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Al Qaeda-linked Web site posts bin Laden tape text

From Henry Shuster

Osama bin Laden in a 1998 photograph
Osama bin Laden in a 1998 photograph

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New audiotape renews speculation on whereabouts of Osama bin Laden.
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Audiotape allegedly has bin Laden praising recent attacks in Bali and Moscow.
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• Graphic: Voice analysis 
• On the Scene: Chilling threats 
• Interactive: The hunt for al Qaeda
• Audio slide show: Bin Laden's audio message, 2/03
• Special report: Terror on tape
• Special report: War against terror
April 11, 2002, Tunisian island of Djerba
Bombing of Ghriba synagogue kills more than 20 people, mostly German tourists.
May 8, Karachi, Pakistan
Suicide car bomber kills 11 French navy experts, two Pakistanis.
October 6, off Yemen coast
Explosive-packed boat attacks French tanker, killing one crewman.
October 8, Kuwait island Failaka
Two Kuwaiti civilians fire on U.S. Marines, killing one and wounding another.
October 12, Indonesia island of Bali
Bombings at nightclubs kill at least 180 people.
October 23-26, Moscow
Chechen gunmen hold several hundred hostages inside theater. More than 100 killed, mostly by gas used by Russian special forces.

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- A Web site believed linked to al Qaeda has posted the text of the recent message purportedly from Osama bin Laden.

The Web site, run by a group that bills itself as the Institute for Research and Islamic Studies -- or by the acronym alneda in Arabic -- has carried previous statements that have come from bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri. It also has posted audio and video from the group.

The text of the latest audiotape, which was first played Tuesday on the Qatar-based, Arabic language television network Al-Jazeera, was posted on the Web site's home page under a headline, "From Osama bin Laden to the nations allied with the unjust United States government."

In a separate news digest on the Web site, there were stories about the tape and the reaction to it that had been lifted from and other news outlets.

Coalition intelligence sources have said they believe the tape is authentic and unedited. That view has been reflected privately by U.S. officials. However, Attorney General John Ashcroft said Wednesday the tape was still being analyzed.

President Bush said Wednesday that the message from the tape was clear. "Whoever put this tape out has put the world on notice yet again that we're at war and that we need to take these messages very seriously, and we will," he said.

Bush added that the U.S. government and its allies continue to pursue terrorists. "We'll chase these people down one at a time," he said. "It doesn't matter how long it takes; we'll find them and bring them to justice."

Al Qaeda regrouping?

Linguists at the U.S. National Security Agency who know bin Laden's voice well said they are "almost certain" it is him on the tape, although the timbre of his speech is "somewhat different" from what it was on previous tapes, sources said. (More on tape analysis)

Other U.S. officials said they believe the tape was transmitted over a telephone line at some point during its journey from where it was recorded to the offices of Al-Jazeera.

Coalition intelligence sources said that there is no indication the tape had been edited and that they think the tape dates from the last 2 1/2 weeks.

The message calls Bush the "pharaoh of the century" and vows to avenge the deaths of Afghans, Iraqis and Palestinians.

"Why it is acceptable for [Muslims] to live with fear, murder, destruction, displacement, the orphaning of children and the widowing of women, but peace, security and happiness should be for you? This is not fair," the voice on the tape says.

"Now is the time to become equals. Just like you kill us, we will kill you."

The speaker refers to the killings of Germans in Tunisia and French in Pakistan in the past year, to the bombing of a French tanker off Yemen, to the killings of a U.S. Marine in Kuwait and Britons and Australians in the Indonesian resort isle of Bali last month and to the seizure of a Moscow theater by Chechen rebels.

The tape's message came as security services and police in Europe are on high alert. Coalition intelligence agencies have warned that the threat of a new and massive attack is higher now than at any time since the September 11, 2001, attacks against the United States.

CIA Director George Tenet said in October that al Qaeda had reorganized since U.S. attacks in Afghanistan last year and "you must make the assumption that al Qaeda is in an execution phase and intends to strike us here and overseas."

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