September 12, 2007 / 1:40 AM / 10 years ago

Fidel Castro says U.S. fooled world over 9/11

HAVANA (Reuters) - Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro said the U.S. government misinformed Americans and the world about 9/11, echoing conspiracy theories about the terror attacks against the United States six years ago.

<p>The "Tribute in Lights" shines on the skyline of lower Manhattan as the sixth anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center is observed in New York, September 11, 2007. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn</p>

In an essay read by a Cuban television presenter on Tuesday night, Castro said the Pentagon was hit by a rocket, not a plane, because no traces were found of its passengers.

“Today one knows there was deliberate misinformation,” wrote Castro, who has not appeared in public since July of 2006 when life-threatening surgery for a secret illness forced him to hand over power to his brother Raul Castro.

“Studying the impact of planes, similar to those that hit the Twin Towers, that had accidentally fallen on densely populated cities, one concludes that it was not a plane that crashed into the Pentagon,” Castro said.

“Only a projectile could have caused the geometrically round hole that allegedly was made by the plane,” he said.

“We were fooled like the rest of the planet’s inhabitants,” he wrote.

Castro said the truth behind the September 11 attacks with hijacked planes that killed nearly 3,000 people will probably never be known.

Castro’s 4,256-word essay made no mention of Osama bin Laden and his militant Islamist al Qaeda network behind the attacks on New York’s World Trade Center and Washington.

Castro, who was the target of CIA assassination plots after his 1959 revolution, said Cuba tipped off U.S. security services in 1984 about a plan to kill then President Ronald Reagan while he campaigned 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.

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