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Iraq: CIA Says Purported Audiotape Of Hussein Probably Is Authentic


Washington, 7 July 2003 (RFE/RL) -- CIA officials said in Washington today that they think a recently released audiotape, purportedly containing the voice of Saddam Hussein, is probably authentic. The Arabic television channel Al-Jazeera broadcast the audiotape on 4 July. The recording, which allegedly was made on 14 June, warns of more bloodshed in Iraq. The voice on the tape says that "cells and brigades of jihad" had been "formed on a large scale" throughout Iraq to fight troops of the U.S.-led coalition.

CIA spokesman Bill Harlow said that although the voice on the tape most likely is that of Hussein, the exact date of the recording could not be determined.

Hussein's whereabouts have been unknown since before the collapse of his regime on 9 April. The United States has offered a $25 million reward for information leading to Hussein's arrest or the recovery of his body.

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