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Swiss Experts Say Last Bin Laden Tape Not Authentic

Paris, 29 November 2002 (RFE/RL) -- A respected Swiss research institute says the latest audiotape statement attributed to Osama bin Laden is not authentic. The report, by the Lausanne-based Dalle Molle Institute for Perceptual Artificial Intelligence (IDIAP), contradicts the findings of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency. IDIAP says it is 95 percent certain the tape does not feature the voice of the terrorist leader. The U.S. agencies say they are almost certain it does.

France-2 TV commissioned the review of the tape. IDIAP's director, Herve Bourlard, said the institute compared the voice on the tape with 20 earlier recordings attributed to bin Laden before making the decision.

The tape was first broadcast two weeks ago on the Arabic television network al-Jazeera. In it, a man who sounds like bin Laden talked about launching new terrorist attacks against the United States and its allies.

The tape would mark the first evidence in nearly a year that bin Laden is likely alive, despite a large-scale U.S.-led campaign to capture or kill him.