Bin Ladin offers Europeans truce

A new audio tape attributed to Usama bin Ladin offers a truce with European states - but not the US - if they stop attacking Muslims.

    The tape says President Bush is 'a fatal danger to the world'

    The voice on the tape, broadcast by Aljazeera, also vowed to avenge the assassination of Hamas leader Shaikh Ahmad Yasin by Israel in the Gaza Strip, last month.

    "I offer a truce to them (Europe) with a commitment to stop operations against any state which vows to stop attacking Muslims or interfere in their affairs...

    "The announcement of the truce starts with the withdrawal of the last soldier from our land and the door is open for three months from the date of the announcement of this statement," the voice said.

    US excluded

    It added there would be no truce with the United States, where the CIA and Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Thursday the voice on the tape appeared to be that of Bin Ladin.
    "President [George] Bush and leaders in his sphere, big media institutions, and the United Nations... all of them are a fatal danger to the world, and the Zionist lobby is their most dangerous and difficult member, and we insist, God willing, on continuing to fight them," the message said.

    Referring to Shaikh Yasin's killing, the tape said: "Assassinating the wheelchair-bound shaikh was an example of your ugly actions. We swear by God that we will avenge ... it is our right to defend ourselves and resist".

    The tape added that "describing us and our actions as terrorism is necessarily a description of you and your actions as well".

    Madrid bombings

    The tape, also aired by Dubai-based broadcaster al-Arabiya, said the 11 March train bombings in Madrid that killed 191 people were payment for Spain's actions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.

    "For those who want peace, we offer it to them. Stop spilling our blood to protect yours ...  The solution is in your hands"

    Voice on audiotape

    "What happened on 11 September and 11 March are your goods returned to you so that you know security is a necessity for all," the voice on the tape said.

    "For those who want peace, we offer it to them. Stop spilling our blood to protect yours," the voice added. "The solution is in your hands."

    Madrid sent troops to Iraq after Saddam Hussein was toppled and also has a contingent in Afghanistan. Since the train attacks, pressure has been applied on the Madrid government to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq.

    The last purported Bin Ladin tape was aired by Aljazeera on 4 January. 

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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