New 'Saddam' Tape Airs on Arabic Television

Two Arabic television channels on Tuesday aired another purported message from deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

The "new" Saddam audio tape was left outside the Baghdad offices of the Beirut-based Al-Hayat-Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (search), which later played it on air.

Soon afterward, the Qatar-based satellite news channel Al Jazeera (search) aired a very similar recording. One journalist who heard extracts from both broadcasts said they appeared to be the same.

Journalists familiar with Saddam's voice said the Al Hayat-LBC tape sounded authentic. No date was given for its production.

However, much of the content of both broadcasts was identical to that of a tape received by The Sydney Morning Herald in May. The Australian newspaper made that recording available on its Web site.

"I appeal to you, O Iraqis, Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen, Shia or Sunni, Christians or Muslims, it is your duty to expel the aggressor invaders from our country," the voice on the Al Hayat-LBC tape said.

The quotation was on the Sydney Morning Herald tape — with identical wording in Arabic.

"The return to underground operations that we started from the beginning is the best way for Iraqis to achieve independence," the voice said on the Al Jazeera broadcast. The voice added he was speaking "from inside glorious Iraq." Both phrases were also on the Sydney Morning Herald tape.

"Unify your ranks and act as one hand," the voice on the Al Hayat-LBC tape said. "Boycott the occupying soldiers ... Act and do not let the occupying forces settle down in your land."

"He who favors division over unity, and acts to divide ranks instead of unifying them, is not only a foreign occupier but he is also the enemy of God and the people," the Al Jazeera voice said, possibly warning the numerous Iraqis collaborating with coalition forces.

"Go on, you Iraqis, as victory is near, God willing," the Al Jazeera voice concluded.

The speaker on the Al Hayat-LBC tape also said:

— I am addressing you from inside Iraq.

— I am happy that some of you celebrated my birthday on April 28.

— I encourage you to boycott American goods and write anti-American graffiti.

— American foreign policy is influenced by the Zionists.

— Western media are misrepresenting events in Iraq.

The wording on the latest recording was similar to that of an earlier tape broadcast on Al Jazeera Friday, but both Al Hayat-LBC and Al Jazeera said it was new.

"It is a new tape, other than the one that we aired" Friday, said an Al Jazeera producer, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Al Jazeera editor-in-chief Ibrahim Hilal said the tape aired Tuesday was received two days ago.

"The tape doesn't carry any indication of when it was recorded," Hilal said.

At Al Hayat-LBC in Beirut, an official said a staffer in its Baghdad office found the Saddam tape in front of the door Tuesday morning. He played it and found it was a message from Saddam, the official said speaking on condition of anonymity.

The tape broadcast by Al Hayat-LBC was about 15 minutes long, but the sound quality was so poor that it was extremely difficult to distinguish what the speaker was saying.

On Monday, the CIA said the tape aired Friday was probably authentic, but its own poor quality prevented officials from being certain.

"The CIA's assessment, after a technical analysis of the tape, is that it's most likely his voice," CIA spokesman Bill Harlow said Monday. "The exact date of the recording cannot be determined."

Al Jazeera said Friday's tape was played to the network over the telephone, which helped to explain its poor quality.

The speaker on the Friday tape claims the recording was made on June 14. Intelligence officials said there were no references in the message that ruled out the possibility that it was recorded before that date.

In the first recording, the speaker claims to be Saddam, and says that he is in Iraq directing attacks on coalition forces. He calls on Iraqis to resist the "infidel occupiers."

Coalition forces have been under attack by Iraqi militants almost daily since President Bush declared the war officially over on May 1.

If resistance fighters believed the former Iraqi president were still alive, military officials think they would have more reason to fight on.

"We have to assume that Saddam is alive ... he is trying to appeal to the Arab mindset," Fox News military analyst Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney said Friday.

In early May, an audio tape found in Baghdad purporting to be Saddam called on Iraqis to wage a "secret" war against occupying coalition forces.

The voice referred several times to the occupation of Iraq by foreign forces and to Saddam's April 28 birthday. It also accused the U.S. army of looting the Iraqi National Museum.

An earlier video showed an exhausted Saddam telling Iraqis that God would help them expel the coalition occupiers. The tape supposedly was made April 9, the day the Iraqi government collapsed.

Several days later, Abu Dhabi television (search) broadcast a videotape showing Saddam in the middle of an enthusiastic crowd in the Sunni-dominated Azamiyah district of Baghdad, supposedly on April 9.

On April 30, a purported fax from Saddam published in the London-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi urged Iraqis to "rise up" against occupation.

U.S. intelligence and Bush administration officials have been skeptical of the communications.

There has been no conclusive evidence so far to determine whether Saddam is dead or alive. Massive bomb strikes were conducted twice on buildings he was thought to be occupying.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.