US media challenges Vice President Mike Pence's claims of Soleimani assisting 9/11 terrorists

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 05, 2020, 10.50 AM(IST) Edited By: Abhilash Mahajan

Vice President Mike Pence (File photo) Photograph:( AFP )

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Media houses in the country challenged Mike Pence's claims of Soleimani's connections to the September 11 attacks. 

A fresh row erupted in the United States after the Vice President made claims on Friday that Qasem Soleimani assisted clandestine travel to Afghanistan of 10 of the 12 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks in the country. 

Media houses in the country challenged Vice President Mike Pence's claims of Soleimani's connections to the September 11 attacks. 

Also read: US to target 52 Iranian sites if Americans are attacked: Donald Trump

Soleimani, who was the head of Quds Force of Iran's Revolutionary Guards', was killed on Friday in a drone strike by the US in Baghdad.

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The American vice president on Friday said on Twitter that Soleimani "assisted in the clandestine travel to Afghanistan of 10 of the 12 terrorists who carried out the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States."

When critics on Twitter pointed out that the 2001 terror attacks were carried out by 19 militants, and not 11, Pence spokeswoman Katie Waldman clarified that Pence was referring only to the dozen who had "transited through Afghanistan."

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"10 of those 12 were assisted by Soleimani," Waldman said. 

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However, New York Times refuted Vice President's claims and said that Soleimani was never named in the elaborated 585-page report issued by the September 11 Commission.  

The Washington Post said that it might be "technically correct to say that Iran 'assisted' in their (9/11 militants) travel." But, it added that did not mean Tehran, or Soleimani in particular was "knowingly assisting in what became the 9/11 attack." 

Also, 15 of the 19 US terror attack hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, Iran's arch-rival.
 
Pence went on to make his points clear through his tweets where he claimed of atrocities committed by Soleimani across a wide swath of the Middle East.

(with inputs from AFP