The Gen Zers who think Osama Bin Laden is an anti-capitalist freedom fighter: How influencer who quit her Amazon job to make $9,000 a month online became poster girl for Tiktokers enthusiastically sharing 9/11 terror mastermind’s Letter To America
A Gen Z influencer who became the poster girl for TikTokers and enthusiastically shared Osama Bin Laden’s ‘Letter to America’ is a champagne socialist who quit her job at Amazon to make influencer videos, it has been revealed.
Lynette Adkins was one of many social media users to post their reactions to the letter, which the al-Qaeda leader wrote in an attempt to stop the September 11 attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia, which killed nearly 3,000 people. came to justify.
Videographers appeared to equate the terror leader’s views on Palestine with showing solidarity with the Palestinian people amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, with some responding to his comments by saying: “My eyes have been opened.”
Adkins, from Austin, Texas, was one of the first and most prominent TikTokers to share the letter on her account, which had more than 177,000 followers but appears to have been deleted today.
The viral trend then gained momentum when American journalist Yashar Ali posted a compilation video of TikTokers’ reactions, including Adkins’s.
The trend appears to have started with TikToker Lynette Adkins who posted a video on November 14 telling her followers to read the manifesto
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 supercut has been viewed more than 32 million times, more than 16 times the total views of the original TikToks that used the hashtag #lettertoamerica. The app has now removed this hashtag.
Nevertheless, Gen Z’s fascination with the letter appears to have been organic, as one influencer explains Rolling stone she had already seen clips encouraging people to read the document a week ago, before eventually appearing ‘all over’ her For You page.
Adkins told viewers, “I want everyone to stop doing what they’re doing right now and read ‘Letter to America.’ I feel like I’m going through an existential crisis right now.”
The content creator, who also has more than 36,000 followers on Instagram, became a social media star after using her platforms to bitch about working in a corporate job for Amazon.
After less than a year in the role, she quit to become a full-time influencer – documenting the process for all to see – and made almost $9,000 (£7,200) in one month alone from her videos and brand sponsorships.
Before she made a lot of money on social media, she started working in San Antonio at age 15 in an effort to ease the financial burden on her father, a real estate agent, and her mother, who works for an insurance company .
Many of her videos satirize corporate culture, and other users who picked up the Letter to America after she shared it appear to equate bin Laden with an anti-capitalist freedom fighter.
In an example of her champagne socialism, Adkins said, “The reason there is so much inequality in this country is not because there aren’t enough resources.
“It’s because there are plenty of resources, but the people at the top, like the 1%, have kept most of the world’s resources for themselves. And that made me realize that we can have everything, but that change has to happen.’
The ‘Letter to America’, dating from 2002, a year after the atrocities of September 11, was published in its entirety on the Guardian’s website, based on a translation it had 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 ongoing conflict in the Middle East.
TikTok said it is “proactively and aggressively” removing the content and has launched an investigation into how it appeared on the social media site.
Hundreds of Gen Z users posted videos seemingly mistaking the hateful rant for an intellectual think piece
The Guardian’s website now shows this notice in place of the letter, which was previously published in full
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)
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.
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.”
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.”
Other TikTokers took to the platform to hit back at the letter’s enthusiastic sharing
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”.
A TikTok spokesperson said: “Content promoting this letter clearly violates our rules against supporting any form of terrorism. We are proactively and aggressively removing this content and investigating how it ended up on our platform.
“The number of videos on TikTok is small and reports that they are popular on our platform are inaccurate. This is not unique to TikTok and has appeared on multiple platforms and in the media.”
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.
“That’s why we decided to remove it and direct readers to the news article in which it was originally contextualized.”