By Ben Birnbaum | WashingtonTimes.com
An Islamist who believes that the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States were an American conspiracy is the front-runner in Egypt’s presidential race, a new poll shows.
Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh, formerly a leading figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, led the field of 13 candidates with 32 percent of the vote in a survey released Monday by the Washington-based Brookings Institution.
Egyptian presidential candidate, Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh, waves to his supporters in front of Egyptian presidency logo " falcon", Sunday, May 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
Mr. Abolfotoh expressed his views on the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in an interview last year with Egypt scholar Eric Trager.
Mr. Trager, now with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, quoted Mr. Abolfotoh as saying:
“It was too big an operation …. They [the United States] didn’t bring this crime before the U.S. justice system until now. Why? Because it’s part of a conspiracy.”
Egyptians will vote Wednesday and Thursday in their first presidential election since the toppling of Hosni Mubarak last year. If none of the candidates wins a majority, the two top vote-getters will compete in a runoff next month.
The 61-year-old Mr. Abolfotoh, who left the Brotherhood last year, has been dubbed a “liberal Islamist” by some reporters partly because he said he believes that a Christian should be able to run for president - a view that put him at odds with the Brotherhood’s leadership.
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