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Conspiracy theories

For many people searching for information on the events of 9/11, the very first things they will encounter are conspiracy theories. From just days after the attacks, alternative theories of what happened, and who had caused it, began to emerge.

When teaching about 9/11 it is important not only to be able to handle these issues, but also to be able to draw on them to show young people the importance of recognising where reporting biases can occur. Considering the credibility of sources, thinking critically about the motivation of reporters and understanding when challenge of official government stories can be appropriate are all useful conversations that you can create from study of this topic.

To find out more about the major conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11 – and how to counter them – we recommend the guidance below from the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York.

Tower Hamlets have also produced a free lesson teaching about how conspiracy theories can be formed, which is also a helpful exercise for students.

Finally, we highly recommend the guidance on conspiracy theories in the classroom written by Jeremy Hayward and Gemma Gronland, IoE, UCL.

You might also be interested in:

BBC coverage of 9/11 conspiracies

Interviews with the lead investigator into the WTC collapse

Articles by Popular Mechanics, debunking a wide range of 9/11 conspiracies