In a new audio message purportedly from Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader threatens the EU over the re-printing of cartoons offensive to Muslims.
The taped message appeared on a Islamist website with a still image of bin Laden holding an AK-47.
The voice on it says the cartoons, re-published recently in Danish and other newspapers, were part of a crusade involving Pope Benedict XVI.
In his five-minute audio message entitled, “The Response Is What You See, Not What You Hear,” bin Laden accuses Europeans of abandoning the “etiquettes of disputes and morals of fighting.”
Bin Laden concludes his message by saying if there are no checks on the Europeans’ freedom to speak, then there will be no checks on his freedom to act.
The message comes on the fifth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq.
Last month, Denmark’s leading newspapers reprinted cartoons that first angered many Muslims when they were originally published in 2006.
Bin Laden says he considers the reprinting of the cartoons a more serious offense than the killing of women and children. He also adds the revenge for republishing the cartoons “will be more severe.”
One of the drawings shows the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb in his turban.
The message says the attacks of Europeans on women and children “paled [in comparison] when you went overboard in your unbelief and… went to the extent of publishing these insulting drawings.
“This is the greatest misfortune and the most dangerous,” the voice says.