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High-ranking public officials and prominent columnists in the Middle East are promoting a claim that Jews perpetrated the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon, according to Arab media sources translated by MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute.

Many columnists in the Arab press maintain that no Arab was responsible for the attacks. Palestinian columnist Khalil Al-Sawahri insisted in the Palestinian Authority-sponsored daily Al-Ayyam that a letter left by a hijacker was forged.

“Its disseminators are the circles of Orientalists who are making efforts to tarnish the image of the Arab Muslim,” he wrote.

While many in the Middle East speculate the culprit could be the U.S. itself, the most popular view among Arab media reviewed by MEMRI is that Israel, world Zionism, the Mossad, or, simply, the Jews carried out the attacks.

Syrian foreign minister Mustafa Tlass has claimed that the Mossad planned the ramming of two hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center towers as part of a Jewish conspiracy.

Rakan Al-Majali, a columnist for the Jordanian government daily Al-Dustour, wrote: “It is obvious that Israel is the one to gain greatly from this bloody, loathsome and terrible terror operation, and it seeks to gain further by accusing the Arabs and Muslims of carrying it out.”

In Iran, Parliament Chairman Mahdi Karrubi wondered whether “Zionists in Israel plotted the terror operation in order to blacken the faces of the Muslims.”

‘Jews were warned to stay home’

The claim that Jewish employees were warned not to come to work at the WTC on Sept. 11 was quickly accepted by the Arab media as incontrovertible fact, according to MEMRI.

Syrian ambassador to Tehran Turky Muhammad Saqr said at a conference held at the Iranian Foreign Ministry: “Syria has documented proof of the Zionist regime’s involvement in the September 11 terror attacks on the U.S.” and that “4,000 Jews employed at the WTC did not show up for work before the attack clearly attests to Zionist involvement in these attacks.”

The Iranian daily Kayhan also referred to this “fact”: “It is known that 4,000 Jews worked at the WTC in New York and that these people did not come to work that day.”

In an editorial, the Saudi Arabian government daily ‘Ukkaz said “six Israelis suspected of involvement in New York and Washington were arrested in the U.S., to be later released. This confirms our strong suspicions about the involvement of Israel’s Mossad in the ugly crime.”

The Egyptian opposition weekly Al-’Usbu’ published that as a scoop, building it up somewhat and giving it the title, “True Perpetrators of the September 11 Attacks Arrested – Zionists with Maps of the WTC, the Pentagon, and the White House and Large Quantities of Anthrax.”

Ambassador Saqr viewed Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s unexpected postponement of his visit to the U.S. as “additional proof linking the Zionists with this tragedy.”

Syrian columnist Mu’taz Al-Khatib gave another example in Al-Hayat: “Barak’s presence in the BBC’s head office minutes after the explosion, at a meeting set in advance, to speak for 30 minutes of the danger of terrorism and chastise the ‘rogue states,’ particularly the Arab” was, he said, further proof of Israel’s involvement.

Some speculated on how Israel carried out the attack.

Orkhan Muhammad Ali wrote in Saut Al-Haqq Wa-Al-Hurriyya, the mouthpiece for the Islamic Movement in Israel, that the planes had not been hijacked – rather, they had been directed by remote control using a system developed by a Jewish-owned company.

‘Zionists control media’

Many claimed Jewish involvement in the events of September 11 was never reported because the Jews control the American media.

Egypt’s Sheikh Muhammad Gamei’a, formerly both Al-Azhar University’s representative in the U.S. and imam of the Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque of New York City, claims that a group of people attacked his home in the U.S. because of their anger toward Muslims. “(But) during my conversations with this group, it became clear to me that they knew very well that the Jews were behind these ugly acts, while we, the Arabs, were innocent,” he said. “None had the courage to say this in public,” Gamei’a claimed. “They said: ‘You know very well that the Zionists control everything … .’”

A comprehensive article in Egypt’s Al Ahram by Ahmad Abu Zayid, titled “The Jews Are Behind the Explosions in America,” submitted 14 “pieces of evidence” that Israel and the Mossad were involved in the Sept. 11 attacks.

It asserted many claims published in other media, including a stock sell-off by Jews two days before the event and that “no Jew was hurt in the incident.”

Zayid wrote that federal investigators “arrested a group of Jews who set up video cameras on the roof of one of the Israeli companies across from the WTC a little while before the incident, in order to film the moment of the explosions. This proves that Zionist elements knew what was about to happen.”

“The Mossad is the only one that could have breached American security,” Zayid wrote. “Only the Zionists get the trust of the Americans, enabling them to carry out such an operation without accusations being leveled at them.”

Egypt’s Sheikh Gamei’a hinted at the punishment Jews should receive for their deeds: annihilation as attempted by Adolf Hitler.

“I told the American officials that the American people cannot, at this critical stage, know the real enemy who struck at its heart if it does not awaken from its slumber and stop blaming the Arabs and the Muslims,” Gamei’a said in an interview published on Al-Azhar University’s unofficial website.

“Immediately after the event,” he continued, “some 30 percent of the American people awakened (and realized) that they were the victims of deception on the part of the Jews, who presented the Arabs and the Muslims to them as a nation of barbarians and blood-shedders. It became clear to the American people that hidden hands were at play in their land. I heard from many Americans who visited me at the Islamic Center that they had been misled by the Jews and thus had come to express their support for the Arabs and Muslims. They said openly, We were deceived. …

“If this (deceit) were to be known to the American people, they would do to the Jews what Hitler did to them.”

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