Swiss institute brands latest bin Laden tape a fake
November 29 2002
Paris: The latest audiotape statement attributed to Osama bin Laden is not authentic, according to a Swiss research institute.
The Lausanne-based Dalle Molle Institute for Perceptual Artificial Intelligence, IDIAP, said it was 95 per cent certain the tape does not feature bin
The review of the tape was commissioned by France-2 television and its findings were presented by the institute's director, Professor Herve Bourlard,
in a TV report.
Bourlard said the institute compared the voice on the tape, first aired two weeks ago on Al-Jazeera, an Arabic television network, with some 20
earlier recordings attributed to bin Laden.
Bourlard, a voice recognition expert, has worked extensively with the International Computer Science Institute at Berkeley, California. He has also
worked as co-editor-in-chief of the Speech Communication journal with ICSI director Nelson Morgan, and as an adviser to the European Commission. He is
the author or co-author of 150 research papers and two books.
On its Internet site, the IDIAP describes itself as a semiprivate research institute affiliated with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, a
highly respected organisation, and the University of Geneva. It carries out research in the fields of speech and speaker recognition, computer vision
and machine learning.
Officials at the institute could not be reached for comment late today.
US experts have maintained the tape will likely never be fully authenticated because its poor quality defies complete analysis by even the most
sophisticated voice print technology.
But US experts who have heard it generally support the conclusion by US law enforcement officials that it probably is bin Laden speaking.
In the tape, the speaker refers to recent terrorist strikes US officials believe are connected to bin Laden's al-Qaeda network. If fully verified, it
would provide the first evidence in a year that bin Laden survived US bombing in Afghanistan.