In a series of tweets, the US vice-president called Suleimani “an evil man who was responsible for killing thousands of Americans”.
Among other things, Pence insisted that the general “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”, misstating the number of 9/11 hijackers – there were 19 – and insinuating Suleimani’s involvement despite a lack of evidence.
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.
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) January 3, 2020
The 911 commission found “no evidence that Iran or Hezbollah was aware of the planning for the 9/11 attack”, nor was
Suleimani’s name mentioned in the 600-page report.
Experts have also pointed out that Suleimani, a Shia leader, would have been an unlikely ally to the Sunni militants that carried out the attacks. This isn’t the first time that the Trump administration and supporters have promoted a link between al-Qaida – the group that launched the 9/11 attack – and Iran. Insisting that these groups are in cahoots could be key in legally justifying a war against Iran.