Osama bin Laden video - promo pics “suspect”

Douglas J. Hagmann, Director

UPDATECIA obtains video before official release to target audience;

An unprecedented shutdown of Islamic web sites since US admitted possession of video;

CIA, government analysts attempting to authenticate video.

7 September 2007: The image used to promote the upcoming video message purportedly by Osama bin Laden is considered “suspect,” according to analysts of the Northeast Intelligence Network and federal sources close to this agency speaking on condition of anonymity. The image presented by as Sahab, the media arm of al Qaeda, contains certain characteristics that strongly suggest that the 2007 image of bin Laden sporting a darker beard was done via computer enhancements, not hair dye. Other elements of the image promoting the video are also raising questions and are under analysis.

It appears, however, that the as Sahab image of bin Laden has been deliberately manipulated by computer, possibly in an effort to make the al Qaeda figure appear more robust than in previous footage.

Information obtained by the Northeast Intelligence Network also suggests that the CIA is already in possession of some type of video message from bin Laden where the al Qaeda figure has indeed made contemporaneous references within that video. No further information could be developed through our federal sources, but we are continuing to investigate this matter closely.