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Bombs, Bush and booby traps: Bizarre conspiracy theories around the 9/11 attacks

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 4:26 IST

Today, the US as well as the rest of the world is commemorating the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Here are some of the most bizarre conspiracy theories that have evolved since 11September, 2001.

The planes didn't blow up the Twin Towers, bombs did

  • According to this conspiracy theory, the World Trade Center's twin towers caught fire and collapsed as someone had already wired the buildings with explosives and not because two aircrafts crashed into them.
  • The theory suggested that the impact from the aircrafts alone could not have possibly caused the buildings to collapse. Furthermore, the buildings supposedly collapsed in a manner consistent with a controlled demolition.

photo 9/11

Photo: Patrika

  • However, investigations conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology revealed that the plane debris sliced through the utility shafts at the North Tower's core, creating a conduit for burning jet fuel and fiery destruction throughout the building.

The George Bush government was involved in the attacks

  • This theory claimed that the George Bush government had planned the entire attack so that there would be a reason to wage war against the Islamic world.
  • However, Osama Bin Laden claimed responsibility for the attack in a video released by him.
  • The 9/11 Commission Report and the Federal Bureau of Investigation also conclusively tied the 11 September attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon to Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.
  • Furthermore, the 9/11 Commission Report faults both the Bush and Bill Clinton administrations for their "failure of imagination" as well as lack of communication between various agencies.

Jews knew about the 9/11 attacks

  • As per this conspiracy theory, the Jews knew about the 9/11 attacks in advance, and the argument presented was that nearly 4,000 Jewish employees bunked work on 11 September, 2001, and some of the first ones to record the attack on camera were Jewish.


Photo: Patrika

  • After this conspiracy had surfaced, Jews went under the radar of suspicion, but the US Government could not prove anything as they failed to garner any evidence.

Inside traders knew about the attacks, so they dumped their stocks

  • According to this theory, during the days preceding the attacks, as traders had begun moving huge amounts of United Airlines and American Airlines stocks - the airlines whose planes were hijacked by the terrorists - it's only natural to assume that some evil investment bankers had advance knowledge and were trying to cash in on the same, knowing that the airlines' stock prices would plummet.
  • However, both the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) and the 9/11 Commission conducted extensive and wide-ranging investigations and concluded that the trades were innocuous and pure coincidences.
  • The stock prices for both United Airlines and American Airlines had been steadily declining since the beginning of 2001.

The planes were controlled using a remote control

  • This theory suggested that the two planes that hit the Twin Towers weren't piloted by hijackers but directed by remote control.
  • However, Boeing had clarified that these planes could only be piloted from the flight deck. In addition, the passengers and crew made phone calls describing hijackers taking over.

The Pentagon was attacked by a missile

  • According to this theory, a missile, and not American Airlines Flight 77, hit the Pentagon. The theory had further stated that the two holes punched in the side of the building were much smaller than the wingspan of a 757. According to a French author, the building was struck by a satellite-guided missile fired as part of an attempted military coup.


Photo: Creative Commons

  • Later, crash investigators concluded that the main hole in the Pentagon was smaller than the plane's wingspan as one wing was sheared off and the other was damaged on impact.
  • The second, smaller hole was made by the jet's landing gear. And if a missile did strike the Pentagon, why was DNA from the passengers of Flight 77 found in the rubble? Finally, Flight 77's black box was unearthed at the site.

First published: 11 September 2015, 4:01 IST