CAIRO - Osama bin Laden demanded in a new video yesterday that European countries pull their troops out of Afghanistan, warning of retaliation against them for their alliance with the United States in the war.
The Al Qaeda leader denounced NATO air strikes in Afghanistan that have killed civilians and warned that European countries would be held accountable alongside the Americans unless they pull out.
“A wise person would not waste his sons and money for a gang of criminals in Washington . . . In summary, we are not asking too much or an invalid demand, but it would be fair that you lift your oppression and withdraw your troops,’’ bin Laden said, addressing the Europeans.
The video, just under five minutes long, was posted yesterday on Islamic militant websites. It was released after a series of Al Qaeda videos this week directly addressed Germany, threatening attacks over that country’s involvement in Afghanistan. Those videos featured a little-known German-Algerian militant and have raised concerns ahead of parliamentary elections.
Bin Laden predicted that American forces would soon pull out, abandoning their European allies. “It won’t be long before the war’s dust in Afghanistan clears out, . . . and it will be only us and you left,’’ he said.