The Guardian took the unusual step of deleting a 21-year-old letter from Osama bin Laden from its website on Wednesday after several TikTokers urged their followers to read the al-Qaeda leader’s letter, leading to “Letter to America” went viral on the social media platform.
Guardian readers are now faced with this News“This page previously displayed a document that contained the full text of Osama bin Laden’s “Letter to the American People” in translation, as reported in the Observer on Sunday, November 24, 2002. The document was published here on the same day and was removed on November 15, 2023.”
In a statement to TheWrap, a spokesperson for the British broadcaster said: “The transcript published on our website 20 years ago was widely shared on social media without full context.” That’s why we have decided to remove it and alert readers News article that originally contextualized it instead.”
Among the findings that people are discussing on TikTok is Bin Laden’s statement that September 11, 2001 happened because of US support for Israel. “They have deployed hundreds of thousands of soldiers against us and formed an alliance with the Israelis to oppress us and occupy our land; “This was the reason for our response on the 11th,” says the letter, which can easily be found elsewhere on the Internet.
I am not okay
The TikTok trend seems to have started with one Video posted by Lynnette Adkinsin which she told her nearly 12 million followers: “I want everyone to stop doing what they’re doing and read ‘Letter to America.’ I feel like I’m going through an existential crisis right now.”
Other TikTokers’ responses included: “My eyes have been opened.” Another user who shared the letter wrote: wrote“We have been lied to our whole lives. I remember seeing people cheering when Osama was found and killed.”
In one of their many Follow-up videosAdkins says “TikTok will save this generation” because older people “are programmed to think a certain way.”
Trending searches on TikTok included “Osama’s Letter to America Summary,” “A Letter to America Full Text,” and “A Letter to America Explained.”
Bin Laden’s anti-Israel message is resurfacing as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected allegations that the country was committing war crimes in Gaza. The most recent conflict in the Middle East erupted on October 7 following the Hamas terrorist attack on Israeli civilians that killed more than 1,400 people.
In the month following the Hamas attack and Israel’s military response, there have been clashes between supporters of Israel and Palestine around the world, including recently in Los Angeles, where a Jewish man died from head injuries sustained in an alleged confrontation with a Palestinian supporter had.
Several celebrities, including former UN goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie, have called for a ceasefire in the region.