Bin Laden Threatens Europe
He says cartoons of Muhammad part of crusade against Islam
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2008 8:56 PM CDT
Osama bin Laden, seen in this file image,threatened to punish the European Union today over controversial cartoons of Muhammad.   (AP Photo/via INTELCENTER)
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(Newser) – Osama bin Laden threatened Europe today with "severe" retaliation over the publication of cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, the AP reports. The audio recording of bin Laden surfaced on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq war, though he made no mention of it, and a day before the Muslim world celebrates Muhammad's birthday. One expert said the voice appeared to be bin Laden's, but he noted that it had no reference points to show when it was recorded.

"The response will be what you see and not what you hear," said the recording, which railed against an anti-Islam crusade and singled out the pope. The cartoons, showing Muhammad with a bomb-shaped turban, originally appeared in a Danish newspaper in 2005. Papers in Denmark reprinted them last month, though the recording did not mention that.