Nicolas Sarkozy - 'Zionist crusader'
Photo: Reuters
Group affiliated with al-Qaeda declares Jihad against 'Zionist' Sarkozy
Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades vow bloody attacks in Paris to punish France for electing 'Zionist crusader Sarkozy' to lead them

The Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, a group which calls itself al-Qaeda's wing in Europe, has threatened terrorist attacks linked to Nicolas Sarkozy's inauguration as French president on Wednesday, according to a statement posted on an Islamic Web site known as a clearing house for material from al-Qaeda and groups linked to it. The group vowed to launch bloody attacks in Paris to punish France for electing the "Zionist" Nicolas Sarkozy.


There was no immediate comment from the French Interior Ministry.


"After you ... chose Zionist crusader Sarkozy to lead you, we of the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades warn you that there will be a bloody jihadist campaign in the coming days ... and a fierce war in the heart of Sarkozy's capital," the group said.


The group accused Sarkozy of planning to mimic US policy. Sarkozy has been openly friendly to the United States, though he has called the Iraq war a mistake.


The Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades has claimed responsibility for a wide range of attacks, from the 2004 Madrid bombings to the 2005 London attacks - and even for a massive US power blackout in 2003. Terror experts have cast doubt on the claims, noting most are unsubstantiated and some clearly fakes.


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