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How Can We Tell It's Osama?

A new audio message said to be from Osama bin-Laden was broadcast on the Arab satellite TV network Al Jazeera earlier this week. Many messages from bin-Laden have been broadcast before, but earlier messages haven?t referred to recent events, giving the impression they were recorded before the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, and released in order to make us believe that bin-Laden is still alive (meaning he?s probably dead). But this message is different: it refers to recent events, such as the attack on the French tanker in Yemen on October 6, the terrorist attacks in Bali on October 12, and the Moscow theater siege on October 23. Is this really Osama?s voice?

In our November 11 story, ?Serious Claims that Osama is Alive,? we said, ?Since we can use voice identification technology to compare these broadcasts with videos on which bin-Laden speaks, we must assume that either the results are ambiguous or else intelligence officials? for some reason?want to keep us in the dark about whether Osama is alive or dead.? Now voice analysis experts say the quality of this new recording is good enough for them to tell if it?s really bin-Laden?s voice, by comparing it with recordings they know were done by him.

Steve Cain of Forensic Tape Analysis has studied audio tracks of the new message that were sent to him by TV networks and says, "It seems like it is at least clear enough and there's enough amplitude of that unknown speaker's voice that if you had a known sample of bin-Laden it would be possible." He says it would be necessary to match syllables and even whole words from the recording with previous audio from radio and TV recordings. Key vocal characteristics can then be compared on a computer program.

"There is always the possibility of error," says Tomi Kinnunnen, an expert in computer analysis of speech. "But if you have a clean sample with little noise, you can quite reliably say [who it is]."

Matsumi Suzuki of the Japan Acoustic Lab says the recording seems genuine and the speaker sounds as if he?s ill. Since bin-Laden has ordered dialysis machines and has been hospitalized for kidney disease, it?s known he doesn?t have long to live?if he?s still alive.

See Nov. 11 new story,?Serious Claims that Osama is Alive?, click here.

We?d rather believe our intelligence services are keep us in the dark than think they?re don?t have the technology to analyze voices?but after 911, we can?t be sure. Find out what?s wrong with the FBI from ?The Bureau: The Secret History of the FBI,? click here.

NOTE: This news story, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.


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