ShareThis Page
Al-Qaida group threatens Europe with new attacks |

Al-Qaida group threatens Europe with new attacks

The Associated Press
| Saturday, July 3, 2004 12:00 a.m

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) — The group that claimed responsibility for deadly train bombings in Spain warned European nations that they have only two weeks to withdraw troops from Iraq or face the consequences, a pan-Arab newspaper reported Friday.

The statement, carried by the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, referred to the three-month cease-fire for attacks in Europe declared by al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden on April 15.

The London-based paper said it had received a statement from the Brigade of Abu Hafs al-Masri (al-Qaida), the group that claimed responsibility for the March 11 Madrid train bombings that killed about 200 people.

“To the European people: Only a few days remain for you to accept the truce offered by bin Laden. Otherwise you will have nobody but yourself to blame,” the paper quoted the statement as saying.

The paper said it had received a statement from the “Brigade of Abu Hafs al-Masri (al-Qaida),” the group that claimed responsibility for the March 11 train bombings in Madrid, Spain, that killed 190 people.

U.S. officials and some terrorism experts believe the group lacks credibility and has only tenuous ties to al-Qaida.

It has claimed responsibility for events to which it was almost certainly not connected, including power blackouts in North America and Britain.

In Germany, Interior Ministry spokesman Rainer Lingenthal said “these statements are to be taken with caution and are probably not especially credible.”

“The German government will, like every democratic constitutional nation, not bend to any ultimatums of a criminal like bin Laden,” Lingenthal said.

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, visiting Paris, said his government would “take these threats seriously,” the Apcom news agency reported.

In the April 15 audiotape, bin Laden gave Europeans three months to withdraw their troops from what he called the countries of the Muslim nation. He warned against any “aggression” against countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

At least seven European nations have troops serving in the multinational force in Iraq: Britain, Italy, Poland, Ukraine, the Netherlands, Romania and Denmark. Spain had troops in Iraq, but a government elected shortly after the Madrid bombings pulled them out, fulfilling a campaign promise.

Asharq al-Awsat, whose offices were closed Friday for the Islamic day of prayer, did not say how it received the statement. The group previously has sent e-mails to newspapers.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.