US believes bin Laden tape authentic

Other News Materials 21 March 2008 01:22 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - The US intelligence community has confirmed that the voice on a tape threatening to launch attacks against Europe belonged to al-Qaeda figurehead Osama bin Laden, the White House said Thursday.

"So that would mean that, for all that we know, that he is still alive," spokeswoman Dana Perino said.

The IntelCenter, a private firm outside Washington that monitors terrorist activities on the internet, published the tape wherein bin Laden promised to retaliate against Europe for the publication by newspapers of drawings caricaturing the Prophet Mohammed.

The tape appeared Wednesday evening and coinciding with the five year anniversary of the war in Iraq. Bin Laden said the publication of the drawings, which originated in Denmark in 2005 before spreading to other European newspapers, were a greater crime than "your killing of our women and children."

"This is the greater and more serious tragedy, and reckoning for it will be more severe," he said.

Danish authorities said Thursday there was no increased risk of a terrorist attack following the bin Laden threats.

The Mohammed drawings sparked massive and deadly protests throughout the Muslim world.