posted on Jan, 23 2004 @ 06:01 PM
"Osama’s voice on tape proves that the leader of al Qaeda is still alive. Or does it?"
Found this interesting article.
No, it wasn't done by the CIA or any other intelligence organization, but it is from MIT.
It gives a few fairly indepth analysis and three possibilities:
"That’s good enough to detect some kinds of deception, but not all. Here are three possibilities:
1. The tape was made by an impressionist trying to imitate bin Laden’s voice. Good impressionists can mimic the tone and pacing of their subject, but
they often overemphasize obvious quirks, much as a caricaturist exaggerates dominant physical features. That makes it amusing to hear, but it won’t
fool an analyst. Impressionists are not good at catching the more subtle features that even simple voice recognition software uses. This kind of
counterfeit can almost certainly be ruled out.
2. The tape was made by cutting and pasting true excerpts from bin Laden past speeches. Much of the tape could be unchanged from a prior recording.
The tough part for the counterfeiter was adding mention of Saddam’s capture, where words and phrases had to be rearranged. To detect such a forgery, a
good analyst would listen for discontinuities in the background noise, or small blips indicating the tape was spliced. Digital processing by the tape
maker can remove such artifacts, but they leave behind their own; low-pass filters, for example, create easily detected changes in the spectrum of the
background hiss. (That’s why true audiophiles dislike noise suppression filters. It is readily noticed by a trained ear.) Such cutting and pasting,
even with digital filtering, would have been detected by the CIA. Digital processing can be detected in other ways; for example, it sometimes
generates false frequencies (called aliases). Such tampering would have raised suspicions. Therefore this scenario can probably be ruled out as well.
3. The tape was a recording of one of Osama bin Laden’s sons, who was deliberately trying to sound like his father. This is, in my mind, the most
I think its all mainly theory and hypothesis.
What do you folks think? Probable? Possible? Maybe? No? Yes?
The author goes on to give his opinion/scenerio:
"Here is my scenario:
Osama bin Laden was killed at Tora Bora—or his dialysis machine was destroyed and he died shortly afterwards. The strongest evidence for this is the
absence of new videos. Al Qaeda fears that news of his death will shock and discourage many of its supporters. There is no other leader who can hold
together this diverse and contentious organization, so they believe that they need to keep the news secret. The initial tapes they released were old
recordings of former speeches. But many supporters were concerned. They, like me, noticed the absence of videos, and of speeches with clear date
indicators. Al Qaeda knew a video counterfeit would be detected, but they noticed that Saad sounded a lot like his father. They had him listen to his
father’s speeches, and practice enunciating them with a similar style. It took many attempts, but Saad's voice on the final tape was good enough to
deceive not only al Qaeda’s foreign legions, but even some analysts at the CIA.
And if my personal experience is indicative, the tapes may even have fooled one or more of Osama bin Laden’s wives."
Here's another thought....it may be quite possible that 'sources' within and outside the US know that OBL is indeed dead but do not want to
publically CONFIRM this, being that it would be counter-productive in finding and locating members of Al Qaeda and terrorist organization that are
associated with Al Qaeda, and would 'strangle' any type of information (ie: internet chatter, etc.) that would help thwart any possible Al Qaeda
planned activities in the US or abroad.
What you folks think on this article and the information and hypothesis's given?
[Edited on 23-1-2004 by Seekerof]