TEL AVIV: In a surprising turn of events, a 2002 letter written by Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden to Americans has resurfaced on TikTok, gaining attention amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. The essay, originally written to justify the 9/11 terror attacks, has sparked controversy as some TikTok users endorse its message.
TikTok Bans Promotion of Bin Laden’s Letter
TikTok has taken a stand against the promotion of Bin Laden’s letter, announcing a prohibition on videos promoting its content, according to Reuters.
White House Condemns Letter
The White House also strongly condemned the sharing of Bin Laden’s letter, especially in the aftermath of the October 7 massacre carried out by Hamas, resulting in the death of Israelis. White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates emphasized that there is never a justification for spreading the repugnant and antisemitic lies contained in the letter.
Bin Laden’s Opposition To US Policies
The letter, originally published by The Guardian in 2002, outlined Bin Laden’s opposition to US policies, government, and society, with a particular focus on military actions in the Middle East. It also defended the civilian casualties on September 11.
Bin Laden’s Stance On Israel, Jews
A significant portion of the letter is devoted to Bin Laden’s opposition to Israel and Jews. He labelled the creation of Israel as one of the greatest crimes, asserting that it must be erased. He disputed the historical right of Jews to Palestine and propagated antisemitic stereotypes about Jewish control over the economy, media, and policies.
The second half of the letter outlined Bin Laden’s vision of a world governed by Islamic law, condemning American society and perpetuating age-old antisemitic stereotypes about Jewish influence. The letter concluded with a threat, warning of dire consequences if Americans refuse to heed Bin Laden’s advice. He ominously predicted a loss in the Crusade initiated by then-President Bush.
Pro-Israel users on social media responded swiftly, ridiculing those in America supporting Bin Laden’s ideology. The letter also covered various moral issues, including drugs, sex, gambling, and environmental policy, with Bin Laden accusing America of spreading AIDS as a “Satanic American Invention.”
After nearly a decade as the world’s most wanted man, Osama Bin Laden was tracked down and killed by US special forces in Pakistan’s Abbottabad in May 2011.