Qaeda's north Africa cell calls for revenge against France
Al-Qaeda's north Africa branch called for revenge against France and labelled its President Nicolas Sarkozy an "enemy of God" over a deadly raid last month, in an online message seen by AFP on Monday.
"To the enemy of Allah (God) Sarkozy I say: You have missed your opportunity and opened the gates of trouble on your country," Abu Anas al-Shanqiti, a leader of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), said in a statement posted on jihadist forums.
Six AQIM members were killed in a failed Mauritanian-French raid in Mali on July 22 that aimed to rescue French hostage Michel Germaneau.
Germaneau was not freed in the raid, and AQIM said it executed the 78-year-old on July 24 in revenge for the deaths of its members.
Shanqiti called on tribesmen whose relatives were killed in the raid to "retaliate (against) the apostate traitors, the sons and agents of Christian France."
On August 2, jailed AQIM leader El Khadim Ould Semane also threatened France and Mauritania with retaliation.
"I say to the infidels and French Crusaders... will not rest until French blood has been spilled," Semane had said.
© 2010 AFP