Wednesday, February 12, 2003

the guardian: bin laden offers tips to defend iraq
"Al-Jazeera, the Arab satellite channel that specialises in Osama bin Laden scoops, was itself scooped yesterday by the US secretary of state, Colin Powell. When Mr Powell announced that the station would shortly broadcast a new tape from the al-Qaida leader, executives at the TV studio in Qatar appeared flummoxed. The editor at first denied it and the press spokesman declined to comment.
But Mr Powell's prediction came true. The 16-minute audio tape - purportedly the ninth recording from al-Qaida received by al-Jazeera since the start of the Afghan war - arrived in the studio just after 7pm London time. It came "in a similar way" to others, according to a spokesman, Jihad Ballout.
So perhaps Bin Laden has scored an own goal. Or perhaps it is not the voice of the al-Qaida leader at all.
Could it simply be an actor, hired by the CIA, addressing the world from Langley, Virginia?

The trouble with Bin Laden tapes is that nobody can ever be quite sure."

indeed, i, too, wonder, how colin powell knew about the tape before al-jazeera did and am more than amazed someone actually wrote in a paper what my first idea was. what a strange world this one is.
(article via graeme)