By day's end, the CIA confirmed it. The voice on the tape is Osama Bin Laden’s after more than a year of silence, with promises of more attacks on the United States.
The 10 minute audio recording is a mixed-bag of threats, encouragement for his followers, and a proposed truce to end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Bin Laden also claims operational planning, and not heightened security, is the reason Al-Qaida has failed to strike the U.S. since the September 11th attacks. The White House dismissed those claims.
Analysts say the tape had a stamp dated December 5, 2005 when it arrived at the Arab network Al Jazeera. There are signs Bin Laden recorded it around that time. He refers to recent opinion polls that showed a majority of Americans want to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq. But there's also speculation the tape was released in response to last week's U.S. air strike in Pakistan that may have killed high ranking Al-Qaida leaders.
Counter-terrorism officials say there's no credible intelligence to indicate an upcoming attack on the United States. They say the tape may have been Bin Laden's way of reasserting his control on Al-Qaida and boosting the morale of the rank-and-file.
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