A Guardian spokesperson says the letter has been removed to direct readers to the news article, which ‘instead describes it as relevant’
In an unusual move, a prominent UK newspaper site on Wednesday removed a 21-year-old letter written by Osama bin Laden from its site after several TikTokers urged followers to read the al Qaeda leader’s message.
The Guardian removed bin Laden’s “Letter to America” after it went viral on TikTok after users of the social media platform encouraged their followers to read the letter.
The page now displays a message that says: “This page previously displayed a document containing, translated, the full text of Osama bin Laden’s ‘letter to the American people’, as reported in the Observer on Sunday 24 November 2002 it was done.
“The document, which was published here on the same day, was removed on 15 November 2023.”
According to The WrapA spokesperson for the British newspaper said, “A transcript published on our website 20 years ago has been widely shared on social media without full context.
“So we’ve decided to remove it and direct readers to the news article that originally made it relevant.”
What are people discussing on TikTok?
Bin Laden’s letter to the American people states that September 11, 2001 was caused by America’s support for Israel.
“They have thrown hundreds of thousands of troops 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,” the letter, which can be easily found elsewhere online, read in part.
According to The WrapThe “eye-opening” TikTok trend appears to have started with a video posted by Lynette Adkins, in which she told her nearly 12 million followers: “I wish everyone would stop doing what they’re doing right now.” Have been and read ‘Letter. To America,’ I feel like I’m going through an existential crisis right now.
Adkins’ video received reactions from other TikTokers, saying, “My eyes were opened.”
Another user who shared the letter wrote, “We have been lied to all our lives, I remember when Osama was found and killed people celebrated.”
In one of his many follow-up videos, Adkins says, “TikTok is going to save this generation,” because older people are “programmed to think a certain way.”
As a result, phrases including “Osama letter to America summary,” “a letter to America full text” and “a letter to America explained” were among the trending searches on TikTok.
Bin Laden’s anti-Israel letter resurfaced at the same time as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refuted claims that his country is committing war crimes in Gaza despite the martyrdom of more than 11,000 Palestinians, the majority of whom are women. And there are children.
In the month following the Hamas attack and Israel’s military response, clashes between supporters of Israel and Palestine have occurred around the world.
Several celebrities, including former UN Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie, have called for a ceasefire in the region.