‘Bin Laden message’ to Europe appears on Internet

Osama bin Laden is seen in an image taken from a videotape that aired on Al-Jazeera in September 2003.
A purported message from Osama bin Laden to Europeans urges them to distance themselves from the United States, noting that Americans are losing the war in Afghanistan.

The brief message in Arabic, which appeared Friday on radical Islamic Web sites, has subtitles in English and German. Bin Laden issued his last message on September 13, two days after the eighth anniversary of the al Qaeda attacks in the United States. The authenticity of the message could not immediately be established. Al Qaeda has recently released threatening videos aimed at Germany, where voters are scheduled to go to the polls Sunday. The militant group has warned Germans not to choose leaders who support the war in Afghanistan. “It won’t be long until the dust of war clears in Afghanistan, at which point you won’t find a trace of any American,” he adds.

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“You are aware that oppression topples those who commit it and injustice has unhealthy consequences for the unjust, and that one of the greatest forms of injustice is to kill people without right, yet this is exactly what your governments and soldiers are committing under the umbrella of the NATO alliance in Afghanistan,” bin Laden warns. He rails against the United States for attacks that he says are aimed at the Taliban and al Qaeda but that kill and wound civilians. “An intelligent man doesn’t waste his money and sons for a gang of criminals in Washington, and it is a shameful thing for a person to be in a coalition whose supreme commander has no regard for human life and intentionally bombs villagers from the air, and I am witness to that,” he says. Stefan Paris, a spokesman for the German Interior Ministry, told CNN the country’s intelligence services and authorities are aware of the new message, are evaluating it and take it very seriously. “It fits into the massive propaganda flood that we have been seeing ahead of the elections,” Paris said, and added, “We will not be forced into a state of panic by this message. We will continue to do our work meticulously and clear-headed.”

Paris said there is no evidence of specific terror plots in Germany. He believes the video was clearly targeting Germany, because it has German subtitles and was released just a day and a half before the German elections. Friday’s video is four minutes, 47 seconds long, and was released by al Qaeda’s production company as-Sahab.