Newsletter 1

1. Welcome To The Working Group on Propaganda and the 9/11 Global "War on Terror"

Dear Interested Reader,

We are writing to you as concerned researchers who seek to critically explore the so-called ‘Global War on Terror’ that followed 9/11 and, in particular, analyse the multi-faceted ways in which propaganda is an integral part of this ‘war’. In an effort to engage the larger academic community, we would like to keep you informed on our work. 

In our Working Group, the key issues we seek to explore include the multiple so-called ‘regime-change’ wars that flowed from 9/11, the events of 9/11 itself, and the ways in which the global war on terror has reshaped civil rights and impacted democracy. There is no doubt that this subject area is of immense significance; the global ‘War on Terror’ has fundamentally defined the conditions of global conflict for 20 years now as millions of lives have been lost whilst civil liberties have suffered significant erosion even across democratic states. Conflicts arising from the 9/11 Global War on Terror continue to this day and include the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria, and Yemen as well as potential future conflagrations in countries such as Iran. Underlying our interest is a shared concern that levels of manipulation and propaganda have played a major role during the 9/11 Global ‘War on Terror’ and that mainstream academia has, by and large, struggled to engage effectively with the most important issues arising from it. 

This is the first of our regular newsletters, and we will use these to keep the scholarly community updated with respect to important developments relating to both political and academic issues relevant to the 9/11 ‘Global War on Terror’. Rigorous, objective, and unbounded academic investigation is the hallmark of our working group, and we aim to provide scholars with the resources and information to enable research that tackles the most critical and fundamental problems that have emerged during the global ‘war on terror. This regular newsletter will be used to highlight news about important and interesting developments whilst our website serves as a go-to resource for scholarly information about the various research areas our scholars are working on.

We hope you find our work of use and we hope to hear from you!  As a working group committed to fostering and developing research into this topic, we are always keen for new members to join us as ‘associated researchers.’  If you are interested in joining our group, please send us a message via our contact page.  We also seek donations and funding to help us with our research. 

Yours Sincerely,

Steering Committee: Professor Daniel Broudy, Professor Oliver Boyd-Barrett, Dr Niels Harrit, Mr. Ben Lindsley, Dr. Graeme MacQueen, Dr. Piers Robinson

Contact the Steering Committee at

2. News and Developments

2.a. Biden election and what it might mean for US military operations and war

The recent election of Joe Biden as the next American president suggests that the U.S. will likely not deviate from the 20 year-long regime-change strategy that was implemented/accelerated following 9/11. Biden himself supported the U.S.-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and was a member of the Obama administration during regime-change operations in relation to Libya and Syria. Indeed, within weeks of entering office, the Biden administration has carried out airstrikes on Syria.  

And despite U.S. officials’ April 13, 2021, announcement that Biden plans to end the two-decade U.S. military occupation of Afghanistan by withdrawing all remaining American troops by September 11, 2021, the president’s desire to reduce armed conflict remains open to question.  On the same day plans for withdrawal were announced, the Biden administration also announced its plans to proceed with the Trump administration’s $23 billion arms sale to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  The arms sale is proceeding despite the fact that the UAE and Saudi Arabia have, for years, launched sustained attacks against Houthi rebels in Yemen, resulting in thousands of civilian deaths while tens of thousands more have died due to conflict-induced famine. 

Biden’s hawkish foreign policy should come as no surprise.  During his campaign, Biden received support from George W. Bush-era neoconservatives whilst also exhibiting his ties to the military industrial complex. For example, Biden’s Secretary of Defense nominee, Lloyd Austin, is a former four-star Army general and Raytheon board member. Austin’s nomination has been criticized, not only because it clouds the time-honored principle of civilian control over the U.S. military, but also because it could be viewed as a conflict of interest that blurs the lines between national and defense-contractor agendas. Similar criticisms were levied against former U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney concerning his associations with Halliburton Company and Big Oil during the post-9/11 Iraq War.

Also of importance is the possible emergence of a new domestic ‘war on terror’ following events surrounding the U.S. presidential election. Biden’s campaign website states he will be working ‘for a domestic terrorism law that respects free speech and civil liberties, while making the same commitment to root out domestic terrorism as we have to stopping international terrorism’. Consequently, it may well be the case that in the coming months and years there is a widening and deepening of various strategies and tactics developed for the 9/11 Global ‘war on terror’.  

Whatever transpires, it seems very likely that the concept of a ‘war on terrorism’ will continue to play a central role in the politics of Western liberal democracies.

2.b. New Scientific and Legal Investigations Regarding the Events of 9/11

Within the last 12 months there have been a number of important developments with respect to the investigation of the events surrounding 9/11:-

The last year has seen the completion of a 4-year study, conducted by Professor Leroy Hulsey at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, examining the collapse of WTC 7; WTC 7 was the third building to suffer total collapse on 9/11. The study was funded by the group Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911Truth), a non-profit organisation representing over 3000 engineering and architecture professionals. Although the official NIST (National Institute for Standards & Technology) report concluded that the building collapse was due to isolated office fires leading to a total and rapid collapse of the 47-storey building, the Alaska Fairbanks study refutes this claim. Instead, the Hulsey study finds that the collapse explanation offered by NIST is fundamentally flawed and that for the observed collapse to have occurred, all columns in the building would have had to have failed almost simultaneously. Further scientific review is underway whilst a 45 minute documentary, Seven, is now available for viewing (Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, and Microsoft) for around $5.

In the U.S., The Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry, Inc., has initiated a number of legal actions. First, the Lawyers’ Committee submitted a petition on April 10, 2018, demanding that the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York present to a Special Grand Jury a number of unprosecuted Federal crimes relating to the destruction of three World Trade Center Towers (WTC 1, WTC 2, and WTC 7).  The U.S. Attorney agreed to comply with The Lawyers’ Committees’ request in a letter dated November 7, 2018 and the Grand Jury process is ongoing. Second, the Lawyers’ Committee, along with families of 9/11 victims and AE911 Truth, filed a lawsuit against the FBI on March 22, 2019.  The ongoing lawsuit aims to force the Bureau to assess evidence of explosive demolition that was available and supposed to be reviewed in the agency’s 2015 9/11 Review Commission; a retroactive review of the U.S. government’s 2003 9/11 Commission Report. Third, The Lawyers’ Committee has submitted an additional petition to Congress demanding that the 2001 anthrax investigation be reopened.  The anthrax attacks, which targeted two U.S. senators, were perpetrated immediately after the 9/11 attacks, killing five people and wounding 17.  The Lawyers’ Committee alleges that the FBI intentionally obstructed its investigations into the attacks, which spanned from 2001 to 2010.

Additionally, in February 2021, the Campbell family (relatives of Geoff Campbell, a UK citizen who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11) filed a petition in the UK courts demanding a new inquest into his death.

2.c. The Syrian War and Western 'Strategic Communications'

Over the course of the 2011-present Syrian war, the US and its allies, primarily the UK and France, have consistently accused the Syrian government and its ally, the Russian Federation, of being responsible for chemical weapon events in Syria. Conversely, the Syrian Government and the Russian Federation have denied these allegations and instead accused opposition groups of staging chemical weapon attacks. Over the last two years, however, a significant amount of evidence has entered the public domain regarding Western-backed regime-change operations aimed at overthrowing the Syrian Government.

The most prominent of these has been the controversy surrounding alleged chemical weapon attacks in Syria and the role of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). A combination of leaked documents and statements from former OPCW staff, including the OPCW’s first Director General Jose Bustani, have added weight to the claim that an OPCW investigation of the alleged chemical weapon attack in Douma, 2018, was manipulated in order to deceptively blame the Syrian government for the attack. A former OPCW inspector presented detailed evidence of serious irregularities at a Courage Foundation panel in autumn 2019, and a detailed review of key evidence has been produced by a group of UK Academics. The controversy continues with the current OPCW Director General recently being challenged to answer questions regarding the Douma investigation at a UNSC meeting as well as continued leaks. Importantly, in March 2021 leading experts including former OPCW inspectors signed a Statement of Concern which called upon the OPCW to re-examine the Douma investigation. Also provided were details regarding procedural irregularities and scientific flaws with the OPCW investigation. The controversy is reminiscent of the alleged WMD propaganda campaign that was used to mobilise support for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.  

Concurrently a large volume of documents have been leaked; the most recent in September 2020 and which indicate the existence of a major UK-led ‘strategic communication’ operation aimed at supporting opposition groups in the Syrian Conflict to overthrow Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian government. The UK operations have run in parallel with a covert and illegal US-Saudi operation, codenamed Timber Sycamore, described here by Columbia University Professor Jeffery Sachs. The UK government funded ‘communication’ operations involve a wide variety of activities including media support to opposition groups, funding of groups such as the ‘Syrian Civil Defence’ (a.k.a the White Helmets), and the development of ‘accountability and justice’ campaigns related to the war. An initial briefing note regarding the UK-led strategic communication operations will be published early in 2021 by a group of UK academics

3. Selected Recent and New Publications

4. Call for expressions of interest and feedback

New associated researchers are always welcome. Scholars interested in becoming associated researchers are invited to send us a message of interest or inquiry via our contact pageAs we plan to develop research activities including conferences and the sponsorship of research students, we also seek donations and funding.

Additionally, we are interested to hear of any new and important work on shared areas of interest and which can be flagged up in the next newsletter. Please contact our steering committee (

We look forward to hearing from you!

Yours Sincerely, 

Steering Committee: Professor Daniel Broudy, Professor Oliver Boyd-Barrett, Dr Niels Harrit, Mr. Ben Lindsley, Dr. Graeme MacQueen, Dr. Piers Robinson