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Federal NDP Leader Jack Layton says he is satisifed with Bev Collins's explanation of her views on the Sept. 11 atttacks. ((Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press))

The New Democrats are standing by a B.C. candidate who has come under scrutiny for her beliefs about the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The Liberals say Bev Collins, who is running in Cariboo-Prince George, should quit because of her association with a movement that believes 9/11 was the result of a conspiracy.

In a radio interview last year, Collins suggested that the Sept. 11 attacks were used to justify the U.S. war on terror.

"People are truly waking up realizing who the people are responsible. You know, that there was complicity for 9/11, that the people used that 9/11 to bring about a war on terror," she said.

In an e-mail, Collins maintains she always held that the attacks were acts of terrorism.

"She has acknowledged that the attack was a terrorist attack, and she hasn't made any attacks against any particular group or element of our society," NDP Leader Jack Layton said in her defence. "I'm satisfied with that."

Toronto author Barry Zwicker, well-known among so-called 9/11 truthers who believe the attack was an inside job by the U.S., Israel or both, is friends with both Collins and Layton.

In an internet video clip dated April 8, 2008, the NDP leader tells another truther that Zwicker is a good friend of his.

"I have all of the materials, you know, which we study. And naturally it's a movement that is growing," Layton said in the clip.

When CBC asked Layton whether he supports Zwicker's views on 9/11, he said no.

The NDP has dumped several candidates since the five-week election campaign got underway, including one who skinnydipped in front of a group of teens at a retreat back in 1996 and others over drug-related revelations.

Last week, Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion dumped Winnipeg candidate Lesley Hughes over a 2002 column in which she suggested Israeli companies were given a heads-up about the attack on the World Trade Center.