December 2, 2023

A TikTok user who shared a video with the contents of a letter allegedly written by Osama bin Laden said in the caption of another message posted last month that she “didn’t know anything about Palestine” before Hamas attacked Israel on October 7.

On Thursday, the “Letter to America” allegedly written by bin Laden, the former al-Qaida leader who masterminded the 9/11 attacks on America that killed nearly 3,000 people, spread across social media platforms. Under the administration of former President Barack Obama, bin Laden was killed in 2011 during a mission by U.S. special forces.

The letter was first published by The Guardian in 2002, about one year after the hijacked planes struck New York City’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

“The creation and continuation of Israel is one of the greatest crimes, and you are the leaders of its criminals,” the letter read in part. “Each and every person whose hands have become polluted in the contribution towards this crime must pay its price, and pay for it heavily.”

“The American people are the ones who pay the taxes which fund the planes that bomb us in Afghanistan, the tanks that strike and destroy our homes in Palestine, the armies which occupy our lands in the Arabian Gulf, and the fleets which ensure the blockade of Iraq,” the letter added.

TikTok user @raeyreads is believed by many people to be one of the first social media creators to share the letter. Much of the content on her account promotes Palestinians and Gaza, which the TikTok creator indicated in a post last month is a cause that is new to her.

Osama bin Laden is interviewed
Osama bin Laden, former leader of terrorist group al-Qaida, is pictured on August 20, 1998, while in a cave hideout somewhere in Afghanistan. A letter allegedly written by bin Laden was shared Thursday on social media, and a person thought to be among the first to post the letter said last month she knew little about the Palestinians’ cause before Hamas attacked Israel on October 7.
Photo by CNN via Getty Images

“As a person who didn’t know anything about Palestine until last week, I am so sorry that I didn’t know,” she wrote in the caption of a video posted October 19. “I’m sorry that I did not seek out the information I needed to help where I could.”

When contacted by Newsweek for a previous story, @raeyreads indicated she would not be speaking with Western media outlets.

In the accompanying video from last month, @raeyreads took issue with Israel supporters who she said would have claimed in high school during lessons about the Holocaust that they would have protected Jewish people.

“And now they see Israel dropping hundreds of bombs on the people of Gaza in a week, killing thousands of them, and they’re totally cool with it,” she said. “Even though the same Jewish community that they say that they would have protected during the Holocaust are telling them, ‘We don’t support this. We’re not OK with this. We do not want this to be happening.’ And they’re calling for a ceasefire.”

The TikTok creator then chastised people “who want to teach their kids that you stick up for another person, but they are either staying on the side of the oppressor or not saying a word.”

“That in no way teaches your child how to stick up for another person. Because what I’m doing is I’m showing my child that when somebody is hurting another person in any way, we do not turn a blind eye,” she said.

Following the backlash she received for sharing the alleged bin Laden latter, @raeyreads spoke out in a Thursday TikTok video.

“I did not state anywhere that I agreed wholeheartedly with everything that was written in that letter,” the user said. “However, if I’m going to post something that I think can show another side of things, I’m not going to only post a portion of it … I believe it’s important to see the way that things are perceived by everybody, that are involved in it, and I believe that that letter was a really great way to encourage some critical thought.”