are stilling paying the cost of this lie!... Ask Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Al-Qaeda who blew up [World] Trade [Center] 7... on September 11. They don't know! Ask Bush and his vice-president, Cheney, and their secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, who called her friend Willie Rant [sic, apparently Willie Brown], mayor of San Francisco, to warn him not to get on a plane on that day..."
Al-Ahram Website Repeats Conspiracy Theory that Pentagon Behind 9/11 Attacks
On September 5, 2011, the website of the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram posted several articles on 9/11. One of them reviews the familiar conspiracy theory according to which the Bush administration took part in planning and even carrying out the attacks. The theory cites as evidence a report written a year prior to 9/11 by senior U.S. government officials, including Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, titled "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces, and Resources For a New Century." The report stated that the process of rebuilding would be slow and gradual "absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor."
The article repeats many of the theory's other claims, including the following: two years prior to 9/11, the Pentagon began exercises simulating an attack on the Pentagon and the Twin Towers; two months before the attacks, the U.S. general chief of staff ordered not to take any steps in cases of plane hijackings without his authorization; several days before 9/11, heightened security measures in the Twin Towers were dropped, despite security warnings; a day before the attacks, senior Pentagon officials canceled flights planned for September 11; it is inconceivable that the hijacked planes would not be picked up on radar as they deviated from their course and would not be intercepted by military jets, unless this was planned.
Some further claims repeated by the daily are that the collapse of the Twin Towers and Building 7 was caused by controlled explosions of charges placed inside the towers, rather than by the planes themselves; that survivors testified to having heard explosions coming from inside the towers and the surrounding buildings; that evidence was found of underground explosions; and that no plane ever crashed into the Pentagon.
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The article cites alleged reports by foreign intelligence apparatuses stating that Osama bin Laden was a U.S. agent and that he met with the CIA two months before the attacks. It also mentions Jewish businessman Larry Silverstein, who leased the Twin Towers and Building 7 two months before 9/11, and is said to have made enormous profits from the insurance on them. Also mentioned are five Israelis who purportedly filmed the towers collapsing while laughing, and were thereafter arrested, to be released three days later.
Al-Ahram Website: The Jews Were behind the Attacks
Another article on the website, titled "Mysteries of September 11," was mostly devoted to the recurrence of the number 11 in connection with the 9/11 attacks. It concludes by presenting an oddity that ostensibly reveals "who is behind these attacks." It falsely claims that the "flight number of one of the planes that hit one of the two towers" was Q33NY, and instructs the audience to perform a number of manipulations on it, as follows:
"In [the word processor] MS Word, type in that flight number.
"Enlarge the font size to 26 (any large size).
"Change the font to Wingdings.
"What you should end up seeing is this:
This purportedly reveals that the Jews were the ones behind the toppling of the towers. As a matter of fact, Q33NY was not the number of any of the flights involved in the events of 9/11, and the text quoted above is taken from a hoax email that was widely circulated following the attacks in September 2011.
Links to 9/11-related articles on the Al-Ahram website
Article in Al-Quds Al-Arabi: "A Wicked Plot against the Arabs and Muslims"
Samir Jabour, a Palestinian columnist for the London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi who resides in Canada, wrote an article titled "Ten Years after the Tragedy of 9/11: It Has Yet to Be Determined Who, How, and Why," in which he claimed that 9/11 was "a wicked plot against the Arabs and Muslims, and particularly against the Palestinian people." In the article, He stresses that it must be discovered who is truly responsible for this "operation," citing reports and articles that lay the blame on the Israeli Mossad or Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. For instance, he cites Alan Sabrosky, former director of studies at the U.S. Army War College, who purportedly claims that the Mossad was behind the attacks. He also draws on a report by the Project Avalon Forum claiming that "many believe Netanyahu was the engineer of 9/11."
Jabour also discusses Henry Klein's article "Zionism Rules the World," also mentioned in the Project Avalon Forum's report: "Zionism is a diplomatic plan to conquer the world... It destroyed Russia as a sign of warning to the other peoples, and now it is destroying the U.S. by causing it to go bankrupt. Zionism [even] wants another world war, if this is what is needed to subjugate our people."