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The Hill
The Hill
17 Nov 2023
Tara Suter


NextImg:9/11 families call out TikTok over Osama bin Laden trend

A 9/11 families group called out TikTok on Friday over a letter by Osama bin Laden that has recently gone viral.

“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,” Terry Strada, National Chair of 9/11 Families United, said in a statement.

“These Americans were our husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters,” the statement continued. “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 group, 9/11 Families United, says it is “a coalition of families and survivors of the worst-ever terrorist attacks on American soil” on its website.

Bin Laden’s 2002 “Letter to America,” which was published nearly a year after the 9/11 attacks, has recently made its rounds online. The letter attempted to justify the killing and targeting of American civilians.

Bin Laden was killed in 2011 by U.S. Special Forces.

Many videos showed support for the al Qaeda leader’s argument and suggested to others that they read the letter in light of the U.S.’s backing of Israel in its war against the militant Palestinian group Hamas.

“Content promoting this letter clearly violates our rules on supporting any form of terrorism,” TikTok Policy posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “We are proactively and aggressively removing this content and investigating how it got onto our platform.”

The number of videos praising bin Laden’s argument is not large, TikTok said, despite some reportedly garnering hundreds of thousands of views and likes.