New 'Bin Laden tape' threatens EU

Thursday, March 20, 2008

In a new audio message purportedly from Osama Bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader threatens the EU over the re-printing of a cartoon offensive to Muslims.

The voice on it says the cartoon, re-published recently in all major Danish newspapers, was part of a crusade involving Pope Benedict XVI.

The drawing, first published in 2005, depicts the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb in his turban.

The voice on the audio has not yet been verified as belonging to Bin Laden.

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The message comes on the fifth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq.

But the BBC's Jonathan Beale in Washington says that the message was probably released to not to mark that anniversary, but rather the anniversary of the birth of Prophet Muhammad, which Sunni Muslims mark on Thursday.

It appeared on a Islamist website that has carried al-Qaeda messages in the past.

Over the audio is a graphic with a still image of Bin Laden holding an AK-47 and bearing the logo of al-Sahab, the media wing of al-Qaeda. There is a written translation of the message in English.

Full article here.

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