Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

FASHION

Jean-Marc Loubier, bags and shoes.

Read more

ENCORE!

Hip-hop musician Beat Assailant on mixing the sounds of the city

Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Police arrest S. Korea ferry captain for negligence

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Algeria's ailing Bouteflika clinches fourth term amid fraud claims

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • World honours Garcia Marquez’s magical literary legacy

    Read more

  • Ukraine: ‘One bloody incident could scupper Geneva deal’

    Read more

  • Top Hollande adviser resigns over conflict of interest accusation

    Read more

  • Indian election: Votes for sale

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Video: Tensions remain high in Mariupol despite Geneva deal

    Read more

  • In Prijedor, survivors fight to keep memory alive

    Read more

  • Deadly avalanche strikes Everest in worst-ever disaster

    Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • Mob launches deadly attack on UN shelter for S. Sudan civilians

    Read more

  • Eurostar train mishap causes 'severe' delays

    Read more

  • Chelsea Clinton announces she's pregnant

    Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

France

Bin Laden says France to pay 'high price' for Afghan policy

©

Video by Elena CASAS

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-05-02

In a purported audio tape aired on Al Jazeera television on Friday, al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden warned French President Nicolas Sarkozy that his refusal to withdraw troops from Afghanistan was a "green light" to kill French hostages.

Who are al Qaeda’s French hostages?
Intelligence agent Denis Allex (probably not his real name), was captured on 14 July 2009 in Somalia, possibly Mogadishu, by al Qaeda-linked militant group al Shabaab.
Five French nationals, a Togolese and a Malagasy – most of them employees of energy group Areva – have been held hostage since 16 September 2010, when they were kidnapped at a uranium enrichment site in Arlit, north Niger. They’re being held somewhere in the Sahel, possibly in Mali, by the al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb movement (AQIM).

In a message specifically targeting France, al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden warned that Paris would pay a “high price” for its policies and that the fate of French hostages would depend on the pullout of French troops from “Muslim lands”, in a purported audiotape broadcast on Arabic news network Al Jazeera on Friday.

“We repeat the same message to you: The release of your prisoners in the hands of our brothers is linked to the withdrawal of your soldiers from our country," bin Laden said. "The refusal of your president [Nicolas Sarkozy] to withdraw from Afghanistan is the result of his obedience of America and this refusal is a green light to kill your prisoners,” he added.

French officials have not yet confirmed the authenticity of the tape. But in a statement released shortly after the broadcast the French foreign ministry said France was "determined" to keep troops in Afghanistan despite a threat from al Qaeda.

Bin Laden’s last authenticated message was broadcast on al Jazeera in October, when he threatened to kill French citizens and attack French interests in retaliation for the country’s policies regarding Muslims.

The previous message, bearing the imprint of as-Sahab, the media arm linked with al Qaeda’s top leadership, said the September 2010 kidnapping of seven foreign nationals including five French citizens in Niger was in retaliation for “the tyranny” France “practices against our Muslim nation.”

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the terror group’s North Africa branch, has claimed responsibility for that kidnapping. In a message released in November, the group’s chief, Abdelmalek Droukdel, said France would have to directly negotiate with bin Laden to seek the release of the hostages in Niger.

Meanwhile, two French journalists, Stephane Taponier and Herve Ghesquiere, remain in captivity since their abduction in December 2009 along with three Afghan colleagues in an area northeast of Kabul.

 

Date created : 2011-01-21

  • TERRORISM

    Key figures in al Qaeda's North African branch

    Read more

  • NIGER

    Al Qaeda affiliate claims kidnapping of seven foreigners in Niger

    Read more

  • NIGER

    Al Qaeda releases images of hostages kidnapped in Niger

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)