Bin Laden's justification of 9/11 goes viral on TikTok as Al-Qaida leader's letter removed online

The trending videos are filled with young people claiming that they are shocked by the letter and voicing their support for it.

Published: November 16, 2023 1:26pm

Updated: November 16, 2023 2:05pm

Videos praising a letter from the late Al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden justifying the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks have gone viral on TikTok, causing the letter to be removed online. 

The Guardian, which has had the letter on its website since 2002, said Wednesday it removed the transcript because it "had been widely shared on social media without the full context." The removed page still remains the paper's second most viewed document as of early Thursday afternoon. 

The trending videos are filled with young people, who appear to be American, claiming that they are shocked by the letter and voicing their support for it.

"I need you to stop what you're doing right now and go read a letter to America. It is literally the craziest thing I've read in a while," one unidentified user says in a TikTok video. "Under settler colonialism, any kind of resistance is branded as terrorist because the only acceptable violence is violence by the occupier."

Another TikTok user urged people to read the letter. "However be forewarned, this has left me very disillusioned, and I feel the same exact way I felt when I was deconstructing Christianity. I feel a little bit, just confused like I have entered into another timeline, like, 'What is this?'" the user says.

Another TikTok video shows a young person celebrating with the caption: "Me when I got the news in 2011 that 'we got him,'" followed by a video of a person looking confused with the caption, "2023: reading his letter to America knowing he was right." Other users have put out similar videos of before and after reactions.

The letter, written just over a year after the 9/11 attacks, quotes the Quran, and focuses largely on Israel, which Bin Laden dubs the creation of a "crime that must be erased." It also slams homosexuality, women's liberation and the stock market, among other things. It also calls for the need to institute fundamentalist Islamic law.

Bin Laden said he fought the West because it "attacked us in Palestine" and it continues to "attack" Muslims "on a daily basis" across the world. He also told the West that his terror group is "calling you to Islam" and he wants the West to "to stop your oppression, lies, immorality and debauchery that has spread among you."

The Guardian isn't the only website that removed the letter. 
Bryn Mawr College, a Pennsylvania liberal arts school, also took it down from their website.

The letter is trending after Hamas terrorists attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and kidnapping about 240 others. Israel responded with missile strikes and an invasion of the Gaza Strip. 

Follow Madeleine Hubbard on X or Instagram.

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