The Bin Laden Conspiracy Theories

Why Falsehoods Flourish in the Muslim World

Courtesy Reuters

Immediately after the death of Osama bin Laden was announced, rumors about it swirled through the streets, coffee shops, and Internet cafés of the Middle East, Pakistan, and other parts of the Muslim world. The raid took place, some claimed, only to hand U.S. President Barack Obama a political victory, or to give him political cover for the troop drawdown in Afghanistan. Other, more outlandish, theories proposed that bin Laden had been collaborating with Washington all along. Another one had it that bin Laden died years ago but that his body had been frozen and retained for later use by the United States; still others suggested that he remained alive. “There are numerous question marks still seeking clear and honest answers from the American administration,” went an opinion piece in the Palestinian paper Al-Quds Al-Arabi. “Why did we not see the corpse of the Sheikh until this moment,

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