Osama bin Laden warns Europeans to exit Afghanistan or face retaliation
In a new audiotape posted on Islamic Web sites Friday, Sept. 25, al Qaeda’s leader Osama bin Laden warns Europeans they share the blame for US air strikes against civilians in Afghanistan and should pull their troops out of the conflict. The tape with German subtitles against his still image appears two days before Germany’s general election.
“We are not demanding anything unjust. It is just for you to end injustice and withdraw your soldiers,” says bin Laden. After a long period in which his taped messages refrained from threats, he warns that al Qaeda would retaliate “from the oppressor on behalf of the oppressed.”
Last week, Bekkay Harrach, who grew up in Bonn and relocated to an al Qaeda base in the Pakistan tribal area of Waziristan, ordered Berlin to withdrew its 4,200 troops from Afghanistan within two weeks after its election or face a widespread terror offensive.
Harrach appeared unusually in a Western business suit and spoke in flawless German.
The threat has been taken seriously enough for Germany to step up security at railway stations and city crowd centers. Release of the bin Laden tape Friday indicates that al Qaeda has completed its preparations for “retaliation.”