February 25, 2024

Social media customers declare that after studying Osama bin Laden’s justification for the 9/11 assaults, they’ve come to sympathize with the al-Qaeda chief

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TikTok is eradicating movies on its platform that promote Osama bin Laden’s 20-year-old letter justifying the 9/11 assaults towards the U.S., saying that the content material “clearly violates” its guidelines on “supporting any type of terrorism.”

“We’re proactively and aggressively eradicating this content material and investigating the way it obtained onto our platform,” TikTok stated in a publish on X.

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Social media customers rediscovered bin Laden’s “Letter to America” — translated and printed by the Guardian in 2002 — amid heated on-line debate over Israel’s warfare towards Hamas.

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A collection of TikTok movies selling the letter resulted in it reportedly trending for a time on the U.Ok. newspaper’s web site.

On Wednesday, the Guardian eliminated the complete textual content of the letter, saying that the transcript had been shared on social media “with out the complete context” and that it was now directing readers as an alternative to “the information article that initially contextualized it.”

One 12 months after the occasions of 9/11, bin Laden wrote “Letter to America,” saying that he was answering the principle questions in American media on the time: Why are we combating and opposing you? What are we calling you to? What do we wish from you?

The letter is rife with antisemitic stereotypes and conspiracies and blames U.S help for the State of Israel, amongst different frequent jihadist grievances, for frightening the 2001 terrorist assaults. “The creation and continuation of Israel is without doubt one of the biggest crimes, and you’re the leaders of its criminals,” the letter says.

It additionally criticizes “acts of fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants, playing and buying and selling with curiosity” within the West, and argues that this “debauchery” justifies the assaults on Sept. 11, 2001 that killed almost 3,000 folks.

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The al-Qaeda chief, who was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs in 2011, additionally justifies 9/11 as “revenge.”

“The American persons are those who pay the taxes which fund the planes that bomb us in Afghanistan, the tanks that strike and destroy our houses in Palestine, the armies which occupy our lands within the Arabian Gulf, and the fleets which make sure the blockade of Iraq,” he wrote.

“That is why the American folks can’t be not harmless of all of the crimes dedicated by the Individuals and Jews towards us.”

In social media video posts which have been considered hundreds of thousands of instances, TikTok and X customers describe their emotions since studying the letter as “an existential disaster,” saying that they may “by no means have a look at (America) the identical means once more.”

“After studying this letter, I don’t assume America took out Osama bin Laden for 9/11. I actually don’t, I feel it’s as a result of he was making an attempt to open folks’s eyes,” stated TikTok person @biondaxox. “I feel America was like, ‘Yeah no this man is … making an attempt to let folks know what’s occurring and he’s saying he’s going to be combating for the Palestinians to be free and we are able to’t have that.”

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“The best way this letter goes viral proper now’s giving me the best sense of reduction,” stated creator @iamascia.

Others have expressed disbelief on the variety of younger Western individuals who have been seemingly taken in by al-Qaeda’s ideology.

“I’ve seen posts from these claiming to have learn bin Laden’s ‘Letter to America’ stating it has opened their eyes. The truth that folks resonate with such content material is disturbing & upon studying it myself I’m horrified by the extent of its antisemitism & extremist ideology,” wrote X user @ConorRing.

“He perpetuates dangerous antisemitic stereotypes, echoing claims of Jewish management over international establishments like banks & media. Nonetheless, I’ve handy it to him; he speaks outright about his antisemitic views with out hiding behind the time period ‘Zionist’ in contrast to most.”

TikTok, already dealing with scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers over potential ties to the Chinese language authorities, stated the movies quoting the late al-Qaeda founder weren’t distinctive to it and had additionally appeared on different social media web sites. It additionally downplayed the variety of movies on the subject.

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“The variety of movies on TikTok is small and reviews of it trending on our platform are inaccurate.”

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Movies with the hashtag #lettertoamerica had over 14 million views on Thursday, in accordance with CNN, however the platform has since blocked the hashtag and different associated search phrases.

Now, when making an attempt to look “Letter to America” or “Osama bin Laden,” TikTok customers are met with a “no outcomes discovered web page.”

New Jersey Consultant Josh Gottheimer stated the movies confirmed that TikTok was “pushing pro-terrorist propaganda to affect Individuals,” including that the platform ought to both be banned or bought to an American firm.

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