Critiques: the Official Theories of the Attack

The official account of the attack is, on its surface, simple. Nineteen suicide hijackers, motivated by hatred for American's freedoms, hijacked four jetliners and piloted them into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The Twin Towers, weakened by the crashes and fires, collapsed, raising the death toll to nearly 3,000 people.

Underneath this account's simplicity are numerous assumptions about how the events transpired. One such assumption is that the jetliner crashes and fires were sufficient to cause the total collapse of three steel-framed skyscrapers with numerous features of controlled demolitions.


Collapse Theories of WTC 1,2, and 7

Collapse theories of the Twin Towers and WTC Building 7 have commonalities and divergences. Some critiques address general forms of the collapse premise, while others address specific theories, such as those advanced by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST).

General Critiques of Collapse Theories

Critiques of NIST's WTC Investigation

NIST's investigation of the World Trade Center disaster was initiated in late 2002, several months after the publication of the ASCE/FEMA's inconclusive Building Performance Study. Critics have examined both the conduct of NIST's investigation, and the content of its final report on the Twin Towers, published in late 2005.

Video Analyses of NIST's WTC Investigation

Physics teacher David Chandler ( created a series of video analyses of the destruction of WTC Building 7 and describes how the content of the videos contradict the claims of NIST in its Final Report. Chandler also analyzes NIST's claim that there were not loud sounds of explosives.

NIST's Report on the Twin Towers

On June 25, 2005, NIST published the draft of its 'Final Report of the National Construction Safety Team on the Collapses of the World Trade Center Towers'.

NIST's World Trade Center FAQ

On August 30, 2006, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) published fourteen frequently asked questions (FAQ) and answers to them.

Military Response to the Attack

The official story of the immediate military response to the attack has undergone three major revisions since the attack occurred. The second revision stood unchanged between September 18, 2001, when NORAD published its Response Times document, until the 9/11 Commission released its Report on July 22, 2004, re-writing NORAD's timeline.

The most detailed analysis of the various accounts, and particularly the Commission's, is provided by David Ray Griffin's book, The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions. Half of the book -- Part Two: The Commission's Defense of the US Military -- describes problems with the earlier versions of the official story and disects the Commission's version. Griffin's talk, The 9/11 Commission's Incredible Tales highlights absurdities in the Commission's story.

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