Friday, July 02, 2004


For setting the European precedent.
The group that claimed responsibility for the Madrid train bombings warned European nations that they have only two weeks to withdraw troops from Iraq or face the consequences, a pan-Arab newspaper reported Friday.

The statement run by the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper referred to a 90-day cease-fire for attacks in Europe that the leader of al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden, declared on April 15.

"To the European people: only few days remain for you to accept the truce offered by bin Laden. Otherwise you will have nobody but yourself to blame," the paper quoted the statement as saying.

The paper said it had received a statement from the "Brigade of Abu Hafs al-Masri (al-Qaida)," the group which claimed responsibility for the March 11 train bombings in Madrid that killed about 200 people.

In the April 15 audio tape, bin Laden gave Europeans three months to withdraw their troops from what he called the countries of the Muslim nation. Bin Laden warned against any "aggression" against countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

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