Is it Bin Laden Again?
I believe the recently released Bin Ladin tape is authentic.
I could only hear snippets in the background of the CNN report, but it
certainly sounded like Bin Laden to me. He has a slightly strange
diction, with vague threats always implied, and I heard what I thought
were some characteristic idiosyncrasies.
Why audio rather than video? It is possible that Bin Ladin was disfigured at
Tora Bora. There have been rumors for some time that he was wounded
there but managed to escape. Some say he lost his voice for months as a
result of his wounds, and only regained it in September while recuperating
in Lahore, Pakistan. If he suffered facial burns, he could not now
appear on videotape without disheartening his followers. Hence the resort to
I have for some time argued that al-Qaeda continues to be highly dangerous
to the U.S. (demonstrably moreso than Iraq), and that we should redouble our
efforts to find Bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and other high-level leaders of
the organization. As long as they are alive, they continue to inspire potential
followers, to devastating effect.