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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.
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.
Castro: U.S. uses al-Qaeda to justify foreign policy
The Associated Press HAVANAŚ Fidel Castro suggested Sunday that the U.S. government has promoted Americans' fears about al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups to justify its plans for world domination.
In an essay published on a government website, the 82-year-old former Cuban president wrote that al-Qaeda "was born from the empire's own entrails," using "the empire" to refer to the United States, but failing to elaborate.
He said the terrorist group was "a typical example of an enemy that the hegemonic power dangles in a place of its choosing where it needs to justify its actions, as it has done throughout its history, fabricating enemies and attacks destined to strengthen its plans of domination."
The U.S. has used al-Qaeda as a pretext to carry out plans "outlined long before the attacks that brought down the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001," Castro wrote.
Castro has previously accused the U.S. government of misleading the public about the Sept. 11 attacks, and his close friend and ally Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says it is plausible that Washington was somehow involved in planning the attacks.
The U.S government says al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden masterminded the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The former Cuban president is suffering from a secret illness and has not been seen in public since undergoing emergency intestinal surgery in July 2006. His younger brother Raul took over as head of state in February.
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