New Bin Laden tape?
Nov 12, 2002 3:09 pm US/Central
(CBS) (CAIRO, Egypt) In an audio-taped message aired across the Arab world on Tuesday, a voice purported to be that of Osama bin Laden praised terrorist strikes in Bali and Moscow and threatened Western nations over any attack on Iraq.
If bin Laden's voice is authenticated, his references to recent events would be the clearest indication the terrorist mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks survived U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan last year.
The speaker on the tape broadcast on Al-Jazeera television referred to the Oct. 12 Bali bombing, the killing last month of a Marine in Kuwait, the bombing of a French oil tanker last month off Yemen and the Chechen hostage taking in Moscow, saying the attacks were "undertaken by sons who are zealous in the defense of their religion."
He said the attacks were in response to "what (President) Bush is doing, killing our sons, our old people and children by American planes in Palestine."
U.S. intelligence officials were evaluating the tape to verify if the voice was bin Laden's, according to officials in Washington who spoke on condition of anonymity.
"We've seen the reports on the tape and we're looking into it," said Sean McCormack, spokesman for President Bush's National Security Council.
Privately, White House officials said they were skeptical — "I wonder why we never see this guy" — but said they were awaiting word from the intelligence community on the authenticity of the tape.
American officials have not verified bin Laden's whereabouts this year. The last certain evidence bin Laden was alive was a videotape of him having dinner with some of his deputies, which is believed to have been filmed on Nov. 9, 2001.
Audio recordings are easier to make than videotapes which could reveal whether bin Laden is injured, has significantly altered his looks, or is in a vulnerable location that could be given away in a video appearance.
In September, the Al-Jazeera network aired voice recordings of bin Laden and top al-Qaida operatives. The CIA authenticated bin Laden's voice then, but officials said the recordings probably weren't made recently.
Those statements came out around the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Experts say bin Laden's al-Qaida network is on a renewed public relations campaign aimed at keeping itself in the public eye and associated with events, such as a possible war in Iraq, which could turn the Arab public against the United States.
This was all over our news today because in the tape he (if it is him)addressed Australia in particular. He said that Bali was a direct attack on Australians for our role in East Timor and Afghanistan, and any politicians who think it was a general attack on Westerners are wrong.
My local shopping mall has had 2 major bomb threats in the past week and it was all over the net and our local paper, that there had been warnings sent out that it was the next target.
i havent been anywhere near the place and im getting quite terrified that my country and the city in which i live is next on their list.
I know how you feel, Amanda. We've just had some roads closed here in DC because of a bomb threat, apparently. :huh:
So bin Laden's still alive? Who cares? Bin Laden is so passe. It's all about Saddam now. He's the real threat, not some nut job hiding in Saudi Arabia or wherever. Hussein is evil. He's a genuine threat to our national security, and we don't have time to worry about bin Laden. Saddam might have big weapons, but bin Laden? What's he gonna do? Fly a couple planes into buildings? Ha! That could never happen! Now Saddam. He's a real potential threat.
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