2007 Osama Bin Laden Video (watch it here!)
FULL LENGTH VIDEO LINK
CLICK HERE or HERE or HERE (667mb MPEG file)
(new! FULL TRANSCRIPT in english translation see further below!)
Another telltale sign
Osama is supposed to be left-handed, yet this guy makes gestures and turns the pages with his right hand. Also, Arabic is read right-to-left, and pages in a book go back-to-front, the opposite of English. At 1:53, you see him pulling a page to the right, with his right hand.
You'd think somebody would've caught that during the editing.
Submitted by USAPatriot on Mon, 09/10/2007 - 9:13am
The Usama Ben Ladin video is fake because it freezes at about 1 minute and 58 seconds, and motion only resumes again at 12:30. The video then freezes again at 14:02 remains frozen until the end. All references to current events, such as the 62nd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Japan, and Sarkozy and Brown being the leaders of France and the UK, respectively, occur when the video is frozen! The words spoken when the video is in motion contain no references to contemporary events and could have been (and likely were) made before the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
PENTAGON'S VOICE MORPHING TECHNOLOGY 1999
Keep in mind that this story was from 1999. Over 8 years ago. In computerese terms, that's one helluva long time to work out the bugs and refine the voice spoofing technology.
"By taking just a 10-minute digital recording of Steiner's voice, scientist George Papcun is able, in near real time, to clone speech patterns and develop an accurate facsimile. Steiner was so impressed, he asked for a copy of the tape."
"Steiner was hardly the first or last victim to be spoofed by Papcun's team members. To refine their method, they took various high quality recordings of generals and experimented with creating fake statements. One of the most memorable is Colin Powell stating "I am being treated well by my captors."
"Whereas early voice morphing required cutting and pasting speech to put letters or words together to make a composite, Papcun's software developed at Los Alamos can far more accurately replicate the way one actually speaks. Eliminated are the robotic intonations."
Mossad Double Agent Is Scriptwriter For Bin Laden Tape
Hardcore Zionist Adam Pearlman, who once condemned Muslims as "bloodthirsty terrorists," behind latest scam
Adam Pearlman, a hardcore Jewish Zionist who once wrote stinging essays condemning Muslims as "bloodthirsty terrorists," has been identified as the scriptwriter of the latest Osama Bin Laden video.
Now comes the revelation that the Bin Laden rant was in fact written by a probable Mossad agent who once condemned Muslims before his miraculous conversion to Islam.
"A Californian heavy metal fan, who converted to Islam and became the first American to be charged with treason in half a century, has been fingered as the author of Osama bin Laden's latest video lecture - which left the terror chief sounding like an anti-globalisation protester," reports the London Telegraph.
American spy chiefs were quick to name Adam Gadahn, the head of al-Qaeda's English language media operations, as the author of large sections of bin Laden's broadcast.
Who is Adam Gadahn?
The FBI lists Gadahn's aliases as Abu Suhayb Al-Amriki, Abu Suhayb, Yihya Majadin Adams, Adam Pearlman, and Yayah.
Adam Pearlman is his real name and his grandfather is none other than the late Carl K. Pearlman; a prominent Jewish urologist in Orange County. Carl was also a member of the board of directors of the Anti-Defamation League, which was caught spying on Americans for Israel in 1993. Mike Rivero has the scoop at WhatReallyHappened.com.
Israel's Mossad intelligence agency was caught in 2002 creating a phony Al-Qaeda group to justify attacks on Palestinians.
Pearlman had a hippy upbringing, a brief but intense flirtation with death metal and before a sudden transformation, once referred to Muslims as “bloodthirsty, barbaric terrorists.” Pearlman was a hardcore Jewish Zionist and wrote essays and screeds bashing the Muslim faith. He even got into fights at mosques and beat up Muslim worshippers.
Pearlman's personal history and the highly suspicious nature in which he suddenly professed his conversion to Islam in a single Internet posting and later appeared on the scene as a spokesman for "Al-Qaeda" are all the ingredients needed to draw the conclusion that Pearlman is working as a double agent and most likely for Mossad.
The fact that he has now been singled out as the scriptwriter behind the latest video nasty only lends more weight to the conclusion that this represents nothing more than a contrived Neo-Con hoax to reinforce the flagging official version of 9/11 and the legitimacy of the so-called war on terror.
The only transcript of the latest OBL video is that provided by SITE
which translated and dispersed the video to the media. To read about the Israeli connection to SITE go to the New Yorker and read about Rita Katz,
Director and co-founder of the SITE. or read dicuscussion http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x1771746">here
Now this same SITE anounces, again with complete with still photos, another forthcoming "new" OBL video SITE Intelligence Group. According to the front page: New Video Forthcoming from Usama bin Laden, Introducing Abu Musab al-Walid, One of the Nineteen 9/11 Hijackers
Osama bin Laden releases first videotaped message since 2004
Israeli Connected SITE Institute Hypes Dead Grecian Formula Terrorist
In an effort to explain away the glaring discrepancy between the 2004 and the 2007 Osamas, Rita Katz, director of the SITE Institute, tells us “bin Laden’s beard appears to have been dyed, a popular practice among Arab leaders,” and if that is not absurd enough, Anne Giudicelli, a former French diplomat specializing in the Middle East who now runs the Paris-based consultancy Terrorisc, adds “bin Laden is well aware that his reappearance on the world stage—looking fit and with his beard dyed a youthful black—was itself a victory that went beyond anything he actually said” in his latest video. As for the message, the AP informs us it “is a hodgepodge of anti-capitalist vitriol, impassioned Islamic evangelism and what can best be described as a twisted attempt at reconciliation: Join us, or we’ll kill you.” Of course, it is not explained how a dead nemesis will kill us, a few million infidels.
Indeed, it is a victory, considering the prognosis of Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN medical correspondent, who declared back in early 2003: “You can look [at pictures from a December 2001 video] and notice that he has what some doctors refer to as sort of a frosting over of his features—his sort of grayness of beard, his paleness of skin, very gaunt sort of features. A lot of times people associate this with chronic illness. Doctors can certainly look at that and determine some clinical features…. The sort of frosting of the appearance is something that people a lot of times associate with chronic kidney failure, renal failure, certainly someone who is requiring dialysis would have that.”
Of course, by the time Gupta had made his prognosis, the CIA asset bin Laden was dead and buried, as patients with chronic kidney failure do not fare well in the Afghan outback without a kidney dialysis machine, unless we are to believe Osama’s helpers ferried one in, or maybe the ISI did by way of the CIA’s Air America transport.
Not surprisingly, SITE is connected to Israeli intelligence. “Rita Katz is Director and co-founder of the SITE Institute. Born in Iraq, her father was tried and executed as an Israeli spy, whereupon her family moved to Israel [the move has been described as both an escape and immigration in different sources]. She received a degree from the Middle Eastern Studies program at Tel Aviv University, and is fluent in Hebrew and Arabic. She emigrated to the US in 1997.” Katz’s partner, Josh Devon, is less colorful. “Devon is Senior Analyst and co-founder of the SITE Institute. He has a BA from University of Pennsylvania (English) and a BS from Wharton College (Economics). Devon is currently attending the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University with the intentions of receiving an International Studies Degree with a focus on the Middle East,” that is to say a globalist perspective on the Middle East. According to this article, SAIS is a CFR cover. “CFR member Zbigniew Brzezinski is SAIS Robert E. Osgood Professor of American Foreign Policy…. CFR member Paul Wolfowitz, Ph.D. is SAIS Chairman and Dean.” As well, SAIS appears to be connected to the American Enterprise Institute, where the neocons get their criminal minds.
As Marc Parent writes on his blog, since “the Mossad asset MEMRI has been discredited by its phony transcripts of alleged ‘al-CIA-duh’ recordings, there now appears a group that is doing translations called SITE. SITE is credited with the transcripts behind the latest video of BL. Has any independent organization translated the recent BL video or will we be forced to rely on SITE?” Good question, but not one that will be asked by Fox News or CNN. “It was telling that CNN, when airing the latest video from BL, never mentioned once who performed the translation…. Guess they didn’t want to get into sticky details, like the one that the head of SITE, Rita Katz’s father, was executed for being an Israeli spy. Or that Katz has been receiving money from the FBI…. And that Bin Laden. The last time he appeared, the Republicans were needing help in the 2004 presidential elections…. Now he appears just as the Republicans are needing help in continuing the war against Iraq and selling the next war against Iran. Boy oh boy, is that BL clever or what?”
a video expert, says the tape is fake:
... and like Hugo Chavez he mentions NOAM CHOMSKY!
download 1 minute Video:
07-Sep-07 20:20 GMT 1,541,253 bytes
In his first videotaped message in nearly three years, terrorist leader Osama bin Laden accused President Bush of ... (it should be a long speech ;-)
Excerpts from an Osama bin Laden video released Friday:
(U.S. President George W.) Bush talks about his working with (Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri) al-Maliki and his government to spread freedom in Iraq, but he is fact working with the leaders of one sect against another sect .... And thus, what is called civil war came into being, and matters worsened at his hands before getting out of control and him becoming like the one who plows and sows the sea: he harvests nothing but failure.
(The Iraq war shows) the failure of your democratic system, despite its raising of the slogans of justice, liberty, equality and humanitarianism. It has not only failed to achieve these things it has actually destroyed these and other concepts with its weapons . especially in Iraq and Afghanistan . ... to replace them with fear, destruction, killing, hunger illness, displacement and more than a million orphans in Baghdad alone, not to mention hundreds of thousands of widows.
The vast majority of you (Americans) want it (the Iraqi war) stopped. Thus you elected the Democratic Party for this purpose, but the Democrats haven't made a move worth mentioning. On the contrary, they continue to agree to the spending of tens of billions to continue the killing and war there, which has led to the vast majority of you being afflicted by disappointment.
You permitted Bush to complete his first term, and stranger still, chose him for a second term, which gave him a clear mandate from you . with your full knowledge and consent . to continue to murder our people in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then you claim to be innocent!
It would benefit you to listen to the poignant messages of your soldiers in Iraq, who are paying . with their blood, nerves and scattered limbs . the price for these sorts of irresponsible statements (of U.S. politicians).
There are two solutions to this (stopping the war). One is from our side and it is to continue to escalate the killing and fighting against you. This is our duty, and our brothers are carrying it out, and I ask Allah to grant them resolve and victory. And the second solution is from your side.
I invite you to embrace Islam .... It will also achieve your desire to stop the war as a consequence, because as soon as the warmongering owners of the major corporations realize that you have lost confidence in your democratic system and have begun to look for an alternative, and this alternative is Islam, they will run after you to please you and achieve what you want to steer you away from Islam.
The leaders of the West _ especially Bush, Blair, Sarkozy and Brown _ still talk about freedom and human rights with a flagrant disregard for the intellects of human beings. So is there a form of terrorism stronger, clearer and more dangerous than this? This is why I tell you: as you liberated yourselves before from the slavery of monks, kings, and feudalism, you should liberate yourselves from the deception, shackles and attrition of the capitalist system.
ew Bin Laden Video: 100% Forgery
Introduces martyrdom of hijacker who is still alive, references to current events occur during video freeze
The newly released Osama Bin Laden video is a an iron clad forgery, and not even a good one at that. All references to current events made by the figure said to be Bin Laden occur at a point in the video where the picture freezes and only audio is present. Bin Laden also presents a pre recorded martyrdom video of one of the alleged 9/11 hijackers, Waleed al Shehri, who was reported by the BBC as still alive and well in Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile ABC's The Blotter is reporting that a second tape from Osama bin Laden was recorded in the same location as the video released last week:
People in the intelligence community who have seen the tape feel it is directly related to the 9/11 anniversary since the al Qaeda leader introduces the prerecorded martyrdom video of one of the 9/11 hijackers, Waleed al Shehri.
Waleed al Shehri was one of the hijackers on American Airlines flight 11 that crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
No, actually Waleed al Shehri was not one of the hijackers on flight 11, as reported by the BBC and other mainstream media outlets shortly after 9/11. The report which was quickly memory-holed in the aftermath of the attacks stated:
Saudi Arabian pilot Waleed Al Shehri was one of five men that the FBI said had deliberately crashed American Airlines flight 11 into the World Trade Centre on 11 September.
His photograph was released, and has since appeared in newspapers and on television around the world.
Now he is protesting his innocence from Casablanca, Morocco.
He told journalists there that he had nothing to do with the attacks on New York and Washington, and had been in Morocco when they happened. He has contacted both the Saudi and American authorities, according to Saudi press reports.
So ask yourself this, why is Osama Bin Laden under the impression that this man was on board flight 11, and why does he have a martyrdom video starring this man when this man is still alive and is not being held nor sought by the FBI in connection with 9/11?
The actual release of the video has been delayed in order to whip up a media frenzy ahead of the sixth anniversary of the attacks. US intelligence and mainstream media outlets have both had possession of the video for a number of days if not weeks now, it has only been leaked onto the internet today.
To their credit some analysts have pointed out the wholly fake beard that "Osama" has apparently donned, while other apologists have attempted to pass it off as an "image change" for the terrorist leader, saying he has dyed his beard and hair in an attempt to appear younger and more stern, which some, including the intelligence agency linked SITE Institute, have laughably claimed is "common practice" amongst Muslim men. In reality it is wholly uncommon for Muslim men to dye their beards black.
The propaganda can be no better emphasized than with a cursory analysis of stills of the new video. Who added the new backdrop depicting a plane flying into an 11 and a 9? It certainly was not present in the actual video nor in stills released last week. So exactly who is helping Bin Laden out with his public image this week?
The continued perpetuation of this myth has reached the point of farce now. There can be no doubt anymore that these crudely edited and forged propaganda tapes that are being foisted upon the American people represent nothing more than a contrived Neo-Con hoax to reinforce the flagging official version of 9/11 and the legitimacy of the so-called war on terror.
All praise is due to Allah, who built the heavens and earth in justice, and created man as a favor and grace from Him. And from His ways is that the days rotate between the people, and from His Law is retaliation in kind: an eye for an eye, a tooth far a tooth and the killer is killed. And all praise is due to Allah, who awakened His slaves’ desire for the Garden, and all of them will enter it except those who refuse. And whoever obeys Him alone in all of his affairs will enter the Garden, and whoever disobeys Him will have refused.
As for what comes after: Peace be upon he who follows the Guidance. People of America: I shall be speaking to you on important topics which concern you, so lend me your ears. I begin by discussing the war which is between us and some of its repercussions for us and you.
To preface, I say: despite America being the greatest economic power and possessing the most powerful and up-to-date military arsenal as well; and despite it spending on this war and its army more than the entire world spends on its armies; and despite it being the being the major state influencing the policies of the world, as if it has a monopoly on the unjust right of veto; despite all of this, 19 young men were able - by the grace of Allah, the Most High - to change the direction of its compass. And in fact, the subject of the Mujahideen has become an inseparable part of the speech of your leader, and the effects and signs of that are not hidden.
Since the 11th, many of America’s policies have come under the influence of the Mujahideen, and that is by the grace of Allah, the Most High. And as a result, the people discovered the truth about it, its reputation worsened, its prestige was broken globally and it was bled dry economically, even if our interests overlap with the interests of the major corporations and also with those of the neoconservatives, despite the differing intentions.
And for your information media, during the first years of the war, lost its credibility and manifested itself as a tool of the colonialist empires, and its condition has often been worse than the condition of the media of the dictatorial regimes which march in the caravan of the single leader.
Then Bush talks about his working with al-Maliki and his government to spread freedom in Iraq but he in fact is working with the leaders of one sect against another sect, in the belief that this will quickly decide the war in his favor.
And thus, what is called the civil war came into being and matters worsened at his hands before getting out of his control and him becoming like the one who plows and sows the sea: he harvests nothing but failure.
So these are some of the results of the freedom about whose spreading he is talking to you. And then the backtracking of Bush on his insistence on not giving the United Nations expanded jurisdiction in Iraq is an implicit admission of his loss and defeat there.
And among the most important items contained in Bush’s speeches since the events of the 11th is that the Americans have no option but to continue the war. This tone is in fact an echoing of the words of neoconservatives like Cheney, Rumsfeld and Richard Pearle, the latter having said previously that the Americans have no choice in front of them other than to continue the war or face a holocaust.
I say, refuting this unjust statement, that the morality and culture of the holocaust is your culture, not our culture. In fact, burning living beings is forbidden in our religion, even if they be small like the ant, so what of man?! The holocaust of the Jews was carried out by your brethren in the middle of Europe; but had it been closer to our countries, most of the Jews would have been saved by taking, refuge with us. And my proof for that is in what your brothers, the Spanish, did when they set up the horrible courts of the Inquisition to try Muslims and Jews, when the Jews only found safe shelter by taking refuge in our countries. And that is why the Jewish community in Morocco today is one of the largest communities in the world. They are alive with us and we have not incinerated them, but we are a people who don’t sleep under oppression and reject humiliation and disgrace, and we take revenge on the people of tyranny and aggression, and the blood of the Muslims will not be spilled with impunity, and the morrow is nigh for he who awaits.
Also, your Christian brothers have been living among us for 14 centuries: in Egypt alone, there are millions of Christians whom we have not incinerated and shall not incinerate. But the fact is, there is a continuing and biased campaign being waged against us for a long time now by your politicians and many of your writers by way of your media, especially Hollywood, for the purpose of misrepresenting Islam and its adherents to drive you away from the true religion. The genocide of people and their holocausts took place at your hands: only a few specimens of Red Indians were spared, and just a few days ago, the Japanese observed the 62nd anniversary of the annihilation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by your nuclear weapons.
And among the things which catch the eye of the one who considers the repercussions of your unjust war against Iraq is the failure of your democratic system, despite it raising of the slogans of justice, liberty, equality and humanitarianism. It has not only failed to achieve these things, it has actually destroyed these and other concepts with its weapons - especially in Iraq and Afghanistan - in a brazen fashion, to replace them with fear, destruction, killing, hunger, illness, displacement and more than a million orphans in Baghdad alone, not to mention hundreds of thousands of widows. Americans statistics speak of the killing of more than 650,000 of the people of Iraq as a result of the war and its repercussions.
People of America: the world is following your news in regards to your invasion of Iraq, for people have recently come to know that, after several years of the tragedies of this war, the vast majority. of you want it stopped. Thus, you elected the Democratic Party for this purpose, but the Democrats haven’t made a move worth mentioning. On the contrary, they continue to agree to the spending of tens of billions to continue the killing and war there, which has led to the vast majority of you being afflicted with disappointment.
And here is the gist of the matter, so one should pause, think and reflect: why have the Democrats failed to stop this war, despite them being the majority?
I will come back to reply to this question after raising another question, which is:
Why are the leaders of the White House keen to start wars and wage them around the world, and make use of every possible opportunity through which they can reach this purpose, occasionally even creating justifications based on deception and blatant lies, as you saw Iraq?
In the Vietnam War, the leaders of the White House claimed at the time that it was a necessary and crucial war, and during it, Rumsfeld and his aides murdered two million villagers, And when Kennedy took over the presidency and deviated from the general line of policy drawn up for the White House and wanted to stop this unjust war, that angered the owners of the major corporations who were benefiting from its continuation.
And so Kennedy was killed, and al-Qaida wasn’t present at that time, but rather, those, corporations were tie primary beneficiary from his killing. And the war continued after that for approximately one decade, but after it became clear to you that it was an unjust and unnecessary war, you made one of your greatest mistakes, In that you neither brought to account nor punished those who waged this war, not even the most violent of its murderers, Rumsfeld. And even more incredible than that is that Bush picked him as secretary of defense in his first term after picking Cheney as his vice-president, Powell as secretary of state and Armitage as Powell’s deputy, despite their horrific and blood history of murdering humans. So that was clear signal that his administration - the administration of the generals didn’t have as its main concern the serving of humanity, but rather, was Interested in bringing about new massacres. Yet in spite of that, you permitted Bush to complete his first term, and stranger still, chose him for a second term, which gave him a clear mandate from you - with your full knowledge and consent - to continue to murder our people in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Then you claim to be innocent! This innocence of yours is like my innocence of the blood of your sons on the 11th - were I to claim such a thing. But it is impossible for me to humor any of you in the arrogance and indifference you show for the lives of humans outside America, or for me to humor your leaders in their lying, as the entire world knows they have the lion’s share of that. These morals aren’t our morals. What I want to emphasize here is that not taking past wars criminals to account led to them repeating that clime of killing humanity without right and waging this unjust war in Mesopotamia, and as a result, here are the oppressed ones today continuing to take their right from you.
This war was entirely unnecessary, as testified to by your own reports. And among the most capable of those from your own side who speak to you on this topic and on the manufacturing of public opinion is Noam Chomsky, who spoke sober words of advice prior to the war, but the leader of Texas doesn’t like those who give advice. The entire world came out in unprecedented demonstrations to warn against waging the war and describe its true nature in eloquent terms like "no to spilling red blood for black oil," yet he paid them no heed. It is time for humankind to know that talk of the rights of man and freedom are lies produced by the White House and its allies in Europe to deceive humans, take control of their destinies and subjugate them,
So in answer to the question about the causes of the Democrats failure to stop the war, I say: they are the same reasons which led to the failure of former president Kennedy to stop the Vietnam war. Those with real power and influence are those with the most capital. And since the democratic system permits major corporations to back candidates, be they presidential or congressional, there shouldn’t be any cause for astonishment - and there isn’t any - in the Democrats’ failure to stop the war. And you’re the ones who have the saying which goes, "Money talks." And I tell you: after the failure of your representatives in the Democratic Party to implement your desire to stop the war, you can still carry anti-war placards and spread out in the streets of major cities, then go back to your homes, but that will be of no use and will lead to the prolonging of the war.
However, there are two solutions for stopping it. The first is from our side, and it is to continue to escalate the killing and fighting against you. This is our duty, and our brothers are carrying it out, and I ask Allah to grant them resolve and victory. And the second solution is from your side, it has now become clear to you and the entire world the impotence of the democratic system and how it plays with the interests of the peoples and their blood by sacrificing soldiers and populations to achieve the interests of the major corporations.
And with that, it has become clear to all that they are the real tyrannical terrorists. In fact, the life of all of mankind is in danger because of the global warming resulting to a large degree from the emissions of the factories of the major corporations, yet despite that, the representative of these corporations in the White House insists on not observing the Kyoto accord, with the knowledge that the statistic speaks of the death and displacement of the millions of human beings because of that, especially in Africa. This greatest of plagues and most dangerous of threats to the lives of humans is taking place in an accelerating fashion as the world is being dominated by the democratic system, which confirms its massive failure to protect humans and their interests from the greed and avarice of the major corporations and their representatives.
And despite this brazen attack on the people, the leaders of the West - especially Bush, Blair, Sarkozy and Brown - still talk about freedom and human rights with a flagrant disregard for the intellects of human beings. So is there a form of terrorism stronger, clearer and more dangerous than. tills? This is why I tell you: as you liberated yourselves before from the slavery of monks, kings, and feudalism, you should liberate yourselves from the deception, shackles and attrition of the capitalist system.
If you were to ponder it well, you would find that in the end, it is a system harsher and fiercer than your systems in the Middle Ages, The capitalist system seeks to turn the entire world into a fiefdom of the major corporations under the label of "globalization" in order to protect democracy.
And Iraq and Afghanistan and their tragedies; and the reeling of many of you under the burden of interest-related debts, insane taxes and real estate mortgages; global warming and its woes; and the abject poverty and tragic hunger in Africa: all of this is but one side of the grim face of this global system.
So it is imperative that you free yourselves from all of that and search for an alternative, upright methodology. in which it is not the business of any class of humanity to lay down its own laws to its own advantage at the expense of the other classes as is the case with you, since the essence of man- made positive laws is that they serve the interests of those with the capital and thus make the rich richer and the poor poorer.
The infallible methodology is the methodology of Allah, the Most High, who created the heavens and earth and created the Creation and is the Most Kind and All-informed and the Knower of the souls of His slaves and the methodology that best suits them.
You believe with absolute certainty that you believe in. Allah, and you are full of conviction of this belief, so much so that you have written this belief of yours on your dollar.
But the truth is that you are mistake in this belief of yours. The impartial judge knows that belief in Allah requires straightness in the following of His methodology, and accordingly, total obedience must be to the orders and prohibitions of Allah Alone in all aspects of life.
So how about you when you associate others with Him in your beliefs and separate state from religion, then claim that you are believers?!
What you have done is clear loss and manifest polytheism, And I will give you a parable of polytheism, as parables summarize and clarify speech.
I tell you: its parable is the parable of a man who owns a shop and hires a worker and tells him, "Sell and give me the money," but he makes sales and give the money to someone other than the owner. So who of you would approve of that?
You believe that Allah is your Lord and your Creator and the Creator of this earth and that it is His property, then you work on His earth and property without His orders and without obeying Him, and you legislate in contradiction to His Law and methodology.
This work of yours is the greatest form of polytheism and is rebellion against obedience to Allah with which the believer becomes an unbeliever, even if he obeys Allah in some of His other orders. Allah, the Most High, sent down His orders in His Sacred Books like the Torah and Evangel and sent with them the Messengers (Allah’s prayers and peace be upon them) as bearers of good news to the people.
And everyone who believes in them and complies with them is a believer from the people of Garden. Then when the men of knowledge altered the words of Allah the Most High, and sold them for a paltry price, as the rabbis did with the Torah and the monks with the Evangel, Allah sent down His final Book, the magnificent Quran, and safeguarded it from being added to or subtracted from by the hands of men, and in it is a complete methodology for the lives of all people.
And our holding firm to this magnificent Book is the secret of our strength and winning of the war against you despite the fewness of our numbers and materiel.
And if you would like to get to know some of the reasons for your losing of your war against us, then read the book of Michael Scheuer in this regard.
Don’t be turned away from Islam by the terrible situation of the Muslims today, for our rulers in general abandoned Islam many decades ago, but our forefathers were the leaders and pioneers of the world for many centuries, when they held firmly to Islam.
And before concluding, I tell you: there has been an increase in the thinkers who study events and happenings, and on the basis of their study, they have declared the approach of the collapse of the American Empire.
Among them is the European thinker who anticipated the fall of the Soviet Union, which indeed fell. And it would benefit you to read what he wrote about what conies after the empire in regard to the United States of America. I also want to brine your attention that among the greatest reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union Was their being afflicted with their leader. Brezhnev, who was overtaken by pride and arrogance and refused to look at the facts on the ground. From the first year of the Afghanistan invasion, reports indicated that the Russians were losing the war, but he refused to acknowledge this, lest it go down in his personal history as a defeat, even though refusal to acknowledge defeat not only doesn’t do anything to change the facts for thinking people, but also exacerbates the problem and increases the losses. And how similar is your position today to their position approximately two decades ago. The mistakes of Brezhnev are being repeated by Bush, who - when asked about the date of his withdrawing of forces from Iraq - said in effect that the withdrawal will not be during his reign, but rather, during the reign of the one who succeeds him. And the significance of these words is not hidden.
And here I say: it would benefit you to listen to the poignant messages of your soldiers in Iraq, who are paying - with their blood, nerves and scattered limbs - the price far these sorts of irresponsible statements. Among them is the eloquent message of Joshua which he sent by way of the media, in which he wipes the tears from his eyes and describes American politicians in harsh terms and invites them to join him there for a few days. Perhaps his message will find-in you an attentive ear so you can rescue him and more than 150,000 of your sons there who are tasting the two bitterest things:
If they leave their barracks, the mines devour them, and if they refuse to leave, rulings are passed against them. Thus, the only options left in front of them are to commit suicide or cry, both of which are from the severest of afflictions. So is there anything more men can do after crying and killing themselves to make you respond to them? They are doing that out of the severity of the humiliation, fear and terror which they are suffering. It is severer than what the slaves used to suffer at your hands centuries ago, and it is as if some of them have gone from one slavery to another slavery more severe and harmful, even if it be in the fancy dress of the Defense Department’s financial enticements.
So do you feel the greatness of their sufferings?
To conclude, I invite you to embrace Islam, for the greatest mistake one can make in this world and one which is uncorrectable is to die while not surrendering to Allah, the Most High, in all aspects of one’s life - ie., to die outside of Islam. And. Islam means gain for you in this first life and the next, final life. The true religion is a mercy For people in their lives, filling their hearts with serenity and calm.
There is a message for you in the Mujahideen; the entire world is in pursuit of them, yet their hearts, by the grace of Allah, are satisfied and tranquil. The true religion also puts peoples’ lives in order with its laws; protects their needs and interests; refines their morals; protects them from evils and guarantees for them entrance into Paradise in the hereafter through their obedience to Allah and sincere worship of Him Alone.
And it will also achieve your desire to stop the war as a consequence, because as soon as the warmongering owners of the major corporations realize that you have lost confidence in your democratic system and begun to search for an alternative, and that this alternative is Islam, they will rue after you to please you and achieve what you want to steer you away from Islam. So your true compliance with Islam will deprive them of the opportunity to defraud the peoples and take. their money under numerous pretexts, like arms deals and so on.
There are no taxes in Islam, but rather there is a limited Zakaat [alms] totaling only 2.5%. So beware of the deception of those with the capital. And with your earnest reading about Islam from its pristine sources, you will arrive at an important truth, which is that the religion of all of the Prophets (peace and blessings of Allah be upon them) is one, and that its essence is submission to the osiers of Allah Alone in all aspects of life, even if their Shari’ahs [Laws] differ.
And did you know that the name of the Prophet of Allah Jesus and his mother (peace and blessings of Allah be on them both) are mentioned in the. Noble Quran dozens of times, and that in the Quran there is a chapter whose name is "Maryam," i.e. Mary, daughter of Imran and mother of Jesus (peace and blessings of Allah be upon them both)? It tells the story of her becoming pregnant with the Prophet of Allah Jesus (peace and blessings of Allah be upon them both), and in its confirmation of her chastity and purity, in contrast to the fabrications of the Jews against her. Whoever wishes to find that out for himself must listen to the verse of this magnificent chapter: one of the just kings of the Christians - the Negus - listened to some of its verses and his eyes welled up with tears and he said something which should be reflected on for a long time by those sincere in their search for the truth.
He said, "verily, this and what Jesus brought come from one lantern": i.e., that the magnificent Quran and the Evangel are both from Allah, the Most High; and every just and intelligent one of you who reflects on the Quran will definitely arrive at this truth. It also must be noted that Allah has preserved the Quran from the alterations of men. And reading in order to become acquainted with Islam only requires a little effort, and those of you who are guided will profit greatly. And peace be upon one who follows the Guidance.
OBL is more aware of what's going on in America than most Americans!
... on the tape bin laden makes little to no movements. Even his eyes ever so barely move. His left arm makes no movement whatsoever I believe.
... ok,what am i missing here? are we suppose to be this stupid? heres a picture from the "latest" video notice the short beard and no grey in the hair,from my understanding of islam,to dye your hair or alter any part of your body would be a sin,like tattoos and the like.
now look at this picture from a video posted in 2004,either he knows how to reverse the age process or this is a fake... whats your thought's? camera tricks?,lighting?... what?
"Then you claim to be innocent! The innocence of yours is like my innocence of the blood of your sons on the 11th — were I to claim such a thing."
If Americans claim to be innocent as victims of terrorist attacks, why should Osama not claim that innocence as well since America's foreign policy supposedly killed millions of Muslims in the past decade, along with Israel's aggression. Should Muslims not be innocent as well?
Its easier to pull a trigger when you dehumanize the enemy. We are the great devil and evil empire..destroyers of the Earth ..while we send mixed signals and portray them more as freedom fighters than terrorists, insurgents,jihadists..but never the monsters or on the level they should be if we were hell bent on winning...This PC will be the death of us.
I find the release really inconsistent as I said prior. with the fluid thoughts of a Bedoin warrior poet. It may be just another CIA production.
I agree Bin Laden is a better leader than Bush. I would convert to Islam as long as it meant a regime change in America.
I remember having a discussion with a Muslim friend a while back and somehow the conversation got to hair dye... she said Islam had no problems with using dye, but only as long as it wasn't black. I don't know if she was messing with me or what, but it was just something that I remembered when checking out the video. Any truth to it? Anyways, it seems more likely that anything that might happen on the anniversary of September 11th will just end up giving us an excuse to invade Iran. And with Bush, it wouldn't take very much. We could get sent an angry letter from someone and he'll start launching missiles... which might have "accidentally" been replaced with Nukes
OBL isnt blamed for 911. If some has information otherwise, please contact the FBI
Wearing a beard is not obligatory for Muslim men and is only "Sunna" or following the lifestyle of Muhammad. But some radical Islamic sects, particularly bin Laden's allies in the Taliban movement in Afghanistan, consider it compulsory for adult Muslims.
Clean-shaven men, and those who trim their beards, were often punished for the perceived crime.Until now bin Laden has left his beard long and uncut. Some conservative Muslims henna their beards, but it is pretty rare to dye them black
Okay, back to the beard... it looks fake to me. Has anyone mentioned yet the possibility that he might be hiding out in a part of the world where he would 'stand out' by wearing it like that? I mean, if the whole world was looking for you, wouldn't you try to change your appearance? Maybe he's clean shaven now and hiding where wearing a beard is not the norm... like Indonesia. Just a thought...
Both Saddam and Kalid Sheik Mohammed were captured looking completely different than the pictures we all saw on TV darn near every day.
How Rita Katz got into the spying business.
by Benjamin Wallace-Wells
ita Katz is tiny and dark, with volatile brown eyes, and when she is nervous or excited she can’t sit still. She speaks in torrents, ten minutes at a stretch. Everybody who works in intelligence calls her Rita, even people who don’t know her well. She sometimes telephones people she hasn’t met—important people in the government—to tell them things that she thinks they ought to know. She keeps copies of letters from officials whose investigations into terrorism she has assisted. “You and your staff . . . were invaluable additions to the investigative team,” the special agent in charge of the F.B.I.’s Salt Lake City Division wrote; the Assistant U.S. Attorney in Boise said, “You are a rare and extraordinary gem that has appeared too infrequently throughout the course of history.” The letters come in handy, she told me, when she meets with skepticism or lack of interest; they are her establishment bona fides.
Katz, who was born in Iraq and speaks fluent Arabic, spends hours each day monitoring the password-protected online chat rooms in which Islamic terrorists discuss politics and trade tips: how to disperse botulinum toxin or transfer funds, which suicide vests work best. Occasionally, a chat-room member will announce that he is turning in his user name and password and going to Iraq to become a martyr, a shaheed. Several weeks later, his friends will post a report of the young man blowing himself up. Katz usually logs on at six in the morning. When she has guests for dinner, she leaves a laptop open on the kitchen counter, so she can check for updates. “It is completely addicting,” she says. “You wake up thinking, I’ve been offline for seven hours, but the terrorists have been making plans.”
Traditionally, intelligence has been filtered through government agencies, such as the C.I.A. and the N.S.A., which gather raw data and analyze it, and the government decides who sees the product of their work and when. Katz, who is the head of an organization called the Search for International Terrorist Entities, or SITE Institute, has made it her business to upset that monopoly. She and her researchers mine online sources for intelligence, which her staff translates and sends out by e-mail to a list of about a hundred subscribers.
Katz’s client list includes people in the government who are presumably frustrated by how long it takes to get information through official channels; it also includes people in corporate security and in the media, who rarely get much useful material from the C.I.A. She has worked with prosecutors on more than a dozen terrorism investigations, and many American officers in Iraq rely on Katz’s e-mails to, for example, brief their troops on the designs for explosives that are passed around terrorist Web sites. “You’re thrown into Baghdad, and there are a million different groups out there you’ve never heard of claiming responsibility for attacks,” Robert Worth, a Times reporter who used Katz’s service during the eighteen months he spent in Iraq, told me. “Rita really knows what she’s talking about—who’s responsible for attacks, what’s a legitimate terrorist organization and what’s not.” Because many reporters rebroadcast her information, it can reach the public before people in the government have had a chance to evaluate it; her organization’s work is cited in the Times and the Washington Post about twice a month.
Katz has many critics, who believe that she is giving terrorists a bigger platform than they would otherwise have, and that the certainty and obsession that make her a dedicated archivist also make her too eager to find plots where they don’t exist; she publicized a manual for using botulinum in terror attacks, for example, which experts later concluded was not linked to any serious threat. It’s possible that her immersion in the world of terrorism has removed whatever skepticism or doubts she may have had. “Much as Al Jazeera underplays terrorist threats, the SITE Institute at times overhypes them,” Michael Scheuer, the former head of the C.I.A.’s bin Laden unit, said.
More fundamentally, some people involved in counterterrorism do not think that a private group with limited resources can do as good or as prudent a job as government agencies can. “Intelligence analysis is a set of skills that you learn, not just something that anyone can walk in off the street and pick up,” Steven Aftergood, who monitors the intelligence community for the Federation of American Scientists, told me. Katz, however, pointed out that, for example, the professionals consistently missed signals about Al Qaeda before September 11, 2001, and said that she was simply filling a gap. (A 2004 audit showed that the F.B.I. alone had thousands of hours of untranslated intercepts.) Indeed, Katz has received outsourcing contracts from the government.
Before the September 11, 2001, attacks, the official counterterrorism agencies paid relatively little attention to the jihadis’ online presence. But in the past few years that has changed, in large measure because of changes in the way terror networks operate. “Nearly everything about Al Qaeda that matters is happening online right now,” Peter Bergen, a journalist and terrorism expert, said. Some analysts believe that Al Qaeda today is a model of what is called “leaderless resistance”: self-appointed cells operating with help and inspiration from materials that they find online. Traffic rose dramatically after Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of Al Qaeda in Iraq, posted a video of the beheading of the American contractor Nicholas Berg.
“It’s not as if Al Qaeda were inventing this,” Jessica Stern, a terrorism specialist who served on the National Security Council under President Clinton, said. What’s unique about Islamic terror and the Internet is that there is up-to-the-minute access to what terrorists are thinking. Rita Katz is, in a sense, the natural complement, the engineer of a leaderless counter-resistance to the terrorist groups. “Some people think that she’s a zealot,” Stern said when I asked her about Katz, “but only a zealot would provide this kind of service.”
In March, I visited Katz at her office, on the seventh floor of an old building in a Northeastern city that she refuses to allow reporters to identify in print. She told me to take a train to the city’s main terminal, and then call the office for further directions. By the time I got to SITE’s locked door, which has a black security camera and a plaque bearing the name of a nonexistent business, I half expected to walk into a center full of high-tech equipment, with flashing maps and screens.
The SITE Institute’s office looked like a college newspaper’s. There were three rooms: Katz’s office, dominated by a large conference table; a small room for two translators (more work part time, from home); and what’s called the pit, where several researchers and interns, all in their twenties, sat under a long, eye-level row of mug shots of wanted terrorists—mostly bearded Arab men, with grim, unsmiling glares. There was an air of intense isolation, with everyone focussed on his own projects. It was hard to ignore the office’s youth; Katz told me of a new service she had added that scanned French-language terrorist sites, and that depended on an undergraduate intern who spoke fluent French (Katz has since hired another French-speaker for the service).
Each day, Katz finds about a half-dozen items on the Arabic message boards that are worth distributing. Her researchers, who monitor English-language jihadist Web sites, often find a few more. Some are propaganda: videos taking responsibility for attacks, statements of intent to attack, announcements of allegiances or splits. Others involve tactics and weapons. “You don’t need to go to Afghanistan for training anymore,” Katz said as we paged through a list of credit-card information that seemed to have been stolen from Houston suburbanites. “You just get it on the Internet.” SITE tries to have the items translated and sent to subscribers within an hour and a half of their first appearance online; when the material could be a big news story—for instance, a new audiotape released by Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s closest associate—SITE’s translation may go on television a few minutes later. The full transcript of the video of the American reporter Jill Carroll, made by her kidnappers, was posted within twenty-five minutes.
Katz has a testy relationship with the government, sometimes acting as a consultant and sometimes as an antagonist. About a year ago, a SITE staffer, under an alias, managed to join an exclusive jihadist message board that, among other things, served as a debarkation point for many would-be suicide bombers. For months, the staffer pretended to be one of the jihadis, joining in chats and watching as other members posted the chilling messages known as “wills,” the final sign-offs before martyrdom. The staffer also passed along technical advice on how to keep the message board going. Eventually, he won the confidence of the site’s Webmasters, who were impressed with his computer skills, and he gained access to the true e-mail addresses of the members and other information about them. After monitoring the site for several more days, the staffer told Katz that one of the site’s members, a young Muslim man in a European country, had just posted a will. “It was obvious that he was planning to become a martyr very soon,” Katz said.
Katz called officials in Washington, and was met with institutional resistance: “They said, ‘Oh, Rita, I’m not sure you should even be communicating with them—you might be providing material support!’ And they wanted to get approval from the Department of Justice to look at the e-mails. I said, ‘Look, we have to do something.’ ” Katz then called an American counterterrorism official stationed in the young man’s country, and he, in turn, sent the jihadi’s e-mails to local investigators. Within twenty-four hours, they had him under surveillance, and a week later they arrested him. “In my opinion, they probably wouldn’t have had a clue if it hadn’t been for Rita,” the official told me. This, Katz said, is what she always hopes to achieve: “It’s one case where everything just worked so well.”
At the SITE office, Katz showed me some suicide-bombing videos from Iraq. They are often five or ten minutes long, overlaid with religious chanting. In one video, a middle-aged Iraqi doctor straps on a suicide vest. “In Israel, they always told you that the profile of a suicide bomber was someone young, without family, from the lowest economic level, but what we see here over and over is just the opposite,” Katz said.
We watched the last day in the life of Abu Mouwayia al-Shimali, a chubby, bespectacled Saudi. Shimali discusses a letter purportedly written by a female prisoner at Abu Ghraib named Fatima, describing nightly public rapes of female prisoners by American guards. The letter is apocryphal, but it has circulated widely online, and has become a rallying point for the Iraqi insurgency. Shimali does not sound unhinged or bloodthirsty; he sounds humble.
Shimali is shown waving as he walks to a car. Then he is in the driver’s seat, with a rifle in his lap, patting a clunky metal apparatus next to him. His smile is warm, and he is speaking in a measured tone. “He is saying, ‘This is my bomb,’ ” Katz translated. The car pulls up to a dusty checkpoint manned by American and Iraqi soldiers, and then explodes. SITE distributed the video two days after it was posted. As you watch, it feels not like an advertisement for homicide but like an advertisement for belief. Katz told me that even she, watching such videos, could imagine wanting to become a suicide bomber.
Katz believes that America has so far understood the terrorist threat only in bastardized and insufficient terms. She believes that it is wrong to assert, as President Bush does, that terrorists are motivated by hatred for our freedoms rather than by our policies in the Middle East or those of their own governments. Though she herself is circumspect about the issue of Iraq, some members of her staff believe that the war is a distraction from the fight with radical Islamic terrorism. But Katz also believes that terrorists are more sophisticated and resilient than most Americans realize, that the war against radical Islam is likely to last for decades, and that the outcome is far from clear. Her project is, in large measure, to convince Americans of the seriousness of the threat by building a direct conduit to the terrorist mind.
“What makes Rita unique is her background,” Peter Probst, a terrorism consultant and retired C.I.A. officer who works with Katz, told me. “Because of what she’d been through, she understood the threat earlier and better than most of us.”
Katz was born in Basra, Iraq, in 1963, one of four children of a wealthy Jewish businessman. In 1968, in the wake of the Six-Day War, the Baath government, with Saddam Hussein as its head of security, encouraged attacks against Iraqi Jews. Some Jews from prominent families were arrested and charged with spying for Israel, among them Katz’s father. After he was imprisoned, his wife and children were transported to Baghdad and kept under house arrest in a stone hut. Katz’s father was convicted in a military tribunal and executed, in 1969, with eight other Jews and five non-Jews, in a public hanging in Baghdad’s central square. Hundreds of thousands of cheering Iraqis attended; the government offered free transportation to people from the provinces, and belly dancers performed for the crowd. Katz was six years old.
After the family had been living in the hut for months, Katz’s mother drugged the guards and escaped with the children. By pretending to be the wife of a well-known Iraqi general, a woman she faintly resembled, she got the family first to the Iranian border and then to Israel. They settled in a small seaside town called Bat-Yam. Katz did her military service in the Israel Defense Forces after high school, and studied politics and history at Tel Aviv University. She married a medical student, and went into business with her mother, manufacturing clothes; Katz handled sales. In 1997, Katz’s husband won a fellowship to do research in endocrinology at the National Institutes of Health, and they moved to Washington with their three children. (They later had a fourth.)
The particulars of her biography—her father’s execution, her escape from Iraq, and her education in Israel—give Katz, in the eyes of some in the counterterrorism community, a kind of bionic character, as if she had been designed to hunt down terrorists. Her friends and allies are awed by her background; her critics find in it reason to be suspicious of her motives. Katz claims to attach no special meaning to it. “I would have to think about that,” she said, when I asked her if her early life had made her particularly sensitive to the terrorist threat. Later, she told me, “I know that the people who killed my father aren’t the same as the jihadis, but obviously I would never have got interested in the politics of this part of the world if it weren’t for his execution.” (She also said, “When you grow up in a place like Iraq, you understand maybe a little bit about how Arabs think, and also what they are capable of.”)
Katz’s first nine months in the United States were lonely—“I cried on the phone to my mama every day”—and she abruptly quit the one job she held, as an assistant in a suburban gift shop. (She didn’t get along with her boss.) She saw an ad for an Arabic-speaking research assistant, applied for the job, and got it. Her employer was the Investigative Project, run by Steven Emerson, a former reporter with an interest in terror networks. Emerson became widely known in the aftermath of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, when, appearing as an expert on CBS News, he theorized that the attack was the work of Islamic extremists. It turned out that Timothy McVeigh was responsible.
The Investigative Project was an exciting place to be. By the mid-nineties, the Internet had begun to change intelligence gathering profoundly, allowing groups like Emerson’s to emerge—self-styled spies who relied on the floods of “open source” information available online—tax records, credit reports, Internet newsletters written by people in Belgrade or Indonesia. Senior counterterrorism officials had been slow to take open-source information seriously. “It was seen as irrelevant, and they much preferred working with spies and satellites,” Timothy Naftali, of the University of Virginia, who wrote a history of American counterterrorism for the 9/11 Commission, said. Katz would start with the name of an organization, or an individual, and pore over records to find out who was associated with whom, whether they were sending money overseas, what they were writing. She was amazed at what she could discover. She began joining message boards related to a particular group or mosque and chatting with her subjects online, pretending to be a Muslim man.
The Investigative Project also did undercover work at Islamic fund-raisers and rallies. “Our families all thought we were nuts,” Evan Kohlmann, who worked with Katz and Emerson, said. (Kohlmann now runs his own Web-based consultancy, globalterroralert.com.) The I.P. sometimes sent Katz to events where non-Muslims would stand out; she pretended to be the wife of a radical Iraqi-American businessman. She taped crowds outside the Israeli Embassy screaming in Arabic, “Jew, Jew, Muhammad is coming to get you.” At particularly radical fund-raisers and conferences, she wore a burka, spoke a deferential Iraqi-accented Arabic, and sat apart from the men, averting her eyes. By volunteering to send cash to the families of suicide bombers, she said, she figured out which organizations were funnelling money to them. She openly videotaped events, as true believers do, and, she said, “sometimes when I had trouble holding the video camera, they would be very polite and hold it for me.” She became so consumed by this work—telephoning her house from other cities at odd hours and telling her family that she’d be back in a day or two but couldn’t say why—that her husband suspected her of having an affair.
On December 14, 1999, an Algerian named Ahmed Ressam was arrested as he tried to cross the border from Canada with a trunk full of materials for an explosive device that he intended to detonate at Los Angeles International Airport. Richard A. Clarke, who was then President Clinton’s counterterrorism adviser, called Emerson from the White House and asked the Investigative Project for a report on militant Islamic cells in North America. The worry was that Ressam was part of a larger plot planned for the millennium. Each day for the next two weeks, Kohlmann, Katz, Emerson, and two other analysts stayed at the office until well past midnight, looking through public records and other sources. Katz became convinced that she was looking at a single global network of terror. “We began to realize how big it was, and how little anyone knew about it,” she said, “and it just began to swallow me up.”
On September 11, 2001, Kohlmann, then in law school, raced out of class and called Katz. “She said, ‘Time to get to work.’ ” But by the following June Katz and Emerson, both combative personalities, had parted ways. Taking two staff members from the Investigative Project, Katz set up her own office. She got by on small government contracts. Some of that work, done for the Treasury Department, involved identifying Islamic groups that might be sending money to terrorist organizations. She also had a contract with the Swiss government and with a group of relatives of 9/11 victims who were suing Saudi Arabian officials, businesses, and charities. Still, during the first two years, Katz said, she couldn’t always pay salaries.
But Katz’s organization had embedded itself in the Internet, and when a part-time P.R. consultant whom Katz brought in suggested that she start a subscription service, Katz sent out an e-mail to people and groups she had worked with. In a few weeks, SITE had a few dozen subscribers, each paying twenty-five hundred dollars annually. (SITE is a nonprofit organization, and also raises money from private donors.)
The world of private, open-source counterterrorism operations is tiny—a few dozen people, if you’re counting liberally—and it tends to have the same characteristics as other self-appointed, at-the-barricades élites, like the neoconservatives, or the old American left, or, for that matter, an underground terrorist organization. There are the same personal allegiances and petty feuds, the same mixture of importance and self-importance. Kohlmann and Josh Devon, who left the Investigative Project with Katz and helped set up SITE, have been friends since middle school. They finished college in 2001. Kohlmann has long hair and a beard and is aided in his work, he said, “by looking like the kind of grad-school, hippie American that Islamic terrorists think they can recruit”; Devon has curly hair and always looks slightly surprised. When I asked Devon whether they had given much thought to the implications of selling intelligence by subscription, he said, “We were just trying to survive.”
In May, 2003, Katz published, anonymously, a memoir about her work, called “Terrorist Hunter.” (She was exposed as its author soon afterward.) The book is as psychologically blunt as she is, and the tone, at times, verges on smugness; the F.B.I., she writes, didn’t “possess one-thousandth of my knowledge on the relevant issues.” It is also an account, in almost religious terms, of her revelation about the threat and reach of global Islamic terrorism. Not that Katz goes through any real conversion in the course of the book; the only change is the slow, mechanical development of naïveté into experience, of suspicion into conviction, like water into steam.
That month, Katz went on “60 Minutes” to promote “Terrorist Hunter,” and to talk about her investigation into terrorist financing. Wearing a wig, five hours’ worth of makeup, and a large fake nose to conceal her identity, Katz also suggested that Mar-Jac Poultry, a Georgia chicken farm, was sending money to terrorists. She speculated that the company had hidden the transfers by selling chickens that it had recorded in its books as dead. Mar-Jac sued Katz and CBS. (The suit is still pending.) “This woman knows nothing about money laundering, and she sure as hell knows nothing about poultry,” Mar-Jac’s lawyer, Wilmer Parker, told me.
Katz said that her information was sound, but the publicity from the suit was not good. And there were other setbacks. In 2004, after she spent months helping the Department of Justice prepare a case against a young University of Idaho computer scientist named Sami Omar al-Hussayen for giving material support to terrorists, a jury acquitted him.
The invasion of Iraq opened up new opportunities for small, private groups like SITE, and as the war went on, and the insurgency continued to grow, SITE provided instantaneous bits of information to keep up with the news cycle. “It’s like when CNN came on the scene in the Gulf War, with twenty-four-hour news—it forever changed the field,” Bruce Hoffman, a counterterrorism expert at RAND told me. “SITE sends out six, seven e-mails a day, and the stuff is good, and it forces everyone else to play catch-up.”
SITE’s detractors have also questioned the quality, or, rather, the possible slant, of SITE’s translations—an especially troubling issue given the shortage of alternatives. “An Arabic word can have four or five different meanings in translation,” Michael Scheuer, the former C.I.A. analyst, said. SITE, in his view, always picks the “most warlike translation.”
“Our translations are as close as we can get to the original language,” Katz told me. “We have native speakers who do them, and I definitely don’t tell the native speakers what word to use—I am too busy to do that.”
Last December, Katz was reading a jihadist message board called Al Safanat when she discovered a manual describing how to attack the Alaska pipeline. She was struck by the level of detail: the manual recommended that an élite cell of four or five men equipped with armor-piercing bullets or explosives sneak across the border into Alaska from Canada. “They spilled our brothers’ blood and they stole our oil resources,” it said. “This is our time to teach them a lesson.” SITE sent the manual to its subscribers that day.
Soon afterward, the Anchorage Daily News published an article on the threat, crediting SITE for the information. “That’s when everything went crazy,” Katz said. Other reports followed, and soon Katz’s phone was ringing so frequently that she was overwhelmed. Things were even more overwhelming for workers on the pipeline. “We were already in communication with local, state, and federal officials,” Mike Heatwole, a spokesman for the company that manages the pipeline, said. When the media reports of the manual came out, Heatwole’s company sent internal memos reassuring its employees and their spouses that there was no credible threat. “The situation we don’t want to be in is to have CNN on in our facilities and someone on TV saying, ‘This just in—terrorist threat to the pipeline,’ and all our workers and their families saying, ‘Oh, no!’ ”
Katz conceded that her group doesn’t check the scientific accuracy of each manual, or the legitimacy of every threat—although she tries to make sure that the Web site that a particular item appears on has produced credible threats in the past, and that the threat seems serious. And, she said, vetting isn’t her role. “I’m telling people what terrorists are thinking,” Katz says. “Wouldn’t you rather know that they’re thinking about the Alaska pipeline, even if this manual wouldn’t work?”
There are hundreds of extremist Web sites, but there is also a hierarchy: sites on which terrorist groups release statements and videos have the most devoted audiences. As soon as something appears, users post it on dozens of message boards, chat rooms, and blogs. For much of the past two years, activity centered on a board called Ansar; once it was shut down, with its British-based Webmaster imprisoned for his part in a bomb plot, users shifted to a board called Al Hesbah. “There was absolutely no disruption,” Katz said.
Al Hesbah has several thousand regular users, and most log on from Europe and the Middle East. The tone of the conversation is respectful—“brother” is the universal term of greeting—and dissent is not tolerated. Once in a while, someone will ask whether it is justifiable to kill Muslims or women in the course of jihad in Iraq, but in the past year, according to Rebecca Givner-Forbes, an analyst with the Terrorism Research Center, “that has pretty much stopped.”
One afternoon early last fall, Katz came across a new thread. It was about her. A jihadi had posted a link to the SITE Institute’s Web site. “The SITE is lurking,” he wrote. Its people were on the boards, using false names and acting as spies. He urged his brothers to ferret them out and expel them.
But another poster responded that SITE might be providing a valuable service. He wrote, “They translate the statements into English on our behalf, and they do not analyze them. Why do we not grab the opportunity?” Eventually, a moderator on the site weighed in: “All right, men, do not argue. We will carry out an election, and then we will see if we should keep them or expel them—what do you think? I am a democratic operative, don’t you think?” He ended with a smiley-face emoticon. By the time attention shifted to a new thread, opinion was running fifty-fifty as to whether SITE was, on balance, good for jihad.
Terrorism is, in part, theatre and psychological warfare, and many of the statements that Katz translates are propaganda intended to raise the profile of obscure groups. Katz sees her audience mainly as professionals—people whose job it is to stop terrorism or uncover it. But, by creating a shortcut around government agencies, she may also be contributing to the tendency that the media (and at times the government) has displayed since 9/11 to dramatize even the flimsiest threat. In recent months, Katz has noticed Algerian radicals and Afghan terrorists releasing videos that mirror Zarqawi’s in substance and tone and that are also designed to impress young militants in the West. Katz believes that the terrorists have been underestimated, and that more people should have direct access to what they are thinking and saying. The terrorists, of course, think so, too.
Katz has a very specific vision of the counterterrorism problem, which she shares with most of the other contractors and consultants who do what she does. They believe that the government has failed to appreciate the threat of Islamic extremism, and that its feel for counterterrorism is all wrong. As they see it, the best way to fight terrorists is to go at it not like G-men, with two-year assignments and query letters to the staff attorneys, but the way the terrorists do, with fury and the conviction that history will turn on the decisions you make—as an obsession and as a life style. Worrying about overestimating the threat is beside the point, because underestimating the threat is so much worse.
“The problem isn’t Rita Katz—the problem is our political conversation about terrorism,” Timothy Naftali says. “Now, after September 11th, there’s no incentive for anyone in politics or the media to say the Alaska pipeline’s fine, and nobody’s cows are going to be poisoned by the terrorists. And so you have these little eruptions of anxiety. But, for me, look, the world is wired now: either you take the risks that come with giving people—not just the government—this kind of access to information or you leave them. I take them.”
In my last posting I mentioned about the frozen-video and how nothing indicates that Bin Laden is alive today. This was done with video and audio analysis. However, a couple of people have written to me and asked about the image analysis.
As far as my tools can detect, there has been no image manipulation of the Bin Laden portion of the image beyond contrast adjustment. His beard really does appear to be that color. (I've asked another graphics researcher to also look at the image I analyzed, as a cross-check.)
One of the limitations of image analysis is that staged environments are not digital fakes. For example, when China Airlines painting over their logo on crashed planes, the pictures did not analyze as being faked -- because they were not. In the case of his beard, it could be a costume mask, or a trimmed and dyed beard.
Another limitation concerns image size and resaves. If you make a picture small enough or resave it many times, then the fine details vanish. A picture that looks obviously like a fake cannot be detected as being a fake.
With regards to Bin Laden's beard... It cannot be detected with any of my tools as being digitally modified. However:
- The whole inner frame of Bin Laden was resaved at least twice. The number of reseaves does not appear to be enough to distort significant modifications.
- The colorful border was also saved twice. However...
- Even though the Bin Laden frame and border were both saved twice each, they were not saved at the same time. I know this because the Jpeg artifacts (8x8 squares) are on the 8x8 grid for the Bin Laden frame, but are shifted over on the border -- the border's 8x8 artifacts do not lie on the Jpeg 8x8 grid.
- The whole video frame (border + Bin Laden) was combined from many parts. Here's the order, starting with the last thing added:
- As-Sahab logo, English subtitles, and text below Bin Laden (alternates between English and Arabic) was added last.
- "The Solution" and Arabic in the top right corner was the penultimate addition.
- The Bin Laden frame and border were combined.
- In the Bin Laden frame, there is no indication of manipulation and no indication of a chromakey replacement. In the border, the spinning globe was modified along with the strobing colors.
- As-Sahab logo, English subtitles, and text below Bin Laden (alternates between English and Arabic) was added last.
- Both saturation and PCA shows fine horizontal stripes on Bin Laden and the background. These came from interlaced video sources. In contrast, the text elements and As-Sahab logo appear to be from non-interlaced sources.
My findings are certainly not perfect. I just got the results from a blind test for image analysis. My overall accuracy was 84%. For the question, "Is it computer graphics (CG)?", my tools and methods had 0% false-positives (no claims that a real image is CG), and 27% false-negatives where I claimed the image was real but it was really CG. And most of the false-negatives were award winners from the CG Society; it is a good thing most regular people don't have this kind of artistic skill. Ignoring the CG Society's award winners, my accuracy was in the 90 percentile, but there is always room for error.
As for the video and audio analysis: there is no error. The splices are real, and the video does not appear to show any recent indication of Osama Bin Laden being alive today.
On Saturday morning I found a copy of the full Bin Laden (2007-09-07) video. It is 677 Megs and took over two hours to download. By Saturday evening I had finished analyzing the video, and I completed the audio analysis this morning. (There is also a 3-minute version that is the first 3 minutes from the full video.)
My findings? I strongly believe that Bin Laden is dead.
Let's see how I did on my Friday prediction...
- "Assuming the video includes animation and not a still picture, the clips will contain splices."
I nailed this. There are some very obvious places where the video has been spliced. Here's some examples:
- 1:39 -- A little more than a minute and a half into the video is a splice. He goes from looking out to looking down in less than 1/25th of a second.
- 13:13 -- The second splice. Not as big, but definitely there.
There are actually six splices in the video as far as I can tell. In the audio track are even more splices.
The video itself was filmed in two takes. The first section opens the video and ends at 1:56. The second section begins at 12:29 and continues until 14:01. That's right: the entire 26 minute video has less than four minutes of animated footage. The rest of the video just shows a still-frame of Bin Laden. The two sections are clearly from different recordings because the desk is closer to the camera in the second section.
- 1:39 -- A little more than a minute and a half into the video is a splice. He goes from looking out to looking down in less than 1/25th of a second.
- "The video will not contain any new content. Instead, it will contain a series of clips from old videos."
The video shows Bin Laden in his white hat, white shirt, and yellow sweater. This is the same clothing he wore in the 2004-10-29 video. In 2004 he had it unzipped, but in 2007 he zipped up the bottom half. Besides the clothing, it appears to be the same background, same lighting, and same desk. Even the camera angle is almost identical.
So here's my question... If you were on the run through mountains on foot, would you be carrying around unnecessary clothing? No - you would only take the essentials. A fancy shirt and yellow sweater are not essential for mountain life on the run. If, in the future, you find that you need a nice shirt and sweater, you would get new ones.
Yet here is Bin Laden in the same clothing, same studio, same studio setup, and same desk THREE YEARS LATER. In fact, his stack of papers that he reads are moved between the exact same stacks. If you overlay the 2007 video with the 2004 video, his face has not changed in three years -- only his beard is darker and the contrast on the picture has been adjusted.
What are the chances of nothing changing (except his beard) in three years? Virtually zero. The clips appear to have been recorded three years ago.
The audio does make reference to relatively current events (people and places). However, these references are ONLY made during the frozen-frame portions and only after splices in the audio track. The animated portions make no references to current events.
- "The video will probably be interspersed with footage of fighters and warriors engaged in battle."
I missed this. Instead of fighters, they simply have a frozen-frame of him.
So how did they make the video? They took 3.5 minutes of old video and spliced in a frozen-frame with new audio. The new audio has no accompanying "live" video and consists of multiple audio recordings.
The big question is: is the audio from Bin Laden? I'm not an audio expert (yet) and since I don't know Arabic, I cannot tell if there is an accent or if the accent changes. I do know that the room echo and background sounds change during different audio clips. And there are so many splices that I cannot help but wonder if someone spliced words and phrases together. I also cannot rule out a vocal imitator during the frozen-frame audio. The only way to prove that the audio is really Bin Laden is to see him talking in the video, but all references to current-events come during the frozen-frame section.
So is Bin Laden still alive? I see no proof of his existance that is newer than three years ago. Bin Laden is as alive as Elvis.
Last night news sources like USA Today began to report on an As-Sahab announcement, declaring that a new Bin Laden video is coming. It has not even been 24 hours and I already have people ask me about the video.
The video has not yet been released, so there is nothing for me to analyze... except for the trailer:
The image is an animated GIF. GIFs, by definition, are low quality (256 colors max). And this one is really tiny. As a result, I cannot do much with image analysis.
However, I have watched enough As-Sahab videos to make some pretty good guesses about the content. I've been saying for a while now that I believe I can determine information about the entire video by looking at one frame.
Assuming this frame actually comes from the video they are about to release...
- The video will not contain any new content. Instead, it will contain a series of clips from old videos. Although the clips may be from old videos, they may not have been released before now. (There are lots of cutting-room clips. I cannot wait to see the Bin Laden blooper and out-takes. Anyone want to post one to YouTube?)
- Assuming the video includes animation and not a still picture, the clips will contain splices -- places where the animation appears jerky as they try to smooth out some of the splicing. (They did this in some of the Zawahiri videos.)
- The video will probably be interspersed with footage of fighters and warriors engaged in battle.
This particular frame appears to be a re-colored frame from the October 29, 2004 video of Bin Laden. In particular, he looks to be wearing the same clothing, same background, and same beard length. His beard look darkened and the contrast looks tweaked -- the whites are too white and the dark background has too much texture likely caused by extreme contrast modification. The higher contrast has also brought out the dark circles under his eyes, making him look more gaunt.
October 29, 2004:
September 6, 2007:
If I end up speaking at Black Hat DC, then I hope to update my slides with newer analysis of As-Sahab videos.