TikTok’ers Reading Osama bin Laden’s Letter to America: “An Existential Crisis”

Young people on TikTok have recently discovered a 2002 letter written by Osama bin Laden, the (dead) orchestrator of 9/11, in which the al-Qaeda founder explained his ideology that led him to deploy terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

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,’” said TikTok user Lynette Adkins in a video posted to the platform on Tuesday, referring to the title often given to the text by bin Laden. “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.”

In the letter, bin Laden accused the U.S. of being responsible for the oppression of Palestinians because of its support for Israel.

“The creation and continuation of Israel is one of the greatest crimes, and you are the leaders of its criminals,” bin Laden wrote. “Each and every person whose hands have become polluted in the contribution towards this crime must pay its price, and pay for it heavily.”

The Saudi-born terrorist then wrote that Palestinians had to be “revenged,” along with the people of Afghanistan. The U.S.’ role in the oppression of Palestinians and Muslims, according to bin Laden, was justification for murdering American civilians.

The bin Laden letter is also interspersed with antisemitic tropes and hate speech. He repeatedly wrote that the country was dominated by Jews who “control your policies, media and economy,” elsewhere condemning homosexuality and fornication as “immoral,” and accusing the U.S. of spreading AIDS, which he termed a “Satanic American Invention.” As for what al-Qaeda wanted, bin Laden said that the U.S. had to renounce its culture of “hypocrisy” and become an Islamic nation.

The Guardian published that letter in 2002, and on November 15, 2023, removed it when the website became the top result of a Google search for “A Letter to America.”

Rolling Stone, CNBC, Newsweek

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