Gen-Z TikTokers send Bin Laden’s 2002 ‘Letter to America’ viral: Terror chief’s 9/11 justification wins support among pro-Palestine youngsters who claim their ‘eyes have been opened’ after finding it on Guardian website
A 2002 letter written by Osama Bin Laden outlining his hatred of the United States and its support for Israel has gained support from pro-Palestinian Gen-Z TikTokers after it was found on the Guardian website.
The ‘Letter to America’ was distributed to British Islamic extremists in 2002, a year after the September 11 terrorist attacks, and saw the leader of Al-Qaeda attempt to carry out murderous acts in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia, killing almost 3,000 people. came to life, to justify.
It was published in full on The Guardian’s website, based on a translation it obtained, under a link entitled ‘Read bin Laden’s letter in full’ – but the newspaper has now removed it after people started sharing it in the context of the Israeli-Israeli issue. Hamas war.
Bin Laden – who was killed by US forces in May 2011 during an operation in Pakistan – espoused deeply anti-Semitic views and conspiracy theories in the letter, saying the US military was “shamelessly helping the Jews in the fight against us.
He also tried to justify the indiscriminate slaughter of American citizens because they indirectly finance the American military efforts through the payment of taxes.
Osama Bin Laden wrote his ‘letter to America’ in 2002 and used it in a twisted attempt to justify the September 11 attacks
At Bin Laden’s direction, nearly 3,000 Americans were killed in New York City, Washington DC and Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.
The Guardian’s website now shows this notice in place of the letter, which was previously published in full
He wrote: “The American people are the ones who pay the taxes that finance the planes that bomb us in Afghanistan, the tanks that attack and destroy our homes in Palestine, the armies that occupy our lands in the Arabian Gulf, and the fleets that occupy and destroy our homes. ensure the blockade of Iraq.
“These tax dollars are given to Israel so that it can continue to attack us and invade our country. So it is the American people who are funding the attacks against us, and they are the ones who oversee the spending of this money however they want, through their elected candidates.”
The digital edition of The Guardian’s letter was shared by a number of users on TikTok, apparently deliberately ignoring Bin Laden’s role as a terrorist warlord responsible for instigating and inspiring atrocities around the world.
Most users also do not comment on Bin Laden’s most extreme comments in the manifesto, including calls for the “rejection” of homosexuality and the claim that AIDS was a “Satanic American invention.”
The letter also perpetuates a long-standing anti-Semitic conspiracy theory about the Jewish people, claiming that they have “taken control of your economy (and) your media… making you their servants.”
These points are largely undiscussed by those sharing the letter on TikTok and elsewhere on social media, where creators appear to have equated the September 11 mastermind’s views on Palestine with showing solidarity with the Palestinian people in the current conflict between Israel and Hamas.
One video, showing the full text of the letter, was tagged #freepalestine.
The trend seems to have originated with influencer Lynette Adkins, who told her 177,000 followers, “I want everyone to stop doing what they’re doing right now and start reading ‘Letter to America.’ I feel like I’m going through an existential situation. crisis right now.”
“Be warned, this has left me disillusioned,” said one user.
Another video was captioned: “Disclaimer: I don’t agree with everything in that letter. He made some good points though.”
TikTok has also come under fire because its algorithm selectively “boosts” content that goes viral, making it visible to more users.
The hashtag #lettertoamerica has been viewed 12.5 million times on the site, according to its own statistics, while some videos have been ‘liked’ more than 100,000 times.
The trend appears to have started with TikToker Lynette Adkins who posted a video on November 14 telling her followers to read the manifesto
Hundreds of Gen Z users posted videos seemingly mistaking the hateful rant for an intellectual think piece
The US continues to hold memorial ceremonies for the victims of September 11, 22 years after the tragedy (Photo: The American flag is unfurled during the 2023 memorial ceremony)
Countdown mathematician Rachel Riley attacked social media companies for ‘popularising’ terrorist manifestos
Writer Frances Weetman claimed the version of the letter published by the Guardian – which is riddled with anti-Semitic, homophobic and racist views – had been “sanitised”.
Countdown mathematician Rachel Riley, who is Jewish, said on
She concluded with a “baffling” emoji, adding, “No, Osama Bin Laden is not misunderstood.”
Writer Frances Weetman, however, had a different view, claiming that the Guardian’s version of bin Laden’s extremist letter had been “sanitized” to remove the most extreme anti-Semitic elements.
She wrote: “The real question is not why idiotic leftist kids indoctrinated on Tiktok agree with Osama Bin Laden, but why the guardian originally published a sanitized version of his words that deletes the references to Jewish world power/capital.
Some TikTok users have shared their discomfort over sharing the views of a notorious terrorist leader.
One user commented on a video: “There are literally so many ways to further Palestinian liberation other than encouraging bin Laden.”
MailOnline has contacted TikTok for comment.
In the 2002 article accompanying the letter, The Guardian said the text was published in Arabic on a Saudi Arabian website used by al-Qaeda to spread messages to followers, and was sent to British extremists via email sent.
Visiting the page on which the letter was published now displays the following message: ‘This page previously contained a document containing, in translation, the full text of Osama bin Laden’s ‘letter to the American people’, as reported in the Observer on Sunday, November 24 2002.
“The document, which was published here the same day, was removed on November 15, 2023.”
The Guardian said in a statement on the letter’s removal: ‘The transcript published on our website twenty years ago has been widely shared on social media without full context. Therefore, we have decided to remove it and direct readers to the news article in which it was originally contextualized.
However, the newspaper has also been criticized by some who claim that removing a manifesto full of anti-Semitism, racism and homophobia was a form of ‘censorship’.
Lynette Adkins, who is believed to have been one of the first to share the letter on TikTok, said in a later video: “The Guardian removing that post is actually one of the worst things she could have done.”
Frederick Joseph, an author of books on racism, claimed it was an act of “narrative control,” adding: “They’re afraid people have information, so they decided to take it down.”