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Debunking 9/11 conspiracies

The Top Sept. 11 Conspiracy Theories

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The 2001 terrorist attacks have spurred scores of conspiracy theories. The State Department has a Web page that seeks to debunk some of them.

We have cataloged a few of the conspiracies and the State Department’s responses. We have a link to the State Department Web site on FCW.com’s Data Call at www.fcw.com/download.

No plane hit the Pentagon on Sept. 11. Instead, it was a missile fired by elements “from inside the American state apparatus.”

Conspiracy theorists making this claim ignore several facts:

  • The remains of the bodies of the crew and passengers of American Airlines Flight 77 were found at the Pentagon crash site and positively identified by DNA.
  • The flight’s black box was also recovered at the site.
  • Numerous eyewitnesses saw the plane strike the Pentagon. Some reported seeing passengers through the plane’s windows. Missiles don’t have windows or carry passengers.
  • Numerous photographs show airplane debris at the crash site. Survivors and rescue personnel also confirm the presence of debris.
Four thousand Jews failed to show up for work at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.
  • It appears from media reports that some 10 percent to 15 percent of World Trade Center victims were Jewish, indicating there were no mass absences.
  • The 4,000 figure apparently came from an early statement by the Israeli Foreign Ministry that some “4,000 Israelis” were believed to be in the New York and Washington areas, where the attacks occurred. This figure was apparently seized upon by conspiracy theorists in an attempt to bolster the false rumor.
Al Qaeda is not responsible for the 2001 attacks.
  • Al Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden, have repeatedly confirmed that they planned and carried out the 2001 attacks.
  • In an audiotape released on May 23, 2006, bin Laden stated, “I was responsible for entrusting the 19 brothers…with those raids.”
  • In a November 2001 videotape, bin Laden said, “We calculated in advance the number of casualties…who would be killed.… I was the most optimistic of them all.… Due to my experience in this field, I was thinking that the fire from the gas in the plane would melt the iron structure of the building and collapse the area where the plane hit and all the floors above it only.”

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