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In the weeks leading up to the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Muslim clerics and academics across the Arab world publicly trafficked in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, blaming Israel and American Jews for the attacks that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 Americans and destroyed New York City’s Twin Towers and a wing of the Pentagon.
Majed Al-Mitri, a Yemini researcher and academic, took to an Arabic television station last week to declare that 9/11 was orchestrated “by the U.S. and by the Jews in a clandestine manner” as a way to target “Islam and the Muslims,” according to a translation of his remarks by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which has been tracking conspiracy theories relating to 9/11 in the lead up to today’s anniversary.
“The US is conducting the greatest distortion campaign in its history,” Yaha Al-Kateb, another Yemini academic, stated in a Sept. 5 television interview in which he referred to the attack as “the alleged 9/11 operation by the so-called Al-Qaeda,” according to MEMRI.
Citing “documents published in some books,” Al-Kateb goes on to speculated that 9/11 is “entirely untrue” and that “the U.S. and Israel had prior knowledge of it.”
In an interview just one day before, Yemini Cleric Muhsen Al-Shami stated that the terrorist attacks were “what America and Israel want.”
“How did we reach the point where we are upset when a building of several stories in New York is attacked?” Al-Shami asked, according to MEMRI.
“This is what benefits the Jews and the Christians,” he added. “The truth is that the fountain of terrorism and its roots are the people who, Allah said, ‘strive to spread corruption in the land.’ These are the people who, because of their corruption, their aggression, their disobedience and their transgressions, were transformed by Allah into apes and pigs.”
In August, Egyptian jihadist Muhammad Al-Zawahiri, the brother of current Al-Qaeda Leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, appeared on the Al-Jazeera network to explain why terrorism like that of 9/11 is acceptable and promised further attacks on Israel and the U.S.
“We consider anyone hostile towards the Muslims to be an enemy, but all in good time,” Al-Zawahiri said, according to MEMRI.
“When we manage to attack Israel … Al-Qaeda has already attacked Israel,” he added, taking credit for a synagogue attack in Tunisia earlier this year. “If the regimes of the Arab countries bordering Israel did not prevent it, Al-Qaeda wants to carry out attacks against Israel.”
Al-Zawahiri justified 9/11 by stating that U.S. government officials died as a result.
Moreover, the Arab Spring was possible “solely because of the actions of the Jihadist Salafi movement,” of which Al Qaeda is a member,” Al-Zawahiri said, adding: “You said that we killed civilians in America. That’s not true.”
In February, a Palestinian writer and former Israeli prisoner blamed the Jewish state for 9-11 “and for all other terrorist attacks in the world,” according to MEMRI.