French government refuses to bow to Bin Laden
Recently, an audio tape surfaced that reportedly features Osama Bin Laden threatening to attack France. The voice on the tape has not been verified, but it is believed to be Bin Laden. In response, the French government has increased security measures. President Nicolas Sarkozy responded by saying that the French nation would not be intimidated.
Bin Laden tape surfaces
A recent audio tape broadcast on Al Jazeera was reported to be the voice of Osama Bin Laden, head of Al Qaeda. In the tape, the speaker admonishes France that the nation must withdraw troops from Afghanistan, according to the New York Times. The speaker also claims credit, through a North African Al Qaeda affiliate, for the kidnapping of several French citizens in Niger last month. In the audio tape, the speaker also demands that France should immediately lift its ban on Muslim women covering their face with the veil. The ban on the veil, a tradition among some Muslim sects, was highly controversial when France banned the practice. France is the fourth largest contributor of personnel to the Afghan conflict, with nearly 4,000 troops present.
Nicolas Sarkozy defiant
Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of France, immediately responded to the tape, according to CNN. While security measures are being increased, he insisted that he won’t be complying with any of the demands the supposed Bin Laden made. He maintained that France will “not let its politics be dictated by anyone, and certainly not by terrorists.” Meanwhile, the strikes in France are starting to subside. France has been nearly paralyzed for weeks because of a wildly unpopular set of austerity measures aimed at its pension system in order to curb out of control government spending.
No confirmation it is Bin Laden
The audio tape has not been proven to be Bin Laden, but it is possible. French security forces are taking the threat seriously. Threats have been made against France before by Al Qaeda, but a successful attack in Europe hasn’t taken place since 2005.