Smoke billowing from the World Trade Center, September 11 2001.
Baseless conspiracies continue to swirl around the events of September 11, 2001. Image by Chao Soi Cheong/AP PHOTO

Fake article used to spread fresh 9/11 conspiracy

David Williams May 13, 2024

US Congress will vote on a bill to criminalise the questioning of events surrounding 9/11.


False. The proposed bill does not exist.

A supposed tabloid article has revealed the US Congress will vote on legislation to criminalise questioning of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

This is false. There’s no such bill on the Congress database and the newspaper article is a spoof.

Social media posts making the claim state: “With strong support from AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] and the ADL [Anti-Defamation League], Congress is set to vote on a bill that would criminalize questioning the events that took place during the September 11th attacks.

A Facebook post featuring the false claim
 The bogus news article is doing the rounds online. 

“This bill calls for fines up to $10,000 and 5 years imprisonment of anyone who questions, denies, or challenges the official narrative.”

A search for legislation relating to 9/11 on the Congress database reveals several active bills that are connected to the events of that day, but none of the kind claimed in the posts.

The posts appear to show a story from the New York Post (NYP). They don’t show the newspaper’s masthead, but they provide the source of the screenshot – an X (formerly Twitter) account.

This account posted the claim and the same purported news article on April 27, but included the NYP masthead.

A search of the paper’s website reveals no such story.

However, a search for the journalists in the byline reveals a completely different article about disgraced former film producer Harvey Weinstein, with the same authors in the same order and the same time stamp (“Published April 26, 2024, 9:25 p.m. ET”).

Screengrab of New York Post article about Harvey Weinstein.
 A genuine New York Post article featuring the same time stamp as the fake story. 

This suggests a false headline and body text has been placed over a genuine NYP story.

Further clues to the “story’s” authenticity include the use of all capital letters for the headline (the NYP uses sentence case) and the fact that both the headline and the story text is centred (rather than left-justified).

A spokesperson for the paper told Associated Press that no such article was published.

Both the AIPAC and the ADL said the purported legislation is fake and they have no involvement in it.

Reuters, Verify and AFP have also debunked this claim.

The Verdict

The claim that the US Congress will vote on a bill to criminalise the questioning of 9/11 events is false.

A search of the US Congress database turns up no such bill, and the purported source – the New York Post – has no such story on its website.

False — The claim is inaccurate

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