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?

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • DANNY says:

    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…

  • grh says:

    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.

  • Yossarian says:

    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.

  • T Ruth says:


  • Amy says:

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

  • Salman Nazeer says:

    The military establishment of Pakistan comprising ISI, Army, Navy and Air Forice is India


Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram