Mark Tran and agencies
Fidel Castro has accused America of spreading disinformation about an explosion at the Pentagon on September 11 2001. Photograph: AP
Fidel Castro today joined the band of September 11 conspiracy theorists by accusing the US of spreading disinformation about the attacks that took place six years ago.In a 4,256-word article read by a Cuban television presenter last night, the country’s leader asserted that the Pentagon was hit by a rocket, not a plane, because no traces were found of its passengers.
“Only a projectile could have created the geometrically round orifice created by the alleged airplane,” he said. “We were deceived as well as the rest of the planet’s inhabitants,” he said.
In fact, the remains of the bodies of the crew and passengers of American Airlines flight 77 were found at the Pentagon crash site, and positively identified by DNA.
As for the attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York, Mr Castro wrote that the way the passenger jets crashed into the twin towers on September 11 and the data from the plane’s black boxes “do not correspond with the criteria of mathematicians, seismologists, and information and demolition specialists”.
But in a glaring omission, Mr Castro’s conspiracy theory failed to mention Osama bin Laden, who this week issued a video praising one of the hijackers who crashed into the World Trade Centre, and his militant Islamist al-Qaida network.
In his article, Mr Castro said the truth behind the attacks with hijacked planes that killed nearly 3,000 people would probably never be known.
The Cuban government originally condemned the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington hours after they occurred.
Within days it had organised a rally to express solidarity with Americans and Mr Castro said Cuba offered to donate blood.
Mr Castro has not appeared in public since mid-2006, when he underwent intestinal surgery and ceded power to his younger brother Raul. In late March, he began writing occasional essays on mostly international themes.
Mr Castro himself was the target of several failed assassination attempts by the US after he took power in 1959.
He also claimed in his essay that Cuba tipped off US security services in 1984 about a plan to kill the then president, Ronald Reagan, while he was campaigning for re-election in North Carolina.
The information provided by Cuba led to the arrest of a group of would-be assassins and foiled the plot, he wrote.