By Clara Chooi
Assistant News Editor
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 dissident of the US government’s subsequent wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, pointed out that attacks had inspired the attacks against 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 strategies and their battle plans are just plain bad. They are not disciplined people... someone would leak plans for the money... there are Arabs who are even willing 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.
MORE TO COME