Latest bin Laden message strains credulity

By Kate Evans-Taylor, Analyst

26 March 2010: Yesterday, al Jazeera released a 74-second audio message purportedly of Osama bin Laden that threatens to kill any Americans captured by al Qaeda if the U.S. executes Khalid Sheikh Mohammed or other al Qaeda suspects currently in U.S. custody.  News reports state that the latest message is being reviewed by U.S. officials to determine whether it is, in fact, the voice of Osama bin Laden. I believe I can speak with some experience that U.S. intelligence officials will authenticate the message, while intelligence officials in the UK and other European countries continue to privately dismiss such authentications.

I’ve worked with intelligence officials in Great Britain who have analyzed numerous messages allegedly made by Osama bin Laden since December 2001. Not one of these officials would sign off on authenticating any message beyond late 2001. It is a fact that most believe the messages have been digitally manipulated using old analogue audio, or quite simply not the voice of Osama bin Laden at all. In more than one case, the fabrications were quite obvious before they were subjected to spectrographic analysis. Using samples from audio segments verified to be the voice of bin Laden from 2001 as exemplars or the baseline for comparison, not one of the last 20 audio messages matches the “real” bin Laden, according to information I received today from a well-placed UK intelligence official.

This analysis was further explained by Douglas Hagmann, Director of the Northeast Intelligence Network during his appearance Thursday on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory. Mr. Hagmann explained that a comparative analysis of dialects, speech patterns, pronunciation, voice tone and inflection, accent, and a host of other specific speech characteristics simply do not match the exemplars.  Again, my former intelligence colleagues in the UK agree.

The obvious questions then become: who is or are behind the release of these messages, and what is their intent? Why are all the messages publicly authenticated by U.S. intelligence all of the time? It is interesting to note that the timing of these messages have been politically expedient since 9/11. Is it possible, perhaps that the release of such message, including Thursday’s, could be attempts to manipulate public opinion or administrative policy?

The latest message that al Qaeda will institute “equal treatment” to Americans they capture is ludicrous. Look at the “treatment” British citizen Kenneth Bigley or Daniel Pearl received. They were both brutally beheaded by al Qaeda terrorists. What more needs to be said?