Bin Laden threatens Europe over Mohammed cartoons

March 20th, 2008 - 9:02 am ICT by admin  

Washington, March 20 (DPA) Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden threatened Europe over the publication of cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammed, in comments made in an internet video released to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the US-led war in Iraq. Addressing the “intelligent ones in the European Union,” bin Laden said the drawings first published in a Danish newspaper were even more offensive than war-related killings, according to a transcript of his remarks released by the IntelCenter, a private firm outside Washington that monitors terrorist activities on the web.

“Although our tragedy in your killing of our women and children is a very great one, it paled when you went overboard in your unbelief and freed yourselves of the etiquettes of dispute and fighting and went to the extent of publishing these insulting drawings,” he said. “This is the greater and more serious tragedy, and reckoning for it will be more severe.”

The cartoons were first published in 2006, sparking protests and rioting in numerous Muslim nations. They were republished last month, in what the Danish newspapers called a bid to defend freedom of speech after a plot to murder the cartoon’s artist was uncovered.

Bin Laden called the drawings part of “new crusade, in which the Pope of the Vatican has played a large, lengthy role” and said they were a test of devotion for Muslims.

“The answer is what you see, not what you hear, and may our mothers be bereaved of us if we fail to help the messenger of Allah,” he said.

The Al Qaeda leader also denounced US involvement in Iraq and said it had only increased the terrorist group’s determination.

The first US cruise missile was launched on Baghdad before dawn March 20, 2003.

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