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CIA Says Al-Qaida Tape 'Most Likely' Real - 2003-12-20

U.S. intelligence officials say the voice on an audiotape purportedly recorded by al-Qaida number two man Ayman al-Zawahiri is "most likely" authentic.

Officials said Saturday the findings are based on a CIA technical analysis of the recording. The Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television network broadcast the tape on Friday.

On the recording, the voice says al-Qaida is pursuing Americans in Iraq, Afghanistan, and even in their homeland. The terrorist leader also says attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq are part of resistance by Muslim militants and ordinary Iraqis, rejecting U.S. statements that supporters of Saddam Hussein are carrying out the strikes.

The Arab satellite network did not say when the audiotape was recorded, but the speaker made references to events that occurred in October.