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CIA: Saddam's Audio Tape 'Appears to be Authentic'


The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency says an audio tape aired last week claiming to be deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein appears to be authentic.

The CIA says it conducted a technical analysis of the tape, which originally aired last Friday over the Qatari-based Al-Jazeera network. Monday, a CIA spokesman said the agency has concluded the tape is most likely Saddam's voice. The spokesman added, however, that the poor quality of the recording precludes an absolute determination of authenticity, and that the date of the recording cannot be verified.

The man purporting to be Saddam identified the date as June 14. He said he remains in Iraq and is orchestrating attacks on U.S. forces in the country. He exhorted Iraqis to resist foreign occupation.

The fate and whereabouts of Saddam Hussein have been a mystery since March, when U.S. forces bombed a palace where the one-time Iraqi leader was believed to be staying at the onset of hostilities. The United States is offering a $25 million reward for information leading to Saddam's capture.