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Ironduke
15 Apr 04,, 14:14
Europe: No deal with bin Laden

LONDON, England (CNN) -- European politicans have ruled out negotiations with Osama bin Laden after a tape purported to be of the al Qaeda leader offered a truce to European nations if they pulled out troops from Muslim countries.

"It is completely unthinkable that we could start negotiations with bin Laden. Everyone understands that," Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told reporters.

European Commission President Romano Prodi said there could be no negotiating under a "terrorist threat." (Analysis)

In Britain the Foreign Office said there was no proof the voice on the tape was bin Laden. However, the message was being taken seriously.

"We can't negotiate with al Qaeda," a spokesman said. "Their attacks are against the very idea of co-existence and conflict is their raison d'etre.

"To hide in the face of the threat is not an answer. The right response is to continue to confront terrorism not give in to its demands."

A German government spokesman said the country would not negotiate with "criminals" like bin Laden.

"There will be no negotiations with terrorists and serious criminals like Osama bin Laden. The international community must continue the fight against international terrorism together. Germany will continue to contribute to that," the spokesman said.

Arab language TV network Al-Arabiya aired Wednesday what it said was an audio tape from bin Laden, in which he threatened revenge on America, but offers a truce to European states.

CNN experts who have listened to the tape say that the speaker sounds like bin Laden but there is no way for CNN to independently confirm the speaker's identity.

Dubai-based Al-Arabiya declined to say how it received the tape, but the speaker referred to events that occurred less than a month ago.

In the audio tape, the speaker threatens revenge on the United States for the death of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who was killed March 22 in an Israeli targeted helicopter attack in Gaza City.

He also refers to the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States and the March 11, 2004 Madrid train bombings as examples of actions al Qaeda has taken in response to attacks on Muslims.

He offers a "truce" or "non-aggression" to any European country that stops "attacking Muslims," but excludes the United States from any such deal.

The speaker gives a three-month deadline, starting April 15, for countries to stop attacking Muslims. He mentions Iraq but not in the specific context of the U.S.-led war.

The last tape believed to have been recorded by bin Laden aired in January on Qatar-based Arabic language network, Al Jazeera.

The CIA said the speaker on that tape was "likely" bin Laden, who describes the U.S. involvement in Iraq as the beginning of an occupation of Persian Gulf states for their oil.

"Whoever made the tape," a CIA official said noting the Yassin death reference, it "clearly has been made in the last three weeks."

Intelligence officials conducting a technical analysis of the tape expect to say "soon" whether they believe the comments are the voice of bin Laden.

On March 25, Al Jazeera aired a tape believed to be from bin Laden's top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, calling on Pakistanis to overthrow President Pervez Musharraf.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/asiapcf/04/15/binladen.tape/index.html

Ray
15 Apr 04,, 18:29
OBL = Obviously Bullshit Laden.

I would trust a SNAKE to OBL. At least, all snakes are not venom laden!:doh!

Confed999
16 Apr 04,, 01:57
Originally posted by IrondŁke
A German government spokesman said the country would not negotiate with "criminals" like bin Laden.
Criminals like Saddam are ok though?

Confed999
16 Apr 04,, 01:58
Originally posted by Ray
I would trust a SNAKE to OBL. At least, all snakes are not venom laden!:doh!
I like snakes.