Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • EU leaders choose Tusk and Mogherini for top jobs, discuss Russia sanctions

    Read more

  • Dozens of UN peacekeepers still held by Syrian jihadists

    Read more

  • Opposition protesters clash with Pakistani police outside PM's house

    Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialist’s annual rally

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • S. Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    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

COMMENT(S)