In 1654, Nostradamus predicted that metal birds striking twin brothers would mark the end of the world.

At least, this is one variant of apocalyptic rumor that hit the Internet soon after the Sept. 11 attacks on New York's World Trade Center. But it isn't true. The French astrologer—who died in 1566—never published the lines now being attributed to him.

Claims of prediction and prophecy are common during events of great magnitude. For instance, prophecy popularizers were quick to incorporate Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait into end-times scenarios. But over a week after the terrorist offensive on New York City and Washington, D.C., dispensationalist voices have been relatively quiet.

What has been said?
The day after the attacks, radio program Beverly LaHaye Today focused on whether the event marked the onslaught of the end. The consensus among her guests, Tim LaHaye, Thomas Ice, and Ed Hindson, was that it did not.

Pointing out that the rapture didn't happen yet, they stressed that this was not the wrath of God. It was the wrath of man. This was only a foretaste of what is to come, they said.

The day of the attack, Hal Lindsey, author of The Late Great Planet Earth, wrote on his Web site that he has been warning America for years of an attack by the combined terrorist forces of Islam.

"In my video, Where Is America in Bible Prophecy, I warned that America will be destroyed as a world power and that terrorism was one way this could happen," Lindsey wrote. "This scenario seems to have begun."

On September 12, Jack Van Impewrote, "I have been warning the nation and the world … for the past two years that terrorists would soon strike America. That moment has arrived. Jesus predicted this rise of terrorism just before His ...

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