Osama bin Laden warns European Union

A video released by as-Sahab features an audio track that is reputedly of Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader, entitled “The Response Will Be What You See, Not What You Hear”.

In it, bin Laden warns that the recent republication of the controversial Muhammad cartoons is more offensive than the killing of women and children and says that a “reckoning for it will be more severe.”

“If there is no check in the freedom of your words, then let your hearts be open to the freedom of our actions,” bin Laden said. In the audio, he sought to reason with the “intelligent ones” in the European Union.

In 2005, the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published a series of cartoons, most of which depicted the Islamic prophet Muhammad. This eventually touched off a series of international protests and boycotts.

In February, tensions flared up again after Danish police arrested three men in an alleged plot to murder cartoonist Kurt Westergaard. Newspapers in Denmark and elsewhere in the EU republished the cartoons in a display of free speech. This was met by protests and boycotts in Muslim nations.

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