Amid September 11 Remembrances, Think on the Curious Case of Tony Rooke

Amid September 11 Remembrances, Think on the Curious Case of Tony Rooke September 11, 2017

By Wendy Murray

A Brit who took on the BBC and their staged reporting of the attacks of 9/11  ~ ~ and won: Tony Rooke.

Tony Rooke


In a story that was quickly overshadowed by the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon in April 2013, this fascinating story unfolded and is worth highlighting on this day of remembering the attacks of September 11.

In the aftermath of the events of September 11, 49 year-old Tony Rooke had refused to pay his required TV license to the BBC. This is because he believed the BBC covered up facts about the 9/11 terrorist attacks and (he argued) paying his bill would be tantamount to supporting “the practice of terror.”

“I am withholding all funds from the BBC, the Government and subsidiaries under Section 15 of the Terrorism Act,” he said at his hearing.

In Feb. 2013 he was found guilty of using an unlicensed set and given a six-month conditional discharge and told to pay £200.

He represented himself in court 9 April 2013 at Horsham Magistrates’ Court in West Sussex, where he admitted to owning a TV and watching it without a license. He said he was withholding the funds under the Terrorism Act, Section 15 of the 2000 Act, which states that it is an offense for someone “to invite another to provide money, intending that it should be used, or having reasonable cause to suspect that it may be used, for terrorism purposes.”

In his court appearance, Rooke added, “I believe the BBC, who are directly funded by the license fee, are furthering the purposes of terrorism and I have incontrovertible evidence to this effect. I do not use this word lightly given where I am.”

Rooke cited, among other things, that the BBC reported during the attacks of September 11, 2001  that World Trade Centre 7 had fallen, when, in fact it stood erect and in tact over the shoulder of the reporter reporting its demise. The news story occurred 20 minutes before building actually collapsed. (The screen capture, right, shows a BBC reporter announcing the collapse of WTC7, even while it stood erect behind her; it collapsed 20 minutes later). 

Rooke said to the court: “The BBC reported [the building collapse] 20 minutes before it fell. They knew about it beforehand. Last time I was here I asked you (the judge): ‘Were you aware of World Trade Centre 7?'” (WTC 7 was a 47-story skyscraper that was not hit by a plane on 9/11 but collapsed at free-fall speed later that day.)

“You said you had heard of it. Ten years later you should have more than heard of it. It’s the BBC’s job to inform the public. Especially of miracles of science and when laws of physics become suspended.”

Rooke said that since the BBC had prior knowledge that the building was doomed and did not warn Americans about it, it made them complicit in the attack.

District Judge Stephen Nicholls responded: “This is not a public inquiry into 9/11. This is an offense under section 363 of the Communications Act.” The judge added that he “did not believe he had the power to rule under the terrorism act” but agreed that Rooke had a reasonable case and thus found him not guilty.  He was not fined for failure to pay the licensing fee.


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