NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden said the kidnapping of five French nationals in Niger last week was the result of France's mistreatment of Muslims and vowed the actions would continue.
The taped message was released by the al Jazeera network.
The hostages, reportedly being held in Mali, work for the companies Areva and Vinci.
"How could it be fair that you intervene in the affairs of Muslims, in North and West Africa in particular, support your proxies
agents against us, and take a lot of our wealth in suspicious deals, while our people there suffer various forms of poverty and despair?" the recording said.
France has under 4,000 troops in Afghanistan, fourth highest of any nation.
"It is a simple and clear equation: As you kill, you will be killed. As you capture, you will be captured," he continued. "And as you threaten our security, your security will be threatened. The way to safeguard your security is to cease your oppression and its impact on our nation, most importantly your withdrawal from the ill-fated Bush war in Afghanistan."
said the tape's authenticity could not be determined but that the voice was similar to the one on prior tapes, which were considered genuine.
Bin Laden also criticized France's plan to ban the burka in public, which is planned to go into effect in April.
"If you unjustly thought that it is your right to prevent free Muslim women from wearing the face veil, is it not our right to expel your invading men and cut their necks?" the tape said.
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.