Osama bin Laden’s ‘Letter to America’ Goes Viral 21 Years Later — on TikTok

AS A FAMOUS @dril tweet noted of the terrorist group ISIS, “You do not, under any circumstances, ‘gotta hand it to them.'” Yet amid the continuing horrors of the war between Israel and Hamas militants, as people struggle to make sense of the violence and escalating rhetoric, more than a few people are willing to give al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden credit for his 2002 polemic against the United States, published as an explanation of the ideology that led him to orchestrate the attacks of 9/11.

“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.”

Commenters felt similarly awestruck by the document. “Just read it.. my eyes have been opened,” wrote one. “Read our entire existence for filth and he did NOT miss,” another said of bin Laden’s criticisms of the U.S. The clip itself went viral, with other young TikTokers also sharing the letter approvingly, encouraging followers to read it. “We’ve been lied to our entire lives, I remember watching people cheer when Osama was found and killed,” wrote a 25-year-old user who posted the letter in full. “I was a child, and it confused me. It still confuses me today. The world deserves better than what this country has done to them.”