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A group representing families of 9/11 victims, 9/11 Families United, has expressed concern over a letter by Osama bin Laden gaining popularity on TikTok.
Terry Strada, National Chair of the group, said, “No American should ever not know Osama bin Laden was a terrorist who helped mastermind the murder of nearly 3,000 innocent Americans on September 11, 2001. These Americans were our husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters. It is appalling to witness younger Americans voicing sympathy for bin Laden’s dangerous and antisemitic worldview 22 years after our nation was horrifically attacked and our loved ones were callously murdered by Islamists who were financially supported by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and at Osama bin Laden’s direction.”
The focus of the controversy is bin Laden’s 2002 “Letter to America,” which has resurfaced online. Published nearly a year after the 9/11 attacks, the letter sought to justify attacks on American civilians. Videos on TikTok have been encouraging users to read the letter, some even expressing support for bin Laden’s viewpoints, particularly concerning the US support of Israel against Hamas.
TikTok has responded to the situation, stating on X (formerly known as Twitter) that promoting the letter violates their policies against supporting terrorism. The platform has committed to aggressively removing such content and investigating its presence on TikTok. Although the platform indicated that the number of videos supporting bin Laden’s argument is not extensive, some have gained significant viewership and engagement.