'Bin Laden' offers Europe truce
Thursday, April 15, 2004 Posted: 3:37 AM EDT (0737 GMT)
The CIA said the speaker was "likely" the voice of bin Laden.
(CNN) -- Arabic language TV network Al-Arabiya has aired what it says is an audio tape from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, in which he threatens revenge on America, but offers a truce to European states.
CNN experts who have listened to the tape say that the speaker sounds like bin Laden but there is no way for CNN to independently confirm the speaker's identity.
Dubai-based Al-Arabiya declined to say how it received the tape, but the speaker referred to events that occurred less than a month ago.
In the audio tape, the speaker threatens revenge on the United States for the death of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who was killed March 22 in an Israeli targeted helicopter attack in Gaza City.
He also refers to the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States and the March 11, 2004 Madrid train bombings as examples of actions al Qaeda has taken in response to attacks on Muslims.
He offers a "truce" or "non-aggression" to any European country that stops "attacking Muslims," but excludes the United States from any such deal.
The speaker gives a three-month deadline, starting April 15, for countries to stop attacking Muslims. He mentions Iraq but not in the specific context of the U.S.-led war.
The last tape believed to have been recorded by bin Laden aired in January on Qatar-based Arabic language network, Al Jazeera.
The CIA said the speaker was "likely" the voice of bin Laden, who describes the U.S. involvement in Iraq as the beginning of an occupation of Persian Gulf states for their oil. The tape also made other references to recent events.
On March 25, Al Jazeera aired a tape believed to be from bin Laden's top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, calling on Pakistanis to overthrow President Pervez Musharraf.
CNN Senior International Editor David Clinch and Caroline Faraj, Editor of CNN.com in Arabic, contributed to this report
Aha. Ceasefire or what?