Deciphering and Debunking Conspiracy Theories of 9/11

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It went down as an unforgettable day of infamy – the start of the war on terrorism began on September 11, 2001. Terrorists associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four airliners and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. As the incident occurred, it was televised; millions of Americans watched in horror as two hijacked planes crashed one after the other into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Immediately following the attacks, various theories surfaced and many people began to label the attacks as a delicately orchestrated conspiracy. One such theorist, David Ray Griffin, wrote an essay to show the facts behind his ideas: The Destruction of the World Trade Center:Why the Official Account Cannot Be True ( Griffin, 2005 ). In his article, Griffin strongly stated, “The destruction of the World Trade Center was an inside job, orchestrated by domestic terrorists.” To support his theory, Griffin noted several characteristics in the collapse that pointed towards a controlled demolition. The sudden onset, the speed of the fall, the sliced steel, the pulverization of concrete and many other materials, the sounds produced by the explosions, and, most importantly, the molten steel, made the controlled demolition theory seem justifiable. After the report put out by FEMA saying, “The structural damage sustained by each tower from the impact, combined with the ensuing fires, resulted in the total collapse of each building ( FEMA 2002 )”, Griffin began his research on steel, and how it reacts in extreme temperature. His research showed that fire had never caused steel to collapse either before or after 9/11. He discovered later that steel loses 80% of its strength when it reached 1,300 °F; however, steel is an excellent conductor of heat and would not have been that hot. Satisfied with

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