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Historical memento: Hosni Mubarak’s misgivings about official 9/11 account


On several occasions, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak raised questions about who was behind the 9/11 attacks, in particular questioning whether the alleged perpetrators had the necessary flying skills to carry out the attacks. Before becoming president, Mubarak had a successful career in the Egyptian Air Force, having been a pilot, instructor, and squadron leader. He’d eventually become director of the Air Force Academy, Air Force chief of staff, commander of the Air Force, and deputy minister for military affairs. [1]

During a CNN interview on 15 September 2001, Mubarak discussed the attack on the Pentagon, saying, “The Pentagon is not very high, a pilot could come straight to the Pentagon like this to hit, he should have flown a lot in this area to know the obstacles which could meet him when he is flying very low with a big commercial plane to hit the Pentagon in a special place.” He added, “Somebody has studied this very well, someone has flown in this area very much.”
When asked, “Are you suggesting it was an inside operation, I may ask, who do you think is behind this?” he replied, “Frankly speaking, I don’t want to jump to conclusions... let us wait and see what is the result of the investigations, because something like this done in the United States is not an easy thing ... I am speaking as a former pilot, I know that very well, I flew very heavy planes, I flew fighters, I know that very well, this is not an easy thing, so I think we should not jump to conclusions from now." [2]

Interviewed on the BBC on 19 September 2001, when asked about the expected repercussions of an assault on Afghanistan and the killing of Osama bin Laden, Mubarak said he didn’t believe bin Laden alone was responsible for the attacks on the US. "American experts also believe the operation is beyond bin Laden." [3]

In a later article, he repeated his concerns, saying, “I find it hard to believe that people who were learning to fly in Florida could, within a year and a half, fly large commercial airlines and hit with accuracy the towers of the World Trade Center which would appear, to the pilot from the air, the size of a pencil. Only a professional pilot could carry out this mission, not someone who learned to fly for 18 months in Florida.” [4]

Mubarak also later claimed that Egyptian intelligence had warned US officials 12 days before 9/11 that al-Qaeda was in the advance stages of conducting a significant operation against a US target. [5]

[1] Egyptian Presidency, 1997; George Washington University, 29 June 1999.

[2] Egyptian Presidency, Press Briefing: "Mubarak expresses Egyptian people’s sympathy with American people", 15 September 2001 (URL file-access disabled).

[3] 9/11 International Voices

[4] 9/11 International Voices/Mubarak

[5] "Traces of terror: The Intelligence Reports; Egypt Warned U.S. of Al-Qaeda Plot, Mubarak Asserts," New York Times Archives, 4 June 2002.

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