Officials play down freshal-Qaeda threat to Europeans
2 July 2004 , BERLIN – European officials have been quick to play down a threat by a group linked to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorist network to relaunch attacks in Europe with the German government saying it was not credible.
2 July 2004
BERLIN – European officials have been quick to play down a threat by a group linked to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorist network to relaunch attacks in Europe with the German government saying it was not credible.
The threats made by the Abu Hafs al-Masri brigade were published in the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper Friday.
In its purported statement, "Road map for the Mujahedeen," the group said a three-month truce offered to Europeans by bin Laden calling for them to pull out of Muslim countries was coming to an end.
"To the European people ... you only have a few more days to accept bin Laden's truce or you will only have yourselves to blame," the statement warned.
The group went on to advise Muslims on what action they should take.
"Those who cannot, should take precautions and live in Muslim areas, have enough food to last a month, find ways to protect themselves and their families, leave enough money in the house to last one month and to pray a lot and put their fate in God's hands," it added.
But a German government spokesman described Abu Hafs al-Masri brigade as a sinister organisation saying it had already laid claim to many things, including power failures in America.
"That means that these statements should be taken with great caution and are probably not particularly credible," the spokesman said. His views were echoed by officials in Britain.
Indeed, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation has cast doubt on the existence of the group, which at one point claimed responsibility for the 11 March commuter train bombings in Madrid.
In a tape broadcast in April and believed to be from bin Laden, the terror leader said he would suspend attacks in Europe if European troops "stopped attacking Muslims."
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: German news