Who is the Islamophobic
Conspiracy-Theorist Behind the Saudi 9/11 'Dry Run' Story?
By Al Bawaba
The Saudi government funded a ‘dry run’
for 9/11, paying for two Saudis to fly from Phoenix to Washington, attempting to
gain access to the cockpit in the process.
This, according to a New York Post piece
published Saturday, two days before the sixteenth anniversary of the September
11 terror attacks.
Given its timing and dramatic allegations,
the article has gained considerable attention, with the same assertions being
reported in Al Jazeera, the New Arab, UK’s The Independent and Mail Online,
Online, among others.
however, cite the New York Post piece rather
than an original source.
reliable is the Post story?
for his claims, writer Paul Sperry himself
points to “fresh evidence submitted” in the
lawsuit being brought against Saudi Arabia by
relatives of 9/11 victims.
indicates that Sean Carter, the lead attorney
for the 9/11 plaintiffs, told him in an
interview that the allegations are drawn from
“nearly 5,000 pages of evidence submitted of
record and incorporated by reference into the
writes: “Citing FBI documents, the complaint
alleges that the Saudi students [...] were in
fact members of “the Kingdom’s network of agents
in the US,” and participated in the terrorist
references to a “network of agents” and “the
terrorist conspiracy” recall the rhetoric of
Sperry’s 2005 book “Infiltration: How Muslim
Spies and Subversives have Penetrated
description it is clear that the 12-year-old
work went beyond investigative journalism to
employ a scare-mongering anti-Islamic and
intolerant narrative which reads like a
Americans continue to worship at the altar of
cultural diversity and endorse religious
tolerance for tolerance sake,” it reads,
“Muslims masquerading as "moderates" have
insinuated themselves into the very fabric of
continues: “The Muslim establishment that
publicly decries the radical fringe-represented
by al-Qaida's brand of Islam known as Wahhabism,
the official religion of Saudi Arabia is
actually a part of it.”
“Muslims” in general as an enemy of the US,
rather than extremism or terrorism, Sperry’s
book was warmly received by many on the
correctness and capitulation to the demands of
the Muhammedan jihadist directly resulted in
9/11. Read to find out why,” says one five-star
His other works include "Muslim Mafia: Inside
the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to
Islamize America", which "portrays the Council
on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as a
subversive organization allied with
international terrorists," according to one
former media fellow at the conservative public
policy think-tank the Hoover Institution, has
also written for far-right news website
attempts to undermine Khizr Khan, the father of
a US soldier killed in the Iraq war, who
criticized Donald Trump at the 2016 Democratic
attacked Khan for allegedly believing “the
constitution ‘must always be subordinated to the
Sharia’”. To evidence his headline claim, Sperry
referred to a 30-year-old book review by Khan,
which he speculated “in context” indicates his
support for Sharia ahead of the US constitution.
of the piece is conjectural, ignorant of Islamic
thought and borders on Islamophobic at times.
the claims reproduced so enthusiastically?
to the effect that the Saudi embassy bought
plane tickets for employees to test the waters
for a terror attack on the US two years before
9/11 may well have been put forward. It may or
may not convince the court should the case go to
trial as anticipated.
But it is
worrying that so many international news outlets
picked up on this story from a tabloid paper
without referencing the writer's history as a
speculative, Islamophobic conspiracy-theorist.
it is not hard to see why many of the outlets
using the story were not overly keen to double
check its background.
Middle East Eye and the New Arab all have Qatar
connections, whose closure has been demanded by
Saudi Arabia in the ongoing Gulf crisis. The
Daily Mail is a right-wing paper that often
pursues a fear-mongering anti-Islam narrative.
For these outlets, headline was more important
than source in this case.
Sperry's claims come after a law passed last
year allowed families of the September 11 attack
victims to sue the Saudi government.
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