interesting article in the latest economist on conspiracy theories. would link it, but it’s sub only:
That’s what they want you to believe
Dec 19th 2002
From The Economist print edition
Why are conspiracy theories so popular?
WHO crashed those planes into the World Trade Centre? Israel, obviously. Mossad must have known that their country would profit from a surge in American hostility towards the Arabs, who were set up to take the rap. Shortly after September 11th 2001, the consensus on the Arab street was that only the Israeli secret service could have managed such deadly precision. Corroboration was quickly found in a report that 4,000 Jews who worked in the twin towers had been secretly warned to stay away that day.*
This was not the only interesting theory bandied around the souks. The doyen of Egyptian pundits, Hassanein Heikal, blamed the Serbs, noting that they were mad about losing Kosovo. Others fingered home-grown, Oklahoma-style extremists, or a plot by America’s military-industrial complex, ever hungry for new enemies to boost defence budgets.
One fellow in a Cairo café told The Economist that the culprit was clearly not al-Qaeda, but rather something called al-Gur. Was this, perhaps, a terror network still more murderous than the Bin Laden gang? No. On closer listening, it transpired that the evil al-Gur was bent on avenging not some wicked Yankee geo-blunder, but the theft of the 2000 American presidential election.