New Videotape From Bin Laden; Al Qaeda's No. 1 Still Alive

Intelligence sources tell ABC News they believe the video message from Osama bin Laden is authentic, recently produced and evidence the al Qaeda leader is still alive.

According to government sources, an initial analysis of the tape indicates "a lot of chest thumping" and of course historical references "alluding" to the successful attack on New York.

And a CIA spokesman told ABC News, "It's quite possible this is a new video."

U.S. authorities earlier this morning said the tape's transcript is aimed at potential suicide bombers who he urges to carry out missions against the West.

Good Morning America Video: Bin Laden Alive?

The jihadist Web site announced the tape with a banner, showing a still picture of bin Laden, now 50 years old, looking fit with a full beard of dark black hair, no gray at all.

"It does look oddly like he is wearing a false beard," Richard Clarke, a former White House counterterrorism official and now ABC News consultant, said. "If we go back to the tape three years, he had a very white beard. This looks like a phony beard that has been passed on."

The "phony beard" may be an important clue as to where bin Laden is hiding, according to Clarke.

"One place where a beard would stand out would be southeast Asia, the Philippines, Indonesia," Clarke told ABC News. "No one's thought he was there, but that is an environment where most men, Muslim men don't have beards."

U.S. officials say there is little doubt the al Qaeda leader timed his latest message to the 9/11 anniversary.

"He came up on this occasion to prove he's alive, to taunt us and to take advantage of the 9/11 remembrance ceremonies to get some propaganda," Clarke said.

The actual videotape – bin Laden's first in 35 months since October 2004 – is expected to be released in the next few days or hours.

Sources in the intelligence community, who are already busy analyzing the image of bin Laden for clues of his whereabouts, say the tape is likely to be a direct message to Americans.

The Department of Homeland Security released a bulletin this morning, saying it and the FBI have "no intelligence of any specific and imminent threat to the homeland at this time."

"We assess that past public statements by al-Qa'ida leaders have neither contained coded communications nor signals linked to specific terrorist attacks," the bulletin read. "The anniversary of the 11 September 2001 attacks serves as a focal point for propaganda, but al-Qa'ida previously has not timed its operations to specific dates."

The DHS also promised to "work closely with our state and local partners in our efforts to warn of potential threats. We also will continue to work with our Intelligence Community partners to identify possible threats to the Homeland."

ABC News sources say CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden met today with New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and was impressed by the "ground truth" the police department intelligence division puts together through dozens of informant reports reviewed each day.

This post has been updated.

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