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CNN.COM: CIA: It is bin Laden on terror tape


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CIA believes terror tape voice is bin Laden's

Tape warns Americans of impending attacks, offers truce

Thursday, January 19, 2006; Posted: 4:13 p.m. EST (21:13 GMT)

(CNN) -- CIA officials believe an audiotaped message threatening the United States is from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who warns that plans for terror attacks are under way -- and also offers a "long-term truce."

"The war against America and its allies will not be confined to Iraq," the voice on the tape said, adding that "Iraq has become a magnet for attracting and training talented fighters."

"It's only a matter of time," the voice said, referring to attacks. "They are in the planning stages, and you will see them in the heart of your land as soon as the planning is complete." (Watch report on purported bin Laden tape -- 3:26)

CIA intelligence officials who analyzed the recording, which was aired Thursday on Arabic-language network Al-Jazeera, said they believe the voice on the poor-quality audiotape is that of bin Laden.

CNN's senior editor for Arab affairs, Octavia Nasr, also said it sounded like the al Qaeda leader, and added that its tone sounded calm and composed, not like a man who is desperate or sick.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the tape suggested bin Laden was "under pressure." He also dismissed the idea of a truce, saying, "We must confront threats before it is too late ... before the attacks reach our shores."

The voice on the taped message also opened the door to a "solution."

"In response to the substance of the polls in the U.S., which indicate that Americans do not want to fight Muslims on Muslim land, nor do they want Muslims to fight them on their land, we do not mind offering a long-term truce based on just conditions that we will stick to.

"We are a nation that God banned from lying and stabbing others in the back. Hence, both parties of the truce will enjoy stability and security to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan, which were destroyed by war.

"There is no problem in this solution, but it will prevent hundreds of billions from going to influential people and warlords in America -- those who supported Bush's electoral campaign. And from this, we can understand Bush and his gang's insistence on continuing the war," the voice said.

On the tape, the speaker said, "Our mujahedeen were able to overcome all the security measures in European countries, and you saw their operation in major European capitals" -- apparent references to July's transit bombings in London and the 2004 train attacks in Madrid, Spain.

FBI, counterterrorism and intelligence officials say there's been no increase in "chatter," or monitored communications, and no intelligence suggests any terrorist plan is operational or ready to be put in place in the United States.

No plans exist to raise the nation's threat level from "yellow" -- or elevated -- to "orange" -- or high, according to a Homeland Security official.

The official said the threat level has never been raised in reaction to an al Qaeda tape. The threat level has been raised seven times since the color warning system was created after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

It's not known exactly when the tape was recorded, but U.S. counterterrorism officials believe it may have been made sometime in December.

The reference to attacks in European cities would indicate it was recorded after the July bombings in London. The morning rush-hour attacks on three subways and a double-decker bus killed at least 52 people.

Another clue includes a reference to a secret British government memo, first reported in a British newspaper, The Mirror, on November 22.

"Recently documents appeared that the freedom butcher of the world was planning to bomb the headquarters of the satellite television Al-Jazeera in Qatar," the voice said, according to a transcript on Al-Jazeera's Web site.

In the memo, President Bush allegedly discussed such a plan, which the White House dismissed as "outlandish." (Full story)

Broadcast portions of the tape did not, however, mention the CIA strike on a home in Damadola, Pakistan, last Friday. The CIA had targeted senior al Qaeda members, who were expected to attend a dinner, and it is not clear if any were among the 18 people who were killed.

If the CIA voice analysis proves correct, it would be the first message from bin Laden since he released two audiotaped messages in December 2004.

The first of those messages mentioned the attack on the U.S. Consul offices in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, earlier that month that left five people dead. In the second message, bin Laden anointed terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as his deputy in Iraq.

The last videotaped message from bin Laden was seen just before the U.S. presidential election in 2004.

Reference to U.S. opinion polls

In the audiotape released released Thursday, the speaker cited U.S. opinion polls, saying that most Americans want U.S. troops pulled out of Iraq.

"Your President Bush has been misleading you. He has lied when he said that the people are behind him. Opinion polls have indicated that the overwhelming majority of you want him to pull the troops out of our land.

"We have the answer to [this] misleading information. The situation in Iraq is getting worse for you, and the dead and the injured among you is on the rise," the voice on the tape said.

It's not clear exactly which polls he's referring to, but CNN/USA Today/Gallup polls released January 11 showed that 53 percent of those questioned felt things were going badly for the United States in Iraq, and 46 percent thought things were going well.



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Whats everyone think about the truce? I really dont see a way any politician could agree with a truce with that creature still alive.

**** a truce. That little **** killed over 3000 Americans. I want his head on a stick in a glass case in the rebuilt wing of the Pentagon

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the best thing about him wanting a truce is that it shows weakness in his efforts. Terrorists dont want truces, they want their aims fufilled like any aggressive military force. What his call for a truce tells me is that he feels theres a strong enough political force in america hating on Bush that he can turn the losing situation into a winning one.

One thing that is constant in all aggressive acts on a large scale is cost. Its how we defeated the soviets and its how we will defeat the terrorists. The terror groups in Iraq do not opporate on a zero budget, they are funded. Sure maybe the guy who blows himself up doesnt get paid but someone in his family does.

Im thinking been hidin' sense his well running low, and is desperate to call on dissenters here to force the hand and buy him some time. I think hes hoping that if things settle down, some assets will be freed up and he can begin bringing in more money. Contributers are probably becoming a short list to him right now, cause most countries dont want to be tied to him and his losing battle. If he can pacify his cause, he can open up many avenues of support and recharge for another round.

Its really a brilliant move by him, and I think it will succeed and he will come out of it more powerfull than before. I dont think our politics will let this offer go, and we will buy straight into it.

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**** a truce. That little **** killed over 3000 Americans. I want his head on a stick in a glass case in the rebuilt wing of the Pentagon

Agreed.. Asking for a "truce" is not only lying, but a sign of weakness. **** him, I hope he doesn't die in our pursuit. He deserves to be put in prison, and live the rest of his days being tortured.

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I do not think the Truce stuff is a sign of weakness in this case, because I do not think he is really asking for a truce. He wouldn't honor a truce anyway. He just says that so that he can look more "reasonable" to the Arab masses, so he can say "look, I offered them a truce and they don't want one because they want to destroy the whole Arab world" or some such nonsense.

I think our looking at it as a sign of weakness or fear is wishful thinking on our part - I think he is just trying to manipulate Arab opinion.

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Bush was an isolationist before 9/11. If Osama really wanted us each to mind our own business all he had to do was not fly planes into our buildings. Now he's gone and ticked us off, and from the sound of things he's starting to think that was a bad idea. :)

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