by Florian Flade
“From Sheikh Osama Bin Ladin to the People of France”
In a new audio tape, broadcasted by Al-Jazeera today, al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden urges France to stop intervening in Muslim affairs in North Africa and other countries. He calls on France to cancel the Burqa ban and withdraw its soldiers from Afghanistan. The five French citizens kidnapped in Niger by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb are also mentioned by Bin Laden.
I regard the new tape as authentic. It was not yet released on the Internet.
Here are some quotes:
“The subject of my speech is the reason why your security is being threatened and your sons are being taken hostage.”
“The taking of your experts in Niger as hostages, while they were being protected by your proxy [agent] there, is a reaction to the injustice you are practicing against our Muslim nation.”
“How could it be fair that you intervene in the affairs of Muslims, in North and West Africa in particular, support your proxies [agents] against us, and take a lot of our wealth in suspicious deals, while our people there suffer various forms of poverty and despair?”
“If you unjustly thought that it is your right to prevent free Muslim women from wearing the face veil, is it not our right to expel your invading men and cut their necks?”
“The equation is very clear and simple: as you kill, you will be killed; as you take others hostages, you will be taken hostages; as you waste our security we will waste you waste your security.”
Last one is a grim reminder of the speech given by the leader of the 7/7 London Tube bombings, Mohammad Siddique Khan, in his As-Sahab martyrdom tape who sounded similar:
“Until we feel security, you will be our targets. And until you stop the bombing, gassing, imprisonment and torture of my people we will not stop this fight.
We are at war and I am a soldier. Now you too will taste the reality of this situation.”