But first, a little on the authenticity of the Al-Jazeera cassette. For one, the voice on it is remarkable in its similarity to bin Laden's; ditto, tonal and linguistic resemblances. Unlike other such audiotapes released from the time the US bombed the Tora Bora caves, where bin Laden was reportedly hiding till last December, last week's Al-Jazeera cassette referred to some very recent events—the killing of US marines in Kuwait, the Bali bombing and the Moscow theatre siege. All this in bin Laden's voice is considered telling testimony that he is alive.
Experts in the US are analysing the audiotape to rule out the possibility of tampering. But the opinion of linguistic experts prompted President George Bush to say the world "has been put on notice". For, the cassette has the Al Qaeda leader warning, "You will be killed just as we are killed, bombed as we are bombed. Expect more suffering."