The satellite channel Al-Arabiya has now withdrawn a tape it broadcast Saturday containing a voice claiming to be that of Osama bin Laden.
Al-Arabiya gave no reason for pulling the tape, but a rival channel claimed it aired the tape two months ago. Al-Jazeera says it broadcast the same material in October.
On the tape, a voice claiming to be that of bin Laden praised attacks on U-S forces in Iraq. It also said the Americans were waging a “new crusade against the Islamic world.”
A journalist reached at Al-Arabiya says the tape has been withdrawn and won’t be aired again. The journalist refused to elaborate.
Separately, a CIA technical analysis of an audio tape purported to be of senior al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has found it is "most likely" authentic, a U.S. official said Saturday.
"Our analysis is, yes, it was most likely him," the official told reporters.
Arabic television al Jazeera aired the tape Friday, in which al-Qaida's second in command said his group was chasing Americans everywhere, including the United States.
"America has been defeated (by) our fighters despite all its military might, its weaponry. ... With God's help we are still chasing Americans and their allies everywhere, including their homeland," said al-Zawahiri, who the United States says is Osama bin Laden's deputy.
The channel’s editors said they received the tape earlier Friday through the mail.
The voice on the tape mentioned a visit to Iraq by U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, which took place in late October. The speaker did not mention last weekend’s capture of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Video: Security officials on edge
The speaker noted that two years have passed since the battle of Tora Bora, a major clash between U.S.-led forces and al-Qaida fighters in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan.
“Two years after Tora Bora, the American bloodshed started to increase in Iraq, and the Americans have become unable to defend themselves or even defend their big criminals such as Wolfowitz,” he said.
He was referring to an Oct. 26 rocket attack that barraged the Baghdad hotel where Wolfowitz was staying. A U.S. colonel was killed in that attack, and Wolfowitz escaped unharmed.
Al-Jazeera’s newscaster quoted the tape as saying: “Those renegades who offered the Americans military bases and support to kill Muslims should prepare for the day of settling scores because the Americans are ready to flee.”
Montasser el-Zayat, an Egyptian lawyer who knows al-Zawahiri, heard the tape and said it was undoubtedly al-Zawahiri’s voice.
El-Zayat spent three years in an Egyptian prison with al-Zawahiri in the early 1980s on charges related to President Anwar Sadat’s 1981 assassination.
The warning came as a U.S. intelligence official said U.S. authorities were studying a terror threat to New York and were very concerned by the volume of threats to U.S. interests a home and overseas.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
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