Ahmadinejad’s skepticism about 9/11 origins provokes al-Qaeda


A statement by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in which he questioned the role of al-Qaeda in the September 11 attacks on the U.S. provoked the terrorist organization into issuing a statement in response asking the Iranian president to stop promoting conspiracy theories.

In a speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Ahmadinejad argued that al-Qaeda claiming responsibility for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon was a bluff, aimed at manipulating people’s emotions. He also stressed that the attacks were pre-planned by the United States as a pretext to invade Afghanistan and Iraq.

In response, al-Qaeda issued a statement calling upon Ahmadinejad to stop making assumptions about 9/11 that are contrary to what really happened and to refrain from making a statement the group described as “ridiculous,” according to a report published on the ABC News website.

“Why would Iran ascribe to such a ridiculous belief that stands in the face of all logic and evidence?” the statement read.

According to the statement, which was published in al-Qaeda’s English-language magazine, Inspire, Ahmadinejad views al-Qaeda as Iran’s rival because the group has managed to gain the respect of Muslims for standing up to imperialism and the United States.

“Al-Qaeda succeeded in what Iran couldn’t. Therefore it was necessary for the Iranians to discredit 9/11, and what better way to do so than conspiracy theories.”

This is not the first time that Ahmadinejad has questioned the role of al-Qaeda in the September 11 attacks. In 2009 the Iranian president called for the formation of an independent committee to investigate the attacks and find out who was actually behind them.

In a speech he gave in Beirut this year, Ahmadinejad reiterated his call for the formation of this committee.

(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)