(NewsCore) - Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden issued a strong threat to France Wednesday that its citizens would be killed if its troops did not pull out of Afghanistan.
"As you kill, so shall you be killed," bin Laden said, according to a translation from the Middle East Media Research Institute of a recording that aired on Al Jazeera television.
"How can you possibly take part in the occupation of our lands, and support the Americans in the killing of our women and children, yet expect to live in peace and security?" he added.
The 9/11 mastermind fired a verbal warning over the French parliament's overwhelming July vote to ban wearing veils in public to protect women from being forced to wear full-face coverings such as Muslim burqas.
Earlier this month, France's top legal authority approved the ban, which is due to take force next year everywhere except public places of worship.
"Since you have acted tyrannically, believing that you have the right to prevent free-born women from wearing the veil, don't we have the right to expel your invading men by striking their necks?" bin Laden asked. "Of course we do."
The world's most wanted terrorist offered little hope to the families of five French nationals kidnapped last month in Niger by radicals associated with bin Laden's global jihadist network.
"The kidnapping of your experts in Niger ... is in retaliation for the tyranny you practice against our Muslim nation," he said.
The recording was released as a report surfaced that Afghan intelligence forces arrested a top al Qaeda commander for the first time in the nine-year old war.
Muhammad Umri, 70, was taken into custody at the Kabul airport after trying to board a train to New Delhi, according to an Urdu-language daily newspaper. He was headed to Saudi Arabia.
Bin Laden did not mention the arrest in the recording -- and it was not immediately clear when the message was taped -- but he did find time to take a shot at the U.S., which has hunted him unsuccessfully for more than a decade.
"You should consider the state to which the U.S. has deteriorated as a result of this unjust war," bin Laden warned France, referring to the conflict in Afghanistan.
"It has reached the verge of bankruptcy in all the major areas, and soon, it will go back beyond the Atlantic Ocean, Allah willing."
Can you believe this? Yes, I suppose you all can. This is a blatant threat against the citizens of France. How will their government react? Look at his hypocrisy, calling the French government "tyrannical" when he is the one who has butchered thousands of innocent people.
I hope someone will hunt this, for lack of a better word, monster down and put him out of his misery. And hope they "strike" him on his neck. He must be stopped.