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memri
September 20, 2001 No.
270

Terror in America (4): Arab columnists: The perpetrators of the attacks are not Arabs or Muslims

Many columnists in the Arab media have discussed the identities of the perpetrators of the New York and Washington, DCattacks. Some chose to disregard the findings of the FBI investigation (that the perpetrators were Arabs and/or Muslims),presenting instead a series of American and international elements that they believe carried out the attacks. Following isa review of possible perpetrators according to the Arab media:

Bush and Powell Did It
The possibility that the US attacks were a conspiracy hatched by President Bush and Secretary of State Powell was presented by Samir Atallah, a columnist for the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat. He wrote: "I have a sneaking suspicion that George W. Bush was involved in the operation of September 11, as was Colin Powell."

"The reasons for this are as follows: George W. Bush was the president who has garnered the least support of all US presidents throughout history. He won the election by a miniscule majority that would not have won a town council [position] in a village in South Egypt. His presidency was in doubt from the beginning. It was said that the poor way in which he entered the White House would divide the American nation. It was said that he is not worthy [of being president], that he is a man who takes no interest in what is happening in the world, a man who does not know the name of the president of Pakistan…"

"[But] after September 11, George W. Bush is the first president since Roosevelt with both parties behind him, with no one opposing him. He is the first president in the history of the US to have received an unprecedented amount of financial, political, and military support, and to have it approved so quickly. He continues the line of the Bush family: losers at peace, but leaders at war. Every George Bush in the family, fathers and sons, has his own world war…"

"Regarding the involvement of Colin Powell… it was General Powell's fate to be the one to declare war together with both George Bush Sr. and with George Bush Jr. It might have been noticed that Powell was the first to use the word 'war,' and the first to name Osama bin Laden. Just as he commanded the military in Iraq, he will command diplomacy during the war declared on the unknown…"[1]

Israel, International Zionism, or the Jews Did It
This theory has been very popular among various columnists in the Arab media. Columnist Ahmad Al-Muslih, for example, stated: "What happened is, in my opinion, the product of Jewish, Israeli, and American Zionism, and the act of the great Jewish Zionist mastermind that controls the world's economy, media, and politics…"

"The goal of the suicide operations in New York was, in my opinion, to push the American people, President Bush, and NATO to submit even more to the Jewish Zionist ideology and the historical goals [it has held] since the Basel Congress in 1897, under the Zionist-Jewish slogan of 'Islamic terror'… We have said in the past that Jewish-Israeli-American Zionism is leading the region to disaster, and that it is trying to lead the Americans and its worldwide allies to world disaster. Perhaps what happened on American [ground] is the beginning of the world disaster."[2]

The Lebanese-Jordanian Holocaust denier Hayat Al-Hweiek 'Atiya also hastened to point an accusing finger: "Maybe some will think that I am hallucinating things when I speak of Jewish Zionist hands behind the terrible event that struck at the US. Maybe [they will say] that this is one of many hands. But anyone following the reactions has noticed one headline: the American-Zionist-Israeli 'Holy Alliance' indicate that "international terror" is to blame. By international terror, [this alliance] means, first and foremost, Islam and the Arabs…"

Al-Hweiek 'Atiya continues: "In a lengthy interview with the Arab League representative in Paris for the [Egyptian] French-language Al-Nil television channel, [the representative] refrained from pointing directly at the Jews, because as an official he cannot do such a thing before an investigation reveals it, but he [implied] it…"

"We must direct all diplomatic and media efforts not only towards washing our hands of it and denying our involvement from the defendant's seat but also to [launching] a counter-campaign that will shift us to a stronger offensive position."[3]

Jordanian columnist Rakan Al-Majali wrote that "it is clear that Israel is the one to benefit greatly from the bloody, loathsome terror operation that occurred yesterday, and that it seeks to benefit still more by accusing the Arabs and Muslims of perpetrating this loathsome attack… Only Israel does not fear the discovery that the Jews are behind this operation, if indeed it was so; who in the US or outside it would dare to accuse them, as every blow to them means talk of a new 'Holocaust?' They, more than anyone, are capable of hiding a criminal act they perpetrate, and they can be certain that no one will ask them about what they do."[4]

Jordanian columnist Jihad Jabara added: "I personally eliminate the possibility that Arab and Islamic organizations stood behind these acts… Why [couldn't it be] that Zionist organizations perpetrated it, so that Israel could destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque while the world was preoccupied with what happened in America…?"[5]

Jordanian columnist Mussa Hawamdeh stated: "I say that Israel benefits from the explosions… We all know that there are extreme religious groups in the US who believe that the coming of the Messiah is near, and who aspire to purify Americans of all their human crimes. Among them are those who believe in committing suicide in order to reach Paradise, through punishing the human race. Mass suicide of entire groups has already occurred. We do not know whether Jews as well, more precisely the Mossad, have not had a hand in what happened, out of evil and dangerous intentions."[6]

American Extremists, Japan, China, Russia, or Opponents of Globalization Did It
The Arab media presented a lineup of other suspects who are neither Arab nor Muslim. Syrian columnist Hassan M. Yussef wrote: "There is a possibility that this was an [act of] ancient retribution… The US declared war on Japan, and used the atomic bomb for the first time, against Hiroshima and Nagasaki. [The bomb] killed more than 221,983 Japanese, and was the cause of the Japanese defeat and the end of the war in 1945. Has the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki been resurrected sixty years later?"[7]

Palestinian columnist Tallal 'Awkal added: "The ostensible motives of the Palestinians and Arabs [to carry out the attacks] are no different from those of millions of nations on the face of the Earth who suffer from American and Western oppression and injustice… [The Americans] should seek the perpetrators far from the region. Not everyone interested in confronting American policy also has the means to carry out such an act… Why can't the motive be a settling of historical accounts from World War II? Why can't the background [to the attack] be protest by those harmed by globalization; we noticed the strengthening of the spirit of their battle in Seattle, Genoa, and Athens…? Why can't the motive be linked to those harmed by the missile defense system?"[8]

Lebanese columnist Nur Al-Din Sat'e determined that "[Perhaps] the perpetrators of the attack belong to local American militias… It could also be that they are young people who hacked into the computer directing internal air traffic and aimed the airplanes at painful targets…"[9]

Columnist Abd Al-Jabbar Adwan wrote: "Who are the ones who benefit from this act? They are, beyond a doubt, not the Arabs. An initial examination shows that some, such as Russia, China, and Israel, will benefit without any of them necessarily planning the operation. Perhaps everyone will be surprised to find that, once again, the operation was 'Made in the USA,' as American society is filled with extremist religious groups who consider themselves enemies of the state, its mechanisms and its liberal society…."

"It is known that the American government intends to push forward the missile defense shield project; China, Russia, and several other European states are opposed to this, and President Bush is not interested in their position. It is also known that the American explanation of the need for this system establishes that it is not directed against China or Russia, but against countries described as 'rogue' states or terrorist movements…"

"Is there a connection between the missile defense system and the acts in New York and Washington? This question remains up in the air. In any event, we must imagine the danger the Chinese and Russians perceive at being stripped of their deterrent capability. [This would be the case if] President Bush pushes this system through [Congress] claiming [it is part of] the war on terror – mostly since the American government wants to weasel its way out of agreements limiting missile proliferation and [preventing] the development of weapons of mass destruction."

"The benefit to Russia and China from this terror will be revealed a long time from now; however, the benefit to Israel will be evident sooner. If Israel is behind this terror, then its plan is for a joint US-Israeli military strike, within a few weeks at the most, against some Arab states. In this way, it will [eliminate the possibility that]… Americans will understand Arab issues, particularly Palestinian issues."

"…Even if it is proven that the perpetrator [of the US attack] is an American organization or a mafia gang, the damage to the Arabs is already done, as once an hour it is said that they are willing to support and commit such [acts of] terror… while Israel is deep in mourning and reminds the world that it too is subject to these kinds of suicide operations…"[10]


[1] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), September 14, 2001.

[2] Al-Dustour (Jordan), September 13, 2001.

[3] Al-Dustour (Jordan), September 13, 2001.

[4] Al-Dustour, (Jordan), September 13, 2001.

[5] Al-Rai, (Jordan), September 13, 2001.

[6] Al-Dustour (Jordan), September 13, 2001.

[7] Tishrin (Syria), September 13, 2001.

[8] Al-Ayyam (Palestinian Authority), September 13, 2001.

[9] Al-Safir (Lebanon), September 12, 2001.

[10] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), September 13, 2001.