France says Bin Laden tape appears authentic

In new tape, al Qaida leader threatens to kill French citizens because of their support for war in Afghanistan and new law banning burkas.

The French Foreign Ministry says a purported tape of Al Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden threatening France appears to be the real thing.
The voice in the audio tape threatens to kill French citizens to avenge their country's support for the war in Afghanistan and for a new law that will ban burka-like Muslim veils. The audiotape was obtained by television station Al-Jazeera.
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The Foreign Foreign Ministry says the tape's "authenticity can be considered established based on initial verifications."
There are about 4,000 French troops deployed in and near Afghanistan. France has passed a law that will ban the wearing of face-covering burka-style Muslim veils in public starting in April.
On Wednesday, Bin Laden released a new audio recording saying that the abduction of five French citizens in Niger was a result of France's treatment of Muslims.
In the audio recording, which was released to Al Jazeera, Bin Laden told France to stop "intervening in the affairs of Muslims in North and West Africa."
"If you unjustly thought that it is your right to prevent free Muslim women from wearing the face veil," Bin Laden asked, "Is it not our right to expel your invading men and cut their necks?
Bin Laden also demanded that France withdraw from the Afghanistan, and said that there would be more kidnappings if the country does not heed his warnings.