Osama's Black Beard May Indicate His Whereabouts

Bump and Update: ABC News has an explanation for the black beard in the Osama photo accompanying his upcoming video:

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."
ABC also reports U.S. authorities have obtained a transcript of the tape, which will be directed to suicide bombers.

Original Post 9/6/07
A New Osama bin Laden Video is Imminent

An Islamic website reports that Osama bin Laden will be releasing his first video since 2004 in time for the 6th anniversary of 9/11.


"Soon, God willing, video message by the Lion Sheik Osama bin laden, may God protect him," the ad says in Arabic script translated by CNN's senior editor for Arab affairs Octavia Nasr.

A counter-intelligence group says the tape can be expected in 72 hours.

< Norman Hsu : A Suicide Attempt? | Ex-DA Mike Nifong Reports to Jail; Players to Seek $30 Mil >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    He's Working For Bush (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by squeaky on Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 08:32:31 PM EST
    go wolf go. Win win for this admistration. Great material for reactionary bedwetters. What will all the contenders say?

    It's like hearing from Bernanke or Greenspan (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by jerry on Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 09:26:11 PM EST
    We wait on baited breath for any release of information.  

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by squeaky on Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 10:09:03 PM EST
    Scripted by Madison Avenue

    the phrase (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by Maryb2004 on Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 08:37:44 PM EST
    releasing his first video since 2004 sounds like it should be followed with Pre-Order Now!.

    problem... it isn't Bin Laden in the photo (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Michael Gass on Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 09:02:46 PM EST
    On Olbermann's `Countdown`, he showed a picture of Bin Laden from 2004 and the "recent" photo of Bin Laden from 2007 when he covered this story.  One problem; it wasn't the same guy.  How do I know?  The beard.  In the Middle East, men gain status and respect as they age.  One of the "signs" they use is the graying of their beard.

    Bin Laden in 2004 had an already graying beard.  In the "photo" of Bin Laden in 2007, "he" had a black beard.  

    I was deployed to Saudi Arabia in 1990.  I was stationed in Turkey in 1991-1993.  I was deployed to Iraq in 1991.  I returned from Iraq in Nov 2006.  I have spent plenty of time in the Middle East.

    Middle Eastern men don't dye their beards as the gray is seen as a sign of age, which in turn, gives them automatic status and respect in their culture as an elder.

    Many American contractors who were old enough to be gray (or have grayed prematurely), grew out a beard while in Iraq to get a measure of status and respect from the Iraqi's we worked with... and we are supposed to believe that the head of a notorious international terrorist organization dyed his beard black at his age and with his fundamental Islamic beliefs?  Sorry.

    America is being had on this story.  Since we don't see Bin Laden all over Al-Jazeera denouncing this, he must be dead already.

    isn't that special! (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by cpinva on Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 10:28:13 PM EST
    an "anniversary" video. probably be available on dvd and blu-ray from al-jazeera.

    you may well be right michael. that said, who really cares, except his nutcase followers? let's face it, with a pc, and the right application, i can be anyone i choose to be, on film. a hundred years from now, ol' osama will put out the 106th annniversary edition, and most people won't care then either.

    his nutcase followers will believe he's become a god. that's kind of the problem with nutcases, they believe what they want, facts notwithstanding.

    Bush to Democrats: (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by fafnir on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 05:41:37 AM EST

    Hey, there, (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Dulcinea on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 07:51:01 AM EST
    Mr. Bush.  This is the guy you were supposed to have hunted down years and years ago.  I know.  Why kill your golden goose when it can keep your warmongering at full pitch and the country afraid of OBL's shadow.  Coward(s).

    He's been found (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 09:17:29 AM EST

      (BTW, it is actually quite common for Arab men to die their beards dark.)

    Of course, I meant "dye" (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 09:26:25 AM EST
      The poseur, Mr Glass (any relation to Stephen?) might want to check this out:


    When's the full pay per view version released? (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Edger on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 09:36:59 AM EST
    So, Osama Walks into This Bar, See? and Bush says, "Whad'l'ya have, pardner?" and Osama says, "Well, George, what are you serving today?" and Bush says, "Fear," and Osama shouts, "Fear for everybody!" and George pours it on for the crowd. Then the presidential bartender says, "Hey, who's buying?" and Osama points a thumb at the crowd sucking down their brew. "They are," he says. And the two of them share a quiet laugh.

    The rumours (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by jondee on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 10:25:04 AM EST
    about him appearing as Fagin in a Pakistani production of Oliver touring mountain villages have been proven to be completely unfounded FYI.

    Hah. Too funny! (none / 0) (#13)
    by Edger on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 10:29:42 AM EST
    I know where bin Laden is. (none / 0) (#14)
    by Aaron on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 12:48:27 PM EST
    Right now he's sitting in George Bush's easy chair on the Crawford ranch down in Texas.  He's in constant contact with the White House, and is one of Bush's closest advisers on foreign policy and the war on terrorism.

    I hear he also babysits the Bush grandchildren along with his own on occasion, when his wives go out to shop at the local Handy Andy. He likes to dress up his grandsons in Al Qaeda garb with little plastic RPG's to play slaughter the infidels up against Bush's grandsons in replica US Marine outfits complete with body armor. Barbara continually chastises him for this effrontery but the kids love it, and bin Laden believes it's the best way to prepare our youth for their future.

    Supposedly he's developed an affinity for Pearl beer raiding George's secrets stash regularly, just don't tell his Islamic fundamentalist friends, the fermentation of grain is a no-no under current Koranic interpretation.  Though sources tell us this may change when the "Lion Sheik" takes his rightful place as leader of the Islamic world.

    Sources also tell us that bin Laden has been quietly planning run for the White House on the Republican ticket in 2008, and was just waiting for Fred Thompson to announce his candidacy, so he could steal Thompson's thunder with a surprise announcement.

    Current GOP polling indicates that he has the best chance of defeating Giuliani in the primary. The folks down in Texas, where he has become something of a local celebrity, already love him, he is an oilman at heart after all.

    His campaign slogan is traditional values, and a goat with the side of couscous in every pot.  :-)

    Which TV show will he choose (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 01:01:02 PM EST
    for his announcement?

    To Deconstructionist (none / 0) (#16)
    by Michael Gass on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 03:27:14 PM EST
    found here

    The ruling on dying hair differs for men and women. For men, it is forbidden except for two occassions, which are:

    1. One's hair has turned grey at a young age in which case it is permissible to dye it to its original colour, i.e, black.

    2. One's hair has turned grey due to old age in which case it is permissible to dye it other than the colour black.

    3. When one is in war in which case it is permissible to dye one's hair black to deceive the enemy.

    Which explains why I never met a muslim man in the Middle East that dyed their beards or hair black.

    Well your link doesn't work (none / 0) (#17)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 03:35:00 PM EST
     but I'll assume it's legit even thought the author has trouble cointing to 3.

      The point would be that your link (as did mine) completely rfutes your original point that Arab men don't dye their beards dark. Obviously, even the 2 non-war exceptions (and Bin Laden could conceivably consider himself at war, n'est-ce pas?) would cover--pretty much EVERY MAN whose hair ever went grey. Which would explain, of course why it is not at all uncommon for Arab men to dye their beards. Perhaps you just have bad eyesight (or coincidentally  ran into all the ones with really good hairdressers) but if you were in fact ever in the Middle East if you went to any city you no doubt daily passed many Arab men who used dye.


    the link must be having script issues (none / 0) (#21)
    by Michael Gass on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 03:48:39 PM EST
    It is the `Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura` (found at http://www.muis.gov.sg) which is basically the Singapore gov't Islam religion site.

    Yes, it does refute my initial claim... though there are differences between your link and mine, mainly, yours states that Islam allows men to dye their hair and beards and mine says it is forbidden to dye it black except for...

    As for me finding men "all over the Middle East" who dye their hair and beards, not where I was (Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iraq and Kuwait)... but then, I didn't sit and chat with any muslim men who were in jihad either!


    Did you not (none / 0) (#23)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 03:59:30 PM EST
     ever notice older men whose beards were a weird shade of dark red and others who were just a little "too black?"

      It's apparently common enough that medical journals have articles about guys getting rashes.



    Oh good. Nice segue into a (none / 0) (#27)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 04:21:40 PM EST
    discussion of Jim Webb's hair color. Weird.

    My wife brought up a good point... (none / 0) (#28)
    by Michael Gass on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 04:31:21 PM EST
    I was always out in the boondocks and rarely got to the "big cities" (except for Kuwait City)... So, the men (and at times, women) that I were around were more in the tribal cultures than the more "westernized" cities.

    So I hear tell the video is out (none / 0) (#18)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 03:38:34 PM EST
    and OBL tells us to convert to Islam if we want the war in Iraq to end.

    Weird statement..... (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 03:45:03 PM EST
    I don't think the military industrial complex, or their stooges in the US govt., will be impressed by a sudden mass conversion of Americans to islam and decide the profit generated in Iraq ain't worth it no more.  

    I think OBL has been holed up with some really good opium...

    A better chance would be for us all to convert to radical hippy-ism.


    It's not wierd once you accept that (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 03:55:48 PM EST
    he's Rove's hand puppet.

    That one never gets old!..... (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 04:01:08 PM EST
    That's why Rove quit....he needed to produce the new video!

    It was his idea to dye the beard ya know...greying facial hair didn't score well in the young Muhammed-freak demographic.


    you see (none / 0) (#19)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 03:39:33 PM EST
     there's always a simple solution if you just look for it.

    According to the transcript, a copy of which was obtained by ABC News, bin Laden says there are two ways to end the war.

    "The first is from our side, and it is to continue to escalate the killing and fighting against you," bin Laden says. The second is to eliminate the American democratic system of government.

    "It has now become clear to you and the entire world the impotence of the democratic system and how it plays with the interests of the peoples and their blood by sacrificing soldiers and populations to achieve the interests of the major corporations," he says.


    Soon after word emerged that the United States had the video, Islamic militant Web sites that usually carry statements from al-Qaida went down and were inaccessible. The reason for the shutdown was not immediately known.

    Evan H. Kohlmann, a terrorism expert at globalterroralert.com, said he suspected it was the work of al-Qaida itself, trying to find how the video leaked to U.S. officials.

    "For them this is totally disruptive that the U.S. government could have a copy before their targeted audience does," he said. "They could be concerned and trying to plug the leak quickly."


    One difference in bin Laden's appearance was immediately obvious. The announcement had a still photo from the coming video, showing bin Laden addressing the camera, his beard fully black. In his past videos, bin Laden's beard was almost entirely gray with dark streaks.

    Bin Laden's beard appears to have been dyed, a popular practice among Arab leaders, said Rita Katz, director of the SITE Institute, a Washington-based group that monitors terror messages.

    Yep.... (none / 0) (#33)
    by kdog on Sat Sep 08, 2007 at 01:01:37 PM EST
    I could have written that bold part...no doubt.  

    You can find truth in some funny places sometimes.


    I think what people are suggesting (none / 0) (#26)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 04:13:35 PM EST
    is that ObL is maybe hiding out somewhere in the Indian Oocean where beards period are not the norm so he shaved his beard to fit in locally, but he wanted to have a beard for the video so the beard is not dyed but entirely fake.

      Of course, if ObL just wanted people to think he he  on some island somewhere he might he might do the same thing.

    Information please, unedited video (none / 0) (#29)
    by Aaron on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 06:35:08 PM EST
    Can someone please post a link to the unedited video of this new bin Laden tape.  Google and other search engines are apparently removing the links to the sites so that people in this supposedly free world can't see the unedited version.  Typical corporate America making their living by keeping us in the dark.

    Anyone, a link please.

    HELP! (none / 0) (#30)
    by Aaron on Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 08:07:40 PM EST
    The president has seen this video, the editors of all the major media providers have seen his video, yet the American people are being prevented from viewing what should be public information, few things concern us more, and we have a right to know.  Yet none of the progressive blogs have this video or even a link to this video.  Why?  What is everyone so afraid of?  Who is persuading them to keep this information from us?

    Bin Laden mentions Michael Scheuer's book, and touches upon the true motivations for the 9/11 attacks.  Scheuer mentioned the withholding of this video on Rick Sanchez's show on CNN.

    "This war is about the impact of our policies in the Middle East" (Michael Scheuer).

    I want to see this video, don't you?

    Bin Laden Video Is Recent, Doesn't Threaten Attack

    I'm watching Larry King where they're discussing a video which I am unable to watch, how ridiculous, how absurd, and how telling.

    Bin Laden video suppressed, by who? And why? (none / 0) (#31)
    by Aaron on Sat Sep 08, 2007 at 11:25:58 AM EST
    This Reuters report eludes to the possibility that this video may signal an attack, but provides no evidence to support that assertion. We've seen these explanations before in reference to bin Laden's messages, and they have always proven to be unfounded. This looks more like disinformation, hardly even qualifying as credible speculation any longer.

    Bin Laden video may signal new attacks

    Bin Laden video may signal new attacks

    Al Jazeera and Fox news are the only news providers which mentions a shutdown of sites caring the full video. I could find no mention of this in any of the other major US or European media providers.

    US warned in 'Bin Laden video'

    ["Soon after Washington announced it had the video, all the websites that usually carry statements from al-Qaeda went down and were inaccessible, in an unprecedented shutdown, according to the Associated Press news agency." ]

    U.S. Officials Analyzing Usama Bin Laden Video (militant websites mysteriously shutdown)

    ["The U.S. government obtained a new video of Usama bin Laden before Al Qaeda could release it to the world to mark the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Officials on Friday were analyzing the tape, which could contain the first new images of the Al Qaeda leader in three years.

    Soon after Washington announced it had the video, all the Islamic militant Web sites that usually carry statements from Al Qaeda went down and were unaccessible, in an unprecedented shutdown.
    The reason for the shutdown was not immediately known. Evan H. Kohlmann, a terrorism expert at globalterroralert.com, said he suspected it was the work of Al Qaeda itself, trying to find how the video leaked to U.S. officials.
    "For them this is totally disruptive that U.S. government could have a copy before their targeted audience does," he said. "They could be concerned and trying to plug the leak quickly."
    Another possibility is that the U.S. government shut down the sites, but that was unlikely, he said.

    "I don't think they would have the legal or technical capability to do so, to collectively shut all these sites at the same time. Also, I don't think the U.S. government is necessarily interested in shutting these sites down, unless there is something so provocative and dangerous in what bin Laden is saying."]

    Explanations like these don't impress me. They lack logic.

    Maybe (none / 0) (#32)
    by squeaky on Sat Sep 08, 2007 at 12:03:39 PM EST
    The editing process is taking longer than they expected. They want to make it look as authentic and scary as possible. That all takes time.

    Yes, give Rove time, (none / 0) (#34)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Sep 08, 2007 at 01:18:19 PM EST
    he wants to make sure he doesn't make any mistakes in the editing room with this one.

    Osama Bin Laden Beard a Hoax ! Look at the Picture (none / 0) (#35)
    by HotConflict on Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 11:00:13 PM EST
    You can read my full analysis of the beard and the pictures showing his progression through the years. Anyone who looks at the evidence will make the same conclusions. The video is a Hoax!


    links must be in html format (none / 0) (#36)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 11:02:16 PM EST
    or they skew the site. Please post urls using the link buttons. This one is isn't too long so I'll leave the comment up but in the future, comments with urls not in html format will be deleted. I can't edit comments, only delete them.



    plagiarism (none / 0) (#37)
    by yeller dog on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 03:36:06 PM EST
    I think he may be watching too many old movies during his hiatus:

    "It is true that this young man was little in years, but the faith in his heart was big,"

    -Osama bin Laden

    "His body is little but his bravery is big..."

    -Old Lodge Skins (from Little Big Man)