Purported Bin Laden Tape Offers Truce to Europeans
The voice said, referencing the 2001 World Trade Center attacks and this year’s train bombings in Spain, “What happened on 11 September and 11 March are your goods returned to you, so that you know security is a necessity for all.”
“Stop spilling our blood so we can stop spilling your blood.”
In the tape, which runs over seven minutes and was broadcast on Arab satellite networks, the voice offers a truce to European nations if they pull troops out of Muslim countries within the next three months starting April 15.
European leaders were quick to dismiss the offer.
“It is completely unthinkable that we could start negotiations with bin Laden,” Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told reporters. “Everyone understands that.”
Other European countries that have become involved in the U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq also rejected the tape’s demands.
“There can be no possible bargaining with terrorists,” said French President Jacques Chirac.
The speaker also blames the United States for Israel’s March 22 killing of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.
“We vow before God to take revenge for him from America for this, God willing,” the voice said.
More than a dozen audio and videotapes attributed to bin Laden have been released since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The last tape believed to be bin Laden came out in January and condemned the occupation of Iraq and the Arab nations that supported the war.
On March 25, a tape aired featuring bin Laden’s top deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, calling for the overthrow of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.