CIA Can’t Authenticate Alleged al Qaeda Tape
Contrary to yesterday’s report by Matt Drudge, the CIA can’t authenticate alleged al Qaeda tape, according to CNN.
After a technical analysis, the CIA cannot determine whether a videotape obtained by ABC News in Pakistan featuring a man claiming to be affiliated with al Qaeda is authentic, a U.S. intelligence official said Thursday. “We have been unable to verify the tape’s authenticity,” the official said.
Portions of the 75-minute tape were aired Thursday evening by ABC News, which said it obtained the tape from a source known to have Taliban and al Qaeda contacts in the tribal regions of Pakistan. ABC said it paid the source $500 in transportation fees.
A U.S. official said there were “real questions about its authenticity.” By that, the official said, he meant that it was not clear whether the tape was prepared by someone affiliated with al Qaeda and taking orders from its leaders, or whether it was a hoax. With the presidential election just days away, officials are wary of a possible trick by an impostor. “Without being able to authenticate it, it’s just some guy talking on a tape,” the U.S. intelligence official said.