A transgender horror author, who previously generated controversy by threatening JK Rowling, expressed admiration for Osama bin Laden’s actions in destroying the Twin Towers. Gretchen Felker-Martin, based in Massachusetts, shared her views on the social media platform X, where she has 30,000 followers. She asserted that she and bin Laden did not agree on many things but considered the World Trade Center attack as the most principled and defensible action.
This declaration came as TikTok users rediscovered bin Laden’s rationale for 9/11, leading to a resurgence of interest in his ideas. Bin Laden’s 2002 ‘Letter to America’ gained traction amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, with TikTok users claiming that it offered insights into American foreign policy and global geopolitics.
Who is Gretchen Felker-Martin?
Gretchen Felker-Martin is a Massachusetts-based horror author and film critic. Her debut novel, Manhunt, was named the #1 Best Book of 2022 by Vulture, and was one of the Best Horror Novels of 2022 by Esquire, Library Journal, and Paste. One can follow her work on Twitter @scumbelievable and read her fiction and film criticism on Patreon and in TIME, The Outline, Nylon, and more.
Felker-Martin later deleted her tweet and apologized. Notably, she had previously expressed a desire to harm JK Rowling due to the author’s stance on transgender issues.
Videos using the hashtag ‘LettertoAmerica’ garnered 7.3 million views, with a majority expressing support for bin Laden’s reasoning, seemingly without considering the criticisms of freedoms he denounced.
The letter gained attention after The Guardian linked to a 2002 article translating it in the context of the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. However, the link was subsequently deleted, and The Guardian explained that it was shared “without its original context.”
The letter continued to circulate on X but faced restrictions on Reddit. The Guardian did not provide further clarification on the link made between the current Middle East conflict and a decades-old verbatim letter from bin Laden.
This connection proliferated on social media, with TikTok users posting videos seemingly misunderstanding the hateful nature of the letter for an intellectual discourse. The letter’s original posting included an article explaining its Arabic version on an al-Qaeda website, disseminating messages to subscribers, managed by Mohammed al-Massari, a UK-based Saudi Arabian dissident.