We reported today on the 9/11 conspiracy theories espoused by a close associate of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man at the center of the Ground Zero mosque effort.
Faiz Khan, a former officer of Rauf's American Society for Muslim Advancement, acknowledges the existence of a militant strand of Islam, but believes 9/11 was "an inside job" in which Muslim terrorists simply may have been patsies.
His suspicions are shared by British Islamist Yvonne Ridley. In an interview with the Tehran Times, Ridley said: "I hate conspiracy theories, but I do believe that the (George W.) Bush administration knew far more about 9/11 in advance of it happening, which is why a full and frank and independent inquiry is needed."
Bin Laden provides the U.S. with "a useful bogeyman" to get what the government wants, Ridley said. Advocates of 9/11 conspiracy theories dismiss videotapes of bin Laden discussing the attacks as fakes:
"If the tapes have been fabricated, it will undoubtedly be a CIA and/or FBI black operation -- some of the latest tapes have been positively way off beam and whacky, which always reveals the hand of U.S. intelligence. They simply cannot convince their target audience because they always go over the top. If we are to believe the last but one tape from Bin Laden, he's now concerned about green issues and the environment! U.S. intelligence think we're all as gullible as the poor American people they con on almost a daily basis."
Ridley has raised money for Viva Palestina (VP), a group founded by ex-British MP George Galloway that has supported Hamas, and she has traveled in VP convoys to Gaza. Ridley also has appeared at fundraisers in the U.S. for the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim American Society in 2002-03.