(Reuters) - Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden threatened the European Union with grave punishment on Wednesday over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.
In an audio recording posted on the Internet, Bin Laden said the cartoons were part of a “crusade” in which he said the Catholic Pope Benedict was involved.
Following is a chronology of major statements attributed to bin Laden.
September 24, 2001 - Al Jazeera television quotes bin Laden statement urging Pakistanis to fight any assault on Afghanistan by “crusader Americans”.
October 7 - Bin Laden taunts “infidel” U.S. President George W. Bush over September 11 attacks; says in a videotape shown by Al Jazeera that United States will not live in peace until Palestinians can do the same.
November 3 - Bin Laden video shown by Al Jazeera calls Muslims supporting Bush’s Afghanistan “crusade” apostates.
December 13 - Bin Laden says was optimistic about September 11 attacks but dared not hope they would bring down World Trade Center towers, according to video U.S. says confirms his guilt.
December 26 - Bin Laden says in video on Al Jazeera that September 11 attacks intended to stop U.S. support for Israel.
January 31, 2002 - CNN airs October 11 interview by Al Jazeera reporter in which bin Laden says “battle has moved inside the United States”.
May 19 - Bin Laden extols merits of martyrdom in video estimated to be two to four months old.
September 10 - Al Jazeera runs audiotape it says is bin Laden praising September 11 attackers as men who changed history.
October 6 - Al Jazeera runs tape of bin Laden saying any U.S. attack on Muslim world would be repaid “twofold”.
October 14 - Bin Laden praises anti-Western attacks in Kuwait and Yemen; warns United States and Israel of more.
November 12 - Al Jazeera airs apparent bin Laden tape warning U.S. allies against supporting “White House gang of butchers”.
February 11, 2003 - Message believed to be bin Laden urges Muslims to fight U.S. and repel any war against Iraq.
September 10 - Al Jazeera airs video of bin Laden and Al Qaeda second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahri descending mountainside calling for jihad and praising the 9/11 hijackers.
October 18 - Two apparent bin Laden audiotapes vowing more attacks in and outside United States are broadcast.
December 20 - Tape purportedly from bin Laden accuses Arab governments heeding U.S. calls for democracy of being “infidel” agents of United States.
April 15, 2004 - Arab TV airs audiotape offering truce to Europeans if they withdraw troops from Muslim nations.
May 6 - Recording purportedly from bin Laden calls for jihad, or holy war, against the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq.
October 30 - Days before the U.S. presidential election, bin Laden in a video tells Americans Bush has deceived them and the United States could face more strikes like September 11.
December 16 - Bin Laden in an audiotape blesses a group of Saudi militants who stormed the U.S. consulate in Jeddah on December 6.
December 27 - Bin Laden in an audiotape urges Iraqis to boycott January parliamentary elections and says anyone who takes part would be an “infidel”.
June 30, 2006 - Bin Laden in an audiotape praises the late Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Musab al-Zarqawi as a “lion of jihad”.
July 1 - Bin Laden warns Iraq’s Shi’ite majority of retaliation for attacks on Sunni Arabs and says his group will fight the United States anywhere in the world.
July 6 - A year on from bombings in London which killed 52 people, al Qaeda issues a video with comments from Zawahri, bin Laden and one bomber.
September 7, 2007 - Bin Laden appears in a videotape marking the sixth anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the United States. In a message to the American people, bin Laden says the United States is vulnerable despite its economic and military power.
November 29 - Bin Laden urges European countries in an audiotape to end military participation with U.S. forces in the Afghan conflict.
March 19, 2008 - Bin Laden threatens the European Union in an audio recording with grave punishment over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.