Saddam's call to arms on latest tape probably genuine, says CIA

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The Independent Online

A recording purporting to have been made by Saddam Hussein urging Iraqi citizens to resist US and British occupying forces was probably genuine, the CIA said yesterday.

Bill Harlow, a spokesman for the intelligence agency, said that after examining the crackly recording, experts believed it probably was the voice of the former dictator.

Exactly when the recording was made was unclear, Mr Harlow added. But he added: "The CIA's assessment, after a technical analysis of the tape, is that it is most likely his voice." The recording was broadcast on 4 July, Independence Day in the US, by the Arab television network al-Jazeera. On it, the voice urges the people of Iraq to resist the American forces and to support those fighters who have taken up arms. "I urge you to protect the heroic resistance fighters and not to give the infidel invaders or their aides any information or help," it says. "The next few days, God willing, will be arduous for the infidel invaders and honourable for the faithful."

It adds: "People have been asking why they haven't heard the voice of Saddam Hussein. We face a lot of trouble in getting our voice to you even though we have been trying."

Officials said the recording bore many of the marks of Saddam's style and that the rhetoric and substance of the message was consistent with other messages he had recorded for broadcast to supporters.

The tape was broadcast a day after the US offered a $25m (£15m) reward for information leading to Saddam's capture.