TikTok shredded as influencers promote Osama bin Laden’s ‘terrorist propaganda’ tirade dubbed ‘Letter to America’ after 9/11 attacks

The text of an inflammatory “letter to America” from 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden has gone viral on TikTok and drawn praise from young users — and US lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are blasting the China-owned app for promoting “terrorist propaganda.”

In the letter, bin Laden claimed that he orchestrated the deadly attacks on the World Trade Center that killed nearly 3,000 Americans because the US “attacked us in Palestine.”

Bin Laden called the creation of Israel a “crime which must be erased.” He also claimed that the AIDS epidemic was “a Satanic American Invention” and objected to US companies allowing women to have jobs, fuming, “You use women to serve passengers, visitors, and strangers to increase your profit margins.”

The antisemitic tirade went on to assert that in the US, Jews “control your policies, media and economy.”

The Guardian, which had published the full text of the letter in 2002, pulled it down on Wednesday, citing the fact in a statement that it was being “widely shared on social media without the full context. Therefore we have decided to take it down and direct readers to the news article that originally contextualized it instead.”

Osama bin Laden’s infamous “letter to America” has gone viral on TikTok.
Photo credit should read AFP via Getty Images

The TikTok trend appears to have been jumpstarted by Lynette Adkins — a social media influencer with 12 million followers who has been profiled in the Los Angeles Times.

In her video, which has received nearly 100,000 likes and more than 5,500 comments since it was posted Wednesday, Adkins told her followers to “stop what they’re doing right now and go read a letter to America.”

The most heinous quotes from Osama bin Laden's 'Letter to America'

  • “Your law is the law of the rich and wealthy people, who hold sway in their political parties, and fund their election campaigns with their gifts. Behind them stand the Jews, who control your policies, media and economy.”
  • “These governments have surrendered to the Jews, and handed them most of Palestine, acknowledging the existence of their state over the dismembered limbs of their own people.”
  • “We also call you to deal with us and interact with us on the basis of mutual interests and benefits, rather than the policies of sub dual, theft and occupation, and not to continue your policy of supporting the Jews because this will result in more disasters for you.”
  • “The British handed over Palestine, with your help and your support, to the Jews, who have occupied it for more than 50 years; years overflowing with oppression, tyranny, crimes, killing, expulsion, destruction and devastation. 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. Each and every person whose hands have become polluted in the contribution towards this crime must pay its price, and pay for it heavily.”
  • “These governments prevent our people from establishing the Islamic Shariah, using violence and lies to do so.”
  • “Do not await anything from us but Jihad, resistance and revenge.”
  • “Also the American army is part of the American people. It is this very same people who are shamelessly helping the Jews fight against us. The American people are the ones who employ both their men and their women in the American Forces which attack us. This is why the American people cannot be not innocent of all the crimes committed by the Americans and Jews against us.”

Adkins followed up with several other posts, including one in which she discussed “three movies to watch after you’ve read ‘a letter to America’” and another in which she reacted to the Guardian taking down the text and declared “America is losing the PR war bad.”

“The Guardian taking that post down is actually one of the worst things that they could’ve done. I don’t know who was behind it or what the reasoning was, but I feel like it literally just confirmed everything that we read in the letter,” Adkins said.

When reached for comment, a TikTok spokesperson said “content promoting this letter clearly violates our rules on supporting any form of terrorism” and added that the company was “proactively and aggressively removing this content and investigating how it got onto our platform.”

Some young TikTok users have gone on to praise the mastermind behind the 9/11 terror attacks.
Tamara Beckwith/New York Post

At the same time, the company bizarrely tried to deny that the bin Laden-related content had gone viral — despite videos that racked up hundreds of thousands of views.

“The number of videos on TikTok is small and reports of it trending on our platform are inaccurate,” the spokesperson added. “This is not unique to TikTok and has appeared across multiple platforms and the media.”

Many of the TikTok users promoting the letter were women.

A second said she would “never look at life the same, I will never look at this country the same. 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, the entire viewpoint on the entire life I have believed and I have lived has changed.”

Lynnette Adkins was among the TikTok users who posted the video.
Lawmakers have criticized TikTok for spreading “terroristic propaganda.”
The Guardian took the letter down in response to the controversy.

Another social media user whose video went viral said that after reading the letter, “it becomes apparent to me that the actions of 9/11 and those acts committed against the US and its people were all just the buildup of our government failing other nations.”

Elsewhere, TikTok user @Raeyreads posted the full text of bin Laden’s letter to her TikTok account, where it has received more than 1 million views.

“It’s crazy that we are JUST now finding out about this. The U.S. government truly believes they are untouchable and never learned from the past,” one user wrote in response.

“The fact I agree with a lot of what he’s saying…. explains why the Us government didn’t publicize this or teach us about it,” another said.

The videos in support of bin Laden surfaced just days after The Post reported that several Republican lawmakers had renewed their calls for TikTok to be banned for spreading content that critics deemed anti-Israel during the nation’s ongoing war with Hamas.

Critics from both political parties have alleged that TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, is effectively a mass surveillance and propaganda tool for the Chinese Communist Party.

TikTok has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

Osama bin Laden’s letter originally surfaced in 2002.
Universal History Archive/UIG/Shutterstock

Freelance journalist Yashar Ali shared a number of the viral video clips on X, saying without criticizing any of the posts that the “TikToks are from people of all ages, races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Many of them say that reading the letter has opened their eyes, and they’ll never see geopolitical matters the same way again.”

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) said the footage showed “how China-owned TikTok is pushing pro-terrorist propaganda to influence Americans.”

“These people are sympathizing with Osama bin Laden – the terrorist responsible for 9/11 and thousands of American deaths,” Gottheimer said. “TikTok must be banned or sold to an American company.”

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) called for TikTok to be banned or sold.
Getty Images

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) described TikTok as “a geyser of terrorist propaganda – and the most effective surveillance tool for a foreign government ever invented.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), another vocal advocate for a TikTok ban in the US, also chimed in on the alarming situation.

“Now trending on social media (especially TikTok) people saying that after reading Bin Laden’s ‘Letter to America,’ they now understand terrorism is a legitimate method of resistance against ‘oppression’ and America deserved to be attacked of 9/11,” Rubio said.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) branded TikTok “a geyser of terrorist propaganda.”

The Guardian’s website now displays a message to readers explaining that the text had been removed.

“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,” the message said.