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US Officials: Latest Bin Laden Tape Authenticated


U.S. intelligence officials have concluded with what they call "high confidence" that an audiotape posted on an Islamist website contains the voice of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.

Officials say the tape, which surfaced Thursday, is consistent in tone and message with previous ones.

The message, which runs more than one hour in length, criticizes the Saudi monarchy for unrest in the country, and mocks its attempts at reform, saying change will only come when the monarchy is removed.

The speaker on the tape also encourages attacks against oil installations in Iraq and the Persian Gulf, and praises the militants who attacked the U.S. consulate in the Saudi city of Jeddah earlier this month, killing five non-American staff members.

This was the latest in a wave of attacks against Saudi and Western interests in the kingdom, which has been battling suspected al-Qaida-linked militants since May 2003.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.