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Osama bin Blurry


Is that Osama bin Laden? Photo from Danger Room.

Did Osama bin Laden make a mysterious appearance on a video released by al Qaeda? Danger Room's Adam Rawnsley has the scoop:

This may be something. It may be nothing. But if you check out al-Qaeda's latest video, there's a blurry image that bears a striking resemblance to a certain son of a Saudi construction magnate. Either that or I need new glasses.

Last night, al-Qaeda's media unit, As-Sahab productions, released a video featuring a lengthy sermon from the group's theological star Abu Yahya al-Libi. Most of it is pretty typical stuff. But towards the end, things get interesting.

The camera blurs and closes in on the assembled crowd hugging and congratulating al-Libi. One of those fuzzy well-wishers, some in the Italian press are saying, bears a striking resemblance to one Osama Bin Laden. Danger Room pulled a few stills from the video so you can judge for yourself.

According to one of my most trusted sources, the blurry image seen on the tape is indeed Osama bin Laden.

One of the reasons that this is convincing is that the blurry image remains in the video. As Sahab, which produces al Qaeda's propaganda, is very selective in the information it releases, and rarely leaves garbage in its videos. As Sahab intentionally leaves in this clip, for reasons unknown. Does al Qaeda want to generate a buzz? Is this a hidden message? Perhaps this is a precursor to a new bin Laden tape?

READER COMMENTS: "Osama bin Blurry"

Posted by DANNY at October 28, 2009 5:55 PM ET:

It looks like a blurry dirty wizard. It could be the guy we have locked up too, SM, except he's in cuba. It's a pretty common look if you ask me. It's so spiritual everyone is doing it. Almost a spiritual as the burka. It's diffidently catching on, even old men do it. it's all the rage these days. it's making me blurry...

Posted by grh at October 28, 2009 9:41 PM ET:

I assert it is a command and control signal for a big attack/attempted attack (hopefully). They only do things for a reason and al Shabab seems to be very organized. I would like to find their studio(s) and put them at the top of a target list, no matter the physical location.

We all know how much the cave dweller pines for weapons of mass destruction/effect (WMD/E). Let pray AQ does not have any 'cause they will use them.

Posted by Yossarian at October 30, 2009 5:45 AM ET:

Looks like a blurry picture of either Osama Bin Laden...or my grandpa, or some other guy with a beard.

I'm not the least bit convinced on this one at all.

Posted by T Ruth at October 30, 2009 12:17 PM ET:


Posted by Amy at November 3, 2009 1:41 PM ET:

Are there more frames from the video? Wondering about a geek approach to identification.

Posted by Salman Nazeer at May 12, 2011 10:15 AM ET:

The military establishment of Pakistan comprising ISI, Army, Navy and Air Forice is India’s best ally. From the day Pakistan was formed, the Pakistani military establishment has done nothing but damage their country and her standing. From the 1971 dismemberment of East Pakistan to Bhutto’s hanging, to repeated defeats with India, ill-advised strategic depth in Afghanistan, to allying with Taliban/al Quaida, to backstabbing the US in OBL hunt, the Pakistani military establishment has uniquely harmed Pakistan society that no institution in any other country can match. Even if the Indians do nothing, I am sure, give or take another 10 years, Pakistan will completely implode, if its military maintains the preponderance that it holds today.