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Voice on tape is probably Hussein's, CIA concludes

The recording of Saddam Hussein aired Friday is probably authentic, CIA officials said. But the poor quality of the recording prevents absolute certainty.

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

Intelligence officials said the recording is filled with background noise that prevents their technical analysts from being more certain.

The speaker claims the recording was made on June 14. It was aired on the Arab al-Jazeera television network Friday.

Intelligence officials said there were no references in the message that absolutely ruled out the possibility that it was recorded before June 14.

Still, the CIA's determination that the tape was probably authentic would further buttress most intelligence analysts' belief that Hussein survived the war, including at least two attempts aimed at killing him.

In the recording, the speaker purporting to be Hussein said he is still in Iraq and directing attacks on American forces there. He called on Iraqis to resist the U.S.-led occupation.