Bushies had advance knowledge of 9/11: Yvonne Ridley

September 12, 2010 - 0:0

TEHRAN - British journalist Yvonne Ridley says that the Florida pastor who planned to burn the Quran is a preacher of hate and a self-serving publicity seeker who thrives on sensational headlines and the Western media has duly delivered on this.

Ridley, who converted to Islam in 2003, added that Muslims get harder, tougher, and more resilient when they and their faith come under attack.
She made the comments on Saturday during an email interview with the Tehran Times.
“I hate conspiracy theories, but I do believe that the (George W.) Bush administration knew far more about 9/11 in advance of it happening,” Ridley said on the day when the United States commemorated the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, in which nearly 3,000 people died.
Yvonne Ridley is one of the founders of Viva Palestina and the European president of the international Muslim Women’s Union. She also presents the current affairs weekly show The Agenda and co-presents Rattansi & Ridley for Iran’s Press TV.
Following is the text of the interview:
Tehran Times: What do you think was the actual aim of Terry Jones, the Christian pastor from Florida who had planned to burn the Holy Quran on the ninth anniversary of 9/11, but later cancelled his plan?
Yvonne Ridley: This preacher of hate is also a self-serving publicity seeker. He has at best 50 people in his congregation and most times less than 30. He thrives on sensational headlines and the Western media has duly delivered on this. However, now that they have created the monster, they've turned on him and are launching quite vitriolic attacks.
Tehran Times: Do you think Terry Jones caved in under international pressure or was he never going to do it?
Yvonne Ridley: He's boxed himself in a corner and it is quite clear he has no direct game plan.
Tehran Times: Are you convinced that 9/11 was planned and executed by some disgruntled Muslim terrorists without any kind of inside help from the USA, or like Robert Fisk and many others, do you also doubt that it was a terrorist operation?
Yvonne Ridley: I hate conspiracy theories, but I do believe that the (George W.) Bush administration knew far more about 9/11 in advance of it happening, which is why a full and frank and independent inquiry is needed.
Tehran Times: Osama bin Laden’s men were blamed for the 9/11 attacks. However, former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto said on November 3, 2007, just five weeks before her assassination, in an Al Jazeera interview with Sir David Frost, that she had confirmed reports that Bin Laden died in 2002, and she went on to say that she even knew the names of his killers. Now many more people are saying that Bin Laden died in late 2001 in the Tora Bora operation or in early 2002. If this is the case, then who has been preparing all those videos of Bin Laden since 2002? And who wants to keep the Bin Laden myth alive, and what are their aims?
Yvonne Ridley: Bin Laden always has been and always will be a useful bogeyman who the American authorities will use to push through whatever legislation they need to push through. However, I think they realize, dead or alive, he is nearing his expiry date, and so now they have created a new bogeyman in the name of Imam Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen who is in hiding in Yemen. I've no doubt next time the U.S. does want to resurrect Bin Laden, he will be in Tehran, or they will try to invent an Iranian connection. If he is still alive, then my guess is he will have returned to Saudi Arabia a long time ago.
If the tapes have been fabricated, it will undoubtedly be a CIA and/or FBI black operation -- some of the latest tapes have been positively way off beam and whacky, which always reveals the hand of U.S. intelligence. They simply cannot convince their target audience because they always go over the top. If we are to believe the last but one tape from Bin Laden, he's now concerned about green issues and the environment! U.S. intelligence think we're all as gullible as the poor American people they con on almost a daily basis.
Tehran Times: You have spoken about the rising tide of Islamophobia in Europe and the United States. Could you explain the reasons behind this phenomenon and how Muslim communities in the EU and the USA should deal with it?
Yvonne Ridley: The United States always needs a common enemy or a target, and unfortunately it is Islam. In Europe, there is a new breed of atheist and fundamentalist secularists who hate any religion, although they too have Islam in their cross hairs. The very nature of Islam means we all get harder, tougher, and more resilient the more they attack our great faith. In fact, they are doing more to unite the ummah, so in a funny way we should thank them. The added bonus is that the silly pastor in Florida has now put Islam center stage as a talking point, and more people than ever are wanting to read the Holy Quran -- the byproduct being that more people than ever in the West are converting to Islam. In terms of own goals, Pastor Terry Jones has just scored the mother of own goals!