The Guardian removes Osama Bin Laden's 2002 'Letter to America' after TikTokers view videos praising it more than 10 million times

Bin Laden's letter was an explanation of the ideology that led him to orchestrate the 9/11 terrorist attacks and included criticism of Israel.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
On Wednesday, The Guardian removed a letter written by Al-Queda founder Osama Bin Laden that had been published on its website for more than 20 years. This comes as the hashtag #lettertoamerica was viewed on TikTok over 10 million times. 

TikTokers, many of them American, found the letter and began to share it. As they did so, they expressed their agreement with the letter. The letter was published in British news outlet The Guardian in 2002, after the September 11 terror attacks on the United States, which killed over 3,000 people. As they read the letter, steeped in the oppressor/victim worldview, they find themselves agreeing with bin Laden's assessment that the US, and Israel, are responsible for attacks on their own nations. One American TikToker said the letter gave her an "existential crisis" and she will never look at the US the same again.

Bin Laden's letter titled "Letter to America" was an explanation of the ideology that led him to orchestrate the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but since the letter also included support for the Palestinians and criticism of Israel, the Guardian's article, which was first published in 2002, began to go viral on social media this week due to the Israel-Hamas war.

On the updated page, The Guardian issued the message: "This page previously displayed 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 24 November 2002. The document, which was published here on the same day, was removed on 15 November 2023."

Anti-Israel activists have latched onto Bin Laden's letter and praised the deceased terrorist on social media for his criticism of the United States' support for establishing and maintaining a Jewish state in the Middle East. Much like what people are currently witnessing at the anti-Semitic demonstrations that have been propping up around the world.

"The creation and continuation of Israel is one of the greatest crimes, and you are the leaders of its criminals," Bin Laden argued, according to the letter. "Each and every person whose hands have become polluted in the contribution towards this crime must pay its price, and pay for it heavily."

Rolling Stone reports that one user on TikTok posted a video that encouraged users to read the Guardian's article on Tuesday and said: "I need everyone to stop what they're doing right now and go read — it's literally two pages — go read 'A Letter to America.'"

"Come back here and let me know what you think. Because I feel like I'm going through like an existential crisis right now, and a lot of people are. So I just need someone else to be feeling this too," she added.

After the post went viral, the top Google Search results for "Letter to America" directed to The Guardian article and it became the top-trending story on the publication's website which promoted the outlet to remove the letter, according to Rolling Stone.
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