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Fifteen years on, September 11 conspiracy theories linger among French

Stan Honda, AFP | This file photo taken on September 11, 2001 shows the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center burning after two planes crashed into each building in New York.

For the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in the United States, a French polling firm conducted a survey to gauge the impact of conspiracy theories among the French.

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The main finding? According to polling firm Odoxa, the majority of French people believe that the full story of that day has yet to be revealed to the public.

Two thirds of those surveyed believe that key information has been hidden. That number gets higher the younger the respondents are, peaking with those under 25, 75 percent of whom believe facts are being withheld, as opposed to only 55 percent of those over 65.

The hijackers of the planes were identified as being linked to al Qaeda, but 45 percent of French people think that we still don’t know who was behind the attacks.

One of the most persistent conspiracy theories is that the Bush administration was somehow complicit in the attacks, to justify going to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, a belief held by 28 percent of those questioned in the poll.

That conviction is stronger among the less educated, being held by 31 percent of those who have a high school education or less, and also among those between 25 and 34 years old, 37 percent of whom hold that belief.

Over 1,000 people over the age of 18 were questioned in the online poll. The sample was diversified according to age, sex, profession and region. The margin of error is 2.5 percent, according to the authors of the survey.

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