As Americans commemorated the 22nd anniversary of the tragic events of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and remember the thousands of victims who lost their lives on that day, hundreds of Arab intellectuals and social media users continued to dismiss the idea that Al-Qaeda was behind the attacks, despite Al-Qaeda's own claims to the contrary. Instead, they promote various conspiracy theories about 9/11. Some argue that the U.S. government orchestrated the attacks as a pretext for invading the Arab and Muslim world and stealing their resources, while others question Al-Qaeda's ability to carry out such an attack, instead promoting the theory that the buildings were brought down by bombs, not airplanes. This report will highlight the conspiracy theories presented by Arab intellectuals and influencers on social media platform X, (formerly Twitter).
Iraqi social media influencer Maysoon Asadi, who has over 5,500 followers on X, claimed in a post published on September 12, 2023 that the September 11 attacks were fabricated. She expressed doubts about the ability of airplanes to destroy the Twin Towers and promoted the theory that explosives were detonated as the planes hit the buildings. Additionally, she accused the U.S. of orchestrating terrorism against it and creating both Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS).
"Dalham," an X user, described the 9/11 attacks as "The largest operation carried out by the U.S. intelligence agency to find a pretext that allows them to invade the Islamic world, terrorize Arab regimes, and seize oil wealth and other strategic objectives in the Middle East."
Egyptian lawyer and X user Mohamed Sherif wrote on September 10, under the hashtag #September_11: "Look for who has benefited from the #9/11 attacks in America so far, and you will know who is behind these attacks and who executed them. No one could carry out such a meticulously planned and complex bombing without being thoroughly well-aware of the gains that could be achieved through these bombings, whether in the form of political decisions made by countries or organizations or in shaping global public opinion."
Kefah Issa, an X user based in Turkey who describes himself as an open-source IT expert, expressed his strong belief that 9/11 was an inside job. He also claimed that U.S. intelligence "succeeded in pinning the attacks on Al-Qaeda."
Jordanian writer and political analyst Dr. Maysa Almasrri published a post on September 11, 2023, under the hashtag #September_11, in which she wrote: "On a day like this, the Western deception of #ArabTerrorism was skillfully staged and cunningly woven. The plots that assassinated our Arab nations, humanity, and identity continue. Congratulations on the continuing deceit."
A Yemeni social media influencer who describes herself on the X platform, where she has over 22 thousand followers, as "a soldier for Allah in the #Axis_of_Jerusalem system," shared a quote by Houthi leader Abdul-Malik Badruldeen Al-Houthi, describing the September 11 attacks as "The biggest disinformation operation that has become the headline for a very dangerous move targeting our Arab and Islamic nation."
X user Ashraf Seleem, an Egyptian who claims to be based in Manhattan, New York, argued in a September 12 post that airplanes did not hit the towers of the World Trade Center. He claimed that images of airplanes were digitally added in television reports and that the towers were detonated from within.
Saudi X user "Sahayib.2," who has over 14 thousand followers, claimed in a post published on September 11 that on September 10, 2001, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said that 2.3 trillion dollars had disappeared from the military budget. He further stated, "The strange thing is that the next day, a 'passenger plane' (cruise missile) struck the Pentagon's budget analyst office, where they were investigating what happened to the missing trillions."
Another Saudi user on X, known as "The Saudi Lion," accused Freemasonry, the CIA, and the Israeli Mossad of being behind the attacks, which he said were an effort to make economic and strategic gains in the Middle East. On September 11, 2023, under the French hashtag #11septembre2001, he referred to the attacks as "the biggest lie in history!" and stated: "Because the September 11 attacks in #America were planned by Freemasonry and executed by the CIA and the Mossad to serve as a roadmap for achieving economic goals and strategic interests in the Middle East! Even Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda suddenly found themselves responsible for this act and exploited it as needed!"
A similar allegation was reiterated by Jordanian X user Mo'men Megdadi, who has over 10 thousand followers. In a post published on September 11, 2023, he wrote: "To justify its entry into other countries, America sacrificed its towers as a scapegoat and killed over 3,000 of its own people to allow itself to violate other nations."
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X user and social media influencer Dr. Nabil Baron, who has over 10 thousand followers, published a post accusing the administration of President George W. Bush of planning and executing the 9/11 attacks. On September 11, 2023, he wrote: "On this day, September 11th, in the year 2001, the administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush executed the largest terrorist act in modern American history. They attacked targets within U.S. territory and accused Arab countries (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Lebanon) before subsequently invading Afghanistan and Iraq... And don't ask me how."
Yemeni X user Youssouf Al-Mu'ayyad described the 9/11 attacks in a post as "an American play directed by the Zionists." He also added that "the victims of [the attacks] are the millions of people from the [Middle East] region who were killed, their countries occupied, and their wealth plundered under the pretext of terrorism, which is their tool."
Abu Muhammad Al-Yamani, another Yemeni user on X, with over nine thousand followers, repeated a similar 9/11 conspiracy theory in a post published on September 11, 2023, in which he wrote: "The September 11 attacks that targeted the World Trade Center and the U.S. Department of Defense, which were among the most significant symbols of American power, were alleged suicide bombings. These were meticulously planned and carefully executed intelligence operations, all conducted in an underhanded manner, with the aim of enabling Washington to seize the world's wealth. The invasion of Iraq served as a straw man at the forefront, particularly in targeting the Arab Gulf states."
In an interview aired by Al-Wisal radio, Omani political analyst Mohamed Al-Dhahab described the 9/11 attacks as a mystery, and reiterated the theory that questions whether 20 hijackers would be able to carry out such a large-scale attack. Al-Dhahab mentioned that he lived in the U.S. prior to the attacks and noted that traveling by airplanes was less complicated back then. According to him, traveling from Boston, where he used to live, to New York City did not require a reservation. However, all passengers had to pass through security and metal detection machines prior to boarding, he noted.
In a post referring to and refuting the various arguments promoted by the advocates of conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attack, prominent Saudi writer Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashid cited a recently published video documenting an airplane heading towards the second tower and commented: "In that crime, more than two buildings were destroyed, and over 3000 people were killed, leading to military and social wars whose consequences are still unfolding."
Al-Rashid then mocked conspiracy theorists and listed their arguments, stating: "Conspiracy theory persists as well:
"The attacks didn't happen at all, and the images were Hollywood montages!
"The attacks were carried out by internal explosions and were not caused by planes (which is 'physically impossible')!
"The attacks did happen, but they were planned by the U.S. government (a strange logic under the pretext of invading Afghanistan, even though there was already enough evidence before September 11 of Al-Qaeda attacking American interests)!
"The attacks happened due to infiltrators, but Al-Qaeda is innocent, even though the organization itself claimed responsibility and showed videos featuring the perpetrators in its camps.
"The attacks happened, but were the work of official Saudi parties (those who demand financial compensation).
"Saudi Arabia itself was a victim and engaged in a fierce war against Al-Qaeda at that time!"
Criticizing conspiracy theorists, Abu Dhabi-based journalist Mohannad Khatib, who has over 12 thousand followers on X, wrote mockingly: "Conspiracy theorists are on the rise:
"September 11 attacks are a hoax.
"Coronavirus is a hoax.
"Climate change is a hoax.
"Moon landing is a hoax.
"And so on...
"Those who hold these theories are united by several factors: populists, isolationists, those with limited education. They believe in fake news on social media without verifying its accuracy".
 Twitter.com/bintiraq4/status/1701456737289597234, September 12, 2023.
 Twitter.com/Dalham_/status/1701168974816317785, September 11, 2023.
 Twitter.com/mosherif88/status/1701046264039641282, September 10, 2023.
 Twitter.com/kefahi/status/1701191740676268530, September 11, 2023.
 Twitter.com/DAlmasrri/status/1701204069300219918, September 11, 2023.
 Twitter.com/YYZE90632zcuYf5/status/1701227143043166308, September 11, 2023.
 Twitter.com/AshrafSeleem/status/1701609396487557519, September 12, 2023.
 Twitter.com/S_aaa770/status/1701336997653053606, September 11, 2023.
 Twitter.com/TheSaudiLion1/status/1701145535376228377, September 11, 2023.
 Twitter.com/MoMegdadi/status/1701239055403429950, September 11, 2023.
 Twitter.com/Dr_Nabil_Baron/status/1701156161154699621, September 11, 2023.
 Twitter.com/yousifahmed2020/status/1701304210166272158, September 11, 2023.
 Twitter.com/Abunaji7744/status/1701303325889544683, September 11, 2023.
 Twitter.com/al_wisal/status/1701180926645219577, September 11, 2023.
 Twitter.com/aalrashed/status/1701172601513517344, September 11, 2023.
 Twitter.com/MohannadKhatib3/status/1701183705039958418, September 11, 2023.