(CNN) — An audio recording attributed to Osama bin Laden called on Europeans to abandon Afghanistan and accused NATO troops of killing women and children there.
The message surfaced on Al Jazeera television three days after al Qaeda’s TV production unit promised fresh communication from the world’s most-wanted terrorist leader.
It’s the first message purported to be from bin Laden since the Arabic-language TV network aired an audiotape last month.
In Thursday’s message, the speaker claims sole responsibility for the September
11, 2001, attacks and accuses America’s NATO allies of killing civilians in Afghanistan, where the country’s Taliban rulers allowed al Qaeda to operate prior to 9/11.
“You didn’t respect the rules of war and attacked and killed women and children on purpose,” the speaker says.
The authenticity of the tape could not be immediately verified. It is believed to be new, but there was no indication when it was recorded.
About 41,000 troops from the United States, NATO and other countries are taking part in the fighting, the largest ground operation in NATO’s nearly 60-year history.
The previous message from bin Laden included no dated references, making it
impossible to determine when it was taped based on its contents. In the message, bin Laden called on his followers to be loyal to the Islamic nation, not to individual leaders, groups, tribes or countries.
The tape marked the first time bin Laden spoke directly to the militants.
“Beware of your enemies, especially those who infiltrate your ranks,” he said in Arabic.
“I advise myself and the Islamic nation not to follow individuals and countries,” he said. “Everything should be seen in the light of Islam.”
Addressing the mujahedeen in Iraq as “my brothers,” he said, “You have done well to perform your duty.”