Bin Laden says France will pay a ‘high price’ for its policies in Afghanistan
In a purported audio tape aired on Al Jazeera television on Friday, al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden warned French President Nicolas Sarkozy that his refusal to withdraw troops from Afghanistan was a “green light” to kill French hostages.
In a message specifically targeting France, al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden warned that Paris would pay a “high price” for its policies and that the fate of French hostages would depend on the pullout of French troops from “Muslim lands”, in a purported audiotape broadcast on Arabic news network Al Jazeera on Friday.
“We repeat the same message to you: The release of your prisoners in the hands of our brothers is linked to the withdrawal of your soldiers from our country,” bin Laden said. “The refusal of your president [Nicolas Sarkozy] to withdraw from Afghanistan is the result of his obedience of America and this refusal is a green light to kill your prisoners,” he added.
French officials have not yet confirmed the authenticity of the tape. But in a statement released shortly after the broadcast the French foreign ministry said France was “determined” to keep troops in Afghanistan despite a threat from al Qaeda.
Bin Laden’s last authenticated message was broadcast on al Jazeera in October, when he threatened to kill French citizens and attack French interests in retaliation for the country’s policies regarding Muslims.