Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bin Laden's Pissed off at Europe

Bin Laden threatens EU over Prophet cartoons

DUBAI (Reuters) - Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden threatened the European Union with grave punishment on Wednesday over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

In an audio recording posted on the Internet, Bin Laden said the cartoons were part of a "crusade" in which he said the Catholic Pope Benedict was involved.

The cartoons were first published by the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten in September 2005 but a furor erupted only after other papers reprinted them in 2006.

At least 50 people were killed in the protests against the publication of the cartoons, which Muslims say are an affront to Islam. Newspapers which have reprinted the cartoons argue they are defending the right to media freedom.

Bin Laden and Bush both put out messages:

The message by Bin Laden was released on the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Bin Laden's message was entitled "The Response Will Be What You See, Not What You Hear," according to the password-protected Ekhlaas Web, which carries messages and statements from al Qaeda-affiliated groups around the world.

President Bush used the fifth anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq on Wednesday to make the case for persevering in a conflict that will in all likelihood have many more anniversaries Bush spoke about Iraq and the war on terror on Wednesday at the Pentagon. Mr. Bush acknowledged in some of his bluntest language yet that the costs of the war, in lives and money, had been higher than he had anticipated — and longer.

Iraq War off target in fight against al Qaeda

Only a very small fraction of the billions of dollars spent daily by the United States military is targeted at capturing bin Laden. Bin Laden is al Qaeda leader, originally blamed for the September 11 attacks on U.S. cities. He is believed to be hiding in remote areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

President Bush and his administration continue to spend lavishly on their failed invasion of Iraq, trying to bring stability to the country they destabilized. Bush had used the attacks of Sept. 11th at rationale for attacking Iraq. An exhaustive review of more than 600,000 Iraqi documents that were captured after the 2003 U.S. invasion has found no evidence that Saddam Hussein’s regime had any operational links with Osama bin Laden’s al Qaida terrorist network.

The Pentagon-sponsored study did confirm that Saddam’s regime provided some support to other terrorist groups, particularly in the Middle East, U.S. officials told McClatchy. However, his security services were directed primarily against Iraqi exiles, Shiite Muslims, Kurds and others he considered enemies of his regime - not the United States.

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