Bin Laden blasts Europe for anti-Islamic cartoons, vows response

Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden addressed the "wise men" of the European Union in a new audio message posted on extremist Web sites late Wednesday slamming the publication of drawings insulting to the Prophet Muhammad and vowed a strong reaction. A voice believed to be Bin Laden's described the attacks of the Europeans on women and children but said these "paled (in comparison) when you went overboard in your unbelief and freed yourselves of the etiquettes of dispute and fighting and went to the extent of publishing these insulting drawings, this is the greatest misfortune and the most dangerous." Bin Laden went on describe the cartoons as taking place in the framework of a "new Crusade" against Islam, in which the Pope has played a "large and lengthy role" and warned the Europeans that a reaction would come.