KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad persisted today in backing a conspiracy theory that the US government could have planned the 9/11 attacks on its own soil as an excuse to retaliate against the Muslim world.
The former prime minister, a vocal critic of the US government’s subsequent wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, pointed out that 9/11 had inspired the attacks on Muslims worldwide, even subjecting innocent Muslim airline passengers to “humiliating searches” and unwarranted detentions.
“9/11 started the horrific war against hundreds of thousands of Muslims, devastated Iraq and Afghanistan and made Muslims the universal enemies of the whole world.
“Someone obviously gained from this... find the beneficiaries and I believe we will find the real terrorists,” he told the opening of the international conference series “9/11 Revisited — Seeking the Truth” organised by the Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF) at the Putra World Trade Centre here.
Dr Mahathir also repeated his insistence that Arab Muslims were incapable of planning the well-strategised, multi-pronged attack that saw the iconic twin towers of the New York World Trade Center crumble to the ground in the historic 2001 attack.
“I apologise to the Arabs but planning and executing these complex operations are not something they can do very well,” he said.
“The Arabs were great warriors in the past, but after western rule, they lost their prowess in wars.”
He gave a reminder that the Arab Muslims have never won a single battle in their wars against Israel, saying that in the years after Israel was formed, even the combined armies of Egypt, Jordan and Syria were defeated by Israeli forces.
“The Arabs never seem to be able to plan or strategise and, certainly, their execution of battle plans is just plain bad. They are not disciplined people... someone would leak whatever plans they may have worked out.
“For money, there are Arabs who are even prepared to reveal the hiding places of their leaders.
“They are brave and willing to die for their beliefs, but they are not like the American marines who planned and carried out the assassination of Osama bin Laden... including the disposal of the body of the victim... and they are brilliant,” he said.
Dr Mahathir pointed out that the September 11 attacks would have taken years of intense training, complex planning and strategising, and precise timing and disciplined execution.
He said if the Arabs had the capacity to plan such attacks from remote locations in Afghanistan or even Iraq, US intelligence agencies like the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) would have come to know of it and sabotage the operation.
“But the fact remains that four planes were hijacked and all crashed into their targets,” he said.
Dr Mahathir pointed out that historically, there has never been a case where four large aircraft were hijacked simultaneously, and on top of that, while they were flying in different airspaces and in different directions.
He said it was still a mystery how the hijackers managed to overwhelm the crews of the four planes, take control of them, change their flight plans to four different places before crashing them into their targets.
The veteran politician said the planes’ pilots would have at least tried to steer the aircraft away from the twin towers if they had known they were likely going to die that day.
“It would not need much change of direction to miss the towers.
“But the planes hit the towers squarely, bursting into flames apparently due to the fuel they carried,” he said.
“I can imagine trained operatives like those in the CIA or Mossad (Israel’s Institute of Intelligence and Special Operations) planning and executing this complex operation but I cannot imagine an Arab like Osama bin Laden planning and directing this sophisticated aerial attack from some remote place in Afghanistan,” he continued.
Dr Mahathir, Malaysia’s longest-serving prime minister, admitted later that his beliefs may be inaccurate but urged those invited to today’s conference to press on with their independent debunking of the 9/11 attacks to shed light on the issue.
Speakers at the conference include, among others, former US congresswoman and former presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney, journalist and film producer James Corbett and Architects & Engineers for 9/11 founder Richard Gage, who have been vocal in their clamour to expose the truth behind the attacks.
“This conference is about finding the truth regarding the world-shaking events of 9/11,” Dr Mahathir said.
“Attempts will be made to black out reports on the talks and discussions here... they will be made by the very protagonists of free speech and the free press.
“But the alternative media will frustrate them and shed light on the events,” he added.
He noted that many were likely to question the various theories raised during the conference that would place doubt on official accounts that blame the attacks on Muslim terrorists, Osama and the terror network Al-Qaeda.
“But a substantial number,” he added, “...will believe or at least rethink their views of the events.”