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Purported bin Laden message to Europe: Quit Afghan war

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Author Topic: Purported bin Laden message to Europe: Quit Afghan war  (Read 28 times)
Garrell Hughes
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« on: November 29, 2007, 01:17:32 pm »

Purported bin Laden message to Europe: Quit Afghan war

Audiotape: "You ... attacked and killed women and children on purpose"

Alleged bin Laden message calls on Europeans to leave Afghanistan

About 41,000 NATO troops from 38 nations are fighting Taliban forces there

Last message purportedly from bin Laden was audiotape released last month

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(CNN) -- An audio recording attributed to Osama bin Laden called on Europeans to abandon Afghanistan and accused NATO troops of killing women and children there.

A video released by al Qaeda in September shows Osama bin Laden speaking.

 The message surfaced on Al Jazeera television three days after al Qaeda's TV production unit promised fresh communication from the world's most-wanted terrorist leader.

It's the first message purported to be from bin Laden since the Arabic-language TV network aired an audiotape last month.

In Thursday's message, the speaker claims sole responsibility for the September 11, 2001, attacks and accuses America's NATO allies of killing civilians in Afghanistan, where the country's Taliban rulers allowed al Qaeda to operate prior to 9/11.

"You didn't respect the rules of war and attacked and killed women and children on purpose," the speaker says.

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The authenticity of the tape could not be immediately verified. It is believed to be new, but there was no indication when it was recorded.

U.S. and NATO troops have spent six years battling remnants of al Qaeda and the Taliban, the Islamic militia that allowed al Qaeda to operate within its Afghan territory before 9/11.

A U.S.-led invasion a month later overthrew the Taliban, but bin Laden escaped and was last thought to be hiding somewhere in the rugged mountains along the Afghan-Pakistani border.

About 41,000 troops from the United States, NATO and other countries are taking part in the fighting, the largest ground operation in NATO's nearly 60-year history.

The previous message from bin Laden included no dated references, making it impossible to determine when it was taped based on its contents. In the message, bin Laden called on his followers to be loyal to the Islamic nation, not to individual leaders, groups, tribes or countries.

The tape marked the first time bin Laden spoke directly to the militants.

"Beware of your enemies, especially those who infiltrate your ranks," he said in Arabic.

"I advise myself and the Islamic nation not to follow individuals and countries," he said. "Everything should be seen in the light of Islam."

Addressing the mujahedeen in Iraq as "my brothers," he said, "You have done well to perform your duty."

In September, an audio message purportedly from bin Laden urged "jihad" against Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. That message -- titled "Come to Jihad: A Speech to the People of Pakistan" -- was recorded over a montage of old video, and began with bin Laden reciting prayers and citations from the Quran in Arabic. The audio then faded, and a narrator translated bin Laden's message into Pashto. The tape was subtitled in English, and an Arabic transcript was released.

Two videotaped messages were released in the weeks immediately prior to that message. E-mail to a friend

CNN's Octavia Nasr contributed to this report.
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