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Saturday, December 29, 2007
 

Bizarre Piano Soundtrack on New Bin Laden Tape

A new Osama bin Laden video popped up on jihadist message boards today. It's actually an audio tape with a still image of bin Laden overlaid on the clip. What's truly bizarre about the clip is that the first several minutes feature piano music playing as bin Laden talks.

Although the voice sounds like bin Laden, the clip is well below normal As-Sahab production values and lacks subtitles. The whole thing is kind of bizarre, to the point of looking forged, though I would not jump to that conclusion just yet.

The piano music is the strangest element. Other As-Sahab productions have featured various kinds of music, often incongruously, but this is stranger than any previous release. Later in the tape, the music stops. There is a hint of background sound, suggesting the piano solo may be intended to mask some background noise that could provide a clue to bin Laden's whereabouts.

If that is the case, the sum total of the presentation suggests it wasn't done by al Qaeda's normal media crew (presumed to be led by Amercian Adam Gadahn, aka Azzam the American). Whatever the ultimate explanation, there's probably some significance to be read into the aberrations.

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INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.

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