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September 11 Conspiracy Theories

What do some conspiracy theorists think really happened on Sept. 11, 2001?

Lisa Mann/Mission Pictures/Getty Images

Approximately 2,973 innocent people died from terrorist attacks on Sept. 11th, 2001 [source: CNN]. Nineteen terrorists successfully hijacked four commercial airplanes that morning and wrought terrible devastation with them. They slammed two into the World Trade Center twin towers, and another into the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C. Another crashed into a Pennsylvania field -- failing to hit yet another target thanks to a passenger revolt.

Most believe that Osama bin Laden, a known enemy of the United States and an admitted terrorist, was behind the orchestrated hijackings. But some skeptics don't accept this story. They don't believe that the details add up. Conspiracy theorists think they've found suspicious evidence that proves the U.S. government either knew more than it admits or actually orchestrated the disaster itself.

So-called "truthers," who believe in a government coverup, have produced scores of Web sites, as well as several books and documentaries explaining their conspiracy theories. Some theorists find it hard to believe that the hijackers could have been skilled enough to pull it off, and others point to suspicious photographic evidence and conflicting reports from the fateful day. Most theorists also think the events were a suspiciously convenient excuse to execute a specific political agenda. Others see the conspiracy idea as too far-fetched and find it hard to believe that numerous officials in the U.S. government would have let nearly 3,000 innocent people perish for such a scheme.

We'll go over some of the conspiracy theorists' favorite arguments.

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