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Thursday, May 19, 2011

New bin Laden Video Still Just Audio

Osama bin Laden's "final" message was released on jihadist forums last night. You can see the video at Jihadology and read about its praise for the Arab uprisings at the New York Times.

For now, my only comment on this communique is note, with some interest, that the release is an audio-only communique wrapped in a video that amounts to nothing more than a still picture of bin Laden.

As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, we now know that bin Laden had very good video recording equipment at his Abbottabad manse and he clearly intended for his videos to be seen -- as evidenced by his dyed beard and carefully chosen garb.

Any operational security rationale to withhold video in favor of audio (which was already paper-thin) is now completely voided by bin Laden's death. So again I wonder: Why no video?

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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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