A decades-old letter allegedly written by Osama Bin Laden explaining why he planned the Sept. 11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people and injured more than 6,000 has gone viral on TikTok, with many users stating they just discovered its existence.
“So I just read a Letter to America and I will never look at life the same,” one TikToker shared on Wednesday in a video that has already garnered nearly 170,000 likes. “I will never look at this country the same. I will never. Please read it. And if you have read it, let me know if you are also going through an existential crisis in this very moment because in the last 20 minutes, my entire viewpoint on the entire life I have believed and I have lived has changed.”
The letter rebukes a number of American policies and values, calls AIDS “a Satanic American Invention,” and strongly condemns the creation of the State of Israel and the U.S.’s support for it.
“The creation and continuation of Israel is one of the greatest crimes, and you are the leaders of its criminals. And of course there is no need to explain and prove the degree of American support for Israel. The creation of Israel is a crime which must be erased,” the letter reads.
It also repeats antisemitic tropes, including the false allegation that Jews control the U.S. economy, media, and “all aspects of your life making you their servants and achieving their aims at your expense.”
Many TikToks and comments on the platform showed users to be sympathetic to Bin Laden’s viewpoint. Many videos also appeared with the hashtag #freepalestine or the Palestinian flag.
“This letter is so well written and so reasonably structured,” one TikToker said, adding moments later: “Like everything he said was valid.”
@alteamaureen Please read the questions he answered on pages 2-6. Its mind boggling!! 🤯🥺#islamtiktok #trend #viralvideo #fypage #fyp #worldwide #muslimtiktok #arabtiktok #blacktiktok ♬ original sound – Godiva Goddess ✨
In a second video, she added: “The way our minds were shaped, everything was a lie. And the veil of reality that we knew prior to this October has dropped completely.”
Another person posted a video denying that she was defending Bin Laden, but added that she wasn’t “about to sit here and act like he’s just the worst person in the world when America has literally been terrorizing people since the beginning of history.”
One comment under that video, which received 78 likes stated: “I understand he had a reason. America is a terrorist organization.”
“When a big fucking bully murders MILLIONS of your people and steal your resources!! YES,” the commenter added in a follow up. “We deserved it. Were lucky it wasn’t more people.”
The circulation of the letter and the TikTokers’ response to it has been widely blasted on social media.
“You do not, under any circumstances, gotta hand it to Osama bin Laden,” wrote one user on Wednesday.
The Guardian, which published a copy of the translated letter in 2002, also removed it from its site without an explanation on Wednesday.
Another X user wrote: “If 9/11 happened today bin Laden would just have to post an Instagram screenshot with some 20 year old woman making a pouty face with overlaid text that said THE INFIDELS HAD IT COMING ACTUALLY.”
Concluded someone else: “deconstructing american propaganda is very important but please don’t let it be because of osama bin laden. like please god lets be smarter and read actual books and academic articles.”