One of the TikTok influencers who went viral for posting Osama bin Laden’s “Letter to America” has spoken about the controversy and said people should have the right to access the information and form their own opinions.
Lynette Adkins, an online personality and pro-Palestinian activist, has responded to a request for comment by Fox News. Her statement is written in its entirety below.
“I read the letter after some other creators shared it and was surprised because I never knew it existed. I posted it to my page so others could read it as well,” Adkins said.
“I did not share the letter to promote any form of hate or violence against anyone, nor do I agree with the extremism in it. I was just shocked by what I had read & wanted to have a conversation about it with my followers. I was 3 in 2001 and was always taught 9/11 happened because other people were jealous of our democracy in the U.S. Now that I’m older and am able to learn about history beyond the narrative of mainstream media, I’m realizing that there is more to the story. I think we all deserve a right to access the information being presented to us & form our own conclusions without subscribing to extreme or radical ideologies.”
“The letter was taken off of the Guardian’s site after being on there for over 20 years. My TikTok was banned as of this morning, & many people who are sharing the letter are getting their videos removed as well. If we live in a true democracy, I think we should be allowed to have open & peaceful conversations about what’s happening in the world,” she added.
The Guardian removed the text of the letter from its website, which had been there since 2002, after it reportedly became the top Google search result amid the TikTok storm.
Adkins urged her 175,000 TikTok followers on Tuesday to read the words of bin Laden, the terrorist mastermind who helped to orchestrate the 9/11 attacks.
“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,” Adkins said in the video. “And please come back here and just 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.”
In a separate video, Adkins praised TikTok as a platform for reliable information consumption.
“TikTok is going to save this generation,” Adkins said. “The amount of things that we’ve learned on this app in this past month alone that other people in other generations I tried to talk to them about it, they don’t understand. They don’t get it because they’ve been literally so programmed to think a certain way, TikTok is undoing all of that. It’s crazy to watch in real time.”
“If you haven’t already, go read ‘A Letter to America,'” she added.
In the letter to America, bin Laden justified al-Qaeda’s attacks against the U.S.
“Palestine, which has sunk under military occupation for more than 80 years. The British handed over Palestine, with your help and your support, to the Jews, who have occupied it for more than 50 years; years overflowing with oppression, tyranny, crimes, killing, expulsion, destruction and devastation,” bin Laden alleged.
He continued, “The creation and continuation of Israel is one of the greatest crimes, and you are the leaders of its criminals. And of course there is no need to explain and prove the degree of American support for Israel. The creation of Israel is a crime which must be erased. Each and every person whose hands have become polluted in the contribution towards this crime must pay its price, and pay for it heavily.”
Bin Laden also said the U.S. had repeated “fabricated lies that Jews have a historical right to Palestine” and pushed an antisemitic trope that claims Jews control the media, economy and policy.
The dissemination of the letter has cultivated discussion on Capitol Hill and social media about the potential dangers of TikTok versus the right to access and send information freely.
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfoshn contributed to this report.
For more Culture, Media, Education, Opinion and channel coverage, visit foxnews.com/media.