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Bin Laden warns France over Afghan war, veil ban

In Uncategorized on October 28, 2010 at 7:41 am

Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden threatens in a new audio tape to kill French citizens to avenge their country’s support for the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan and a new law that will ban face-covering Muslim veils.


In the tape obtained by satellite television station Al-Jazeera and then posted on its website on Wednesday, bin Laden said France was aiding the Americans in the killing of Muslim women and children in an apparent reference to the war in Afghanistan. He said the kidnapping of five French citizens in the African nation of Niger last month was a reaction to what he called France’s oppression of Muslims.


“How can it be right that you participate in the occupation of our lands, support the Americans in the killing of our women and children and yet want to live in peace and security?” said bin Laden, addressing the French.

This image made from video broadcast on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2001 shows Osama bin Laden at an undisclosed location.

“It is a simple and clear equation: As you kill, you will be killed. As you capture, you will be captured. And as you threaten our security, your security will be threatened. The way to safeguard your security is to cease your oppression and its impact on our nation, most importantly your withdrawal from the ill-fated Bush war in Afghanistan.”


The authenticity of the tape could not be immediately verified but the voice resembled that of the terror group leader on previous tapes determined to be genuine.


French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux told the parliament hours after the message was posted that the risk of a terror attack against the country was real and authorities’ vigilance is “total,” according to a report on newspaper El Figaro’s website.


But he added that the threats “would merely fit into the pattern of different threats that have already been made against our country and our citizens, at home and abroad. It currently appears that these comments don’t do more than justify our keeping up our response in the face of the terrorist threat.”


Tapes by bin Laden and his top lieutenant, Egyptian-born Ayman al-Zawahri, have recently been posted on Al-Jazeera website rather than on sites run by militant Muslims as has been done for years. The shift appears to reflect the unexplained technical difficulties or closures experienced by the militant sites in recent months.


France has about 4,000 troops deployed in and near Afghanistan.


“You need to think of what happened to America as a result of that unjust war,” bin Laden said, again addressing the French and referring to the war in Afghanistan. “It’s on the verge of bankruptcy … and tomorrow it will retreat to beyond the Atlantic.”


France passed a law this month that will ban the wearing of face-covering burqa-style Muslim veils in public starting in April. Many Muslims have expressed fears the law would stigmatize them.


“If you deemed it your right to ban (Muslim) women from wearing the hijab, then should not it be our right to expel your invading men by striking their necks?” bin Laden said.


Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, an offshoot of bin Laden’s group, has claimed responsibility for the abductions of five French citizens in Niger and is believed to have taken them to neighboring Mali. The French hostages, as well as a Togolese and a Madagascar national were kidnapped on Sept. 16 while they were sleeping in their villas in the uranium mining town of Arlit.


“The kidnapping of your experts in the Niger is a reaction to your oppression of Muslims,” said bin Laden.


Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb grew out of an Islamist insurgency movement in Algeria, merging with al-Qaida in 2006 and spreading through the Sahara and the arid Sahel region. It has increasingly been targeting French interests.


In July, the group said it executed a 78-year-old French aid worker it had taken hostage three months before. It said the killing was retaliation for the deaths of six al-Qaida members in a French-backed military operation against the group.


Also in July, the French military said it provided technical and logistical assistance to help Mauritanian forces thwart an attack by suspected al-Qaida members in northwest Africa. It said the operation left six extremists dead.


French President Nicolas Sarkozy later described that operation as a “turning point” and said France would provide training, equipment and intelligence to local troops working to fight militants in the Sahel.

A series of warnings has put France and other European countries on high alert in recent weeks, prompting the U.S. State Department to advise American citizens living or traveling in Europe to take more precautions. Speculation on the source of a potential terror threat in France has focused on al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.

Source: SGGP

Bin Laden hunter on final leg of trip to Colorado

In Uncategorized on June 24, 2010 at 4:37 am

An American on a solo mission to hunt down Osama bin Laden is on the final leg of his trip home to Colorado, 10 days after authorities found him in the woods of northern Pakistan with a pistol, a sword and night-vision equipment.


jubilant Gary Faulkner stepped into the security check line at Los Angeles International Airport at about 7:20 p.m. Wednesday for his flight to Denver, accompanied by his brother, sister and mother.


“It’s incredible to have him home,” said Faulkner’s sister, Deanna Martin.


Wearing a gray shirt, sandals and beige chinos, and with his long gray hair pulled into a pony tail, Faulkner said he was treated well by the Pakistanis during his confinement.

Gary Faulkner gets ready to board a connection flight, back home to Colorado, on Wednesday afternoon, after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday, June 23, 2010, in Los Angeles

Hours earlier, he had arrived on an Emirates Airlines flight from Pakistan, where he’d been detained since June 13. He told officials he was out to kill the al-Qaida leader. He was then moved to Islamabad, and his brother told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he was being released by the Pakistani government without charges.


Faulkner, of Greeley, Colo., said organizing his trip “took a lot of money and a lot of time.” Asked if he’d try it again, Faulkner said “Absolutely,” adding cryptically, “You’ll find out at the end of August.”


Faulkner earlier spoke to reporters about his trip and his intent to get bin Laden.


“This is not about me. What this is about is the American people and the world,” he said in comments aired on KTLA-TV shortly after his arrival. “We can’t let people like this scare us. We don’t get scared by people like this, we scare them and that’s what this is about. We’re going to take care of business.”


Gary Faulkner is an out-of-work construction worker who sold his tools to finance six trips on what relatives have called a Rambo-type mission to kill or capture bin Laden. He grew out his hair and beard to fit in better.


Scott Faulkner told reporters last week that his brother wasn’t crazy, just determined to find the man America’s military has failed to capture nearly a decade after the 9/11 attacks.


“Is it out of the norm? Yes, it is. But is it crazy? No,” Scott Faulkner said. “If he wore a uniform and called himself special ops, would he be crazy?”


State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters in Washington that the family would have the best information on Faulkner’s case. Faulkner, two department officials have said, refused to sign a waiver allowing the government to discuss his case publicly.


“In this particular case, as in all cases where we have an American citizen in custody of another country, we are in touch with that individual, we are in touch with his family,” Crowley said. “We stayed in close contact with him and with his family throughout this, and we are gratified it was resolved rapidly.”


Faulkner left Colorado on May 30. Scott Faulkner, a physician in the northeastern Colorado town of Fort Morgan, dropped off his brother at the airport and wasn’t sure he’d see him again. But he and other relatives have insisted that Gary Faulkner left the U.S. unarmed, had a valid visa for Pakistan and was guilty of no crime while there.


Indeed, relatives have said they hope the trip encourages more people to look for bin Laden.


“Now there’s going to be hopefully a renewed effort to get this guy — he’s still wanted, and he’s still out there,” Scott Faulkner said last week.

Source: SGGP