LAWFUEL -The Legal Newswire – Has bin Laden got a false beard in his new tape? That’s one question US Homeland Security is asking about a new video of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, which appears to have been created as recently as this summer, does not make any explicit threats against the United States, an official said Friday.
The U.S. government official told The Associated Press that the footage, which runs nearly 30 minutes long, includes references to recent events in the U.S. involvement in the war in Iraq.
ABC News reported that the bin Laden tape also mentions recent events such as France’s presidential election in May, and the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing in August.
These references may bolster the video’s authenticity, which intelligence officials are still trying to validate.
The Homeland Security Department said Friday it had no credible information warning of an imminent threat to the United States.
The video, which the U.S. government recently obtained, is released to coincide with the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Al Jazeera, the Arab satellite TV news network, said the video is likely to be shown in the next 72 hours.
Al Qaeda’s media arm announced the video through a banner ad on an Islamist website. The ad included a still photo of bin Laden, who hasn’t appeared in new video footage since October 2004, the eve of U.S. presidential election.
In the image, bin Laden has a fully black beard. Past images showed his beard to be grey with dark streaks.
“It does look oddly like he is wearing a false beard,” former U.S. counterterrorism official Richard Clarke told ABC News.
“If we go back to the tape three years ago, he had a very white beard. This looks like a phony beard that has been pasted on.”