It's curious that Osama would choose to release a video that looks to everyone to have been filmed a few years ago. I'd think that he'd really want to avoid something that made everyone wonder whether he's still alive:
Octavia Nasr, CNN's senior editor for Arab affairs, said the videotape does not appear to be new.We'll know more over time. But assuming Osama is alive, he would realize the speculation this would prompt.
The environment shown is similar to that on releases made before the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, in which bin Laden is seen in the company of some of the hijackers, Nasr said.
Some of the backdrops also resemble those shown in videos when the U.S. attacks against the Taliban in Afghanistan began not long after the 9/11 attacks, she added.
The last time a recording of bin Laden was made public it was an audiotape, with an Arabic transcript, released on June 30, 2006.
There are other factors besides death that could explain this: he's too well-hidden to risk making a new tape, or he wants his next appearance to appear even more spectacular, for example.
But this is curious.
Update: Allah confirms that this tape is indeed, pretty old. It seems pretty certain to be from 2002 -- if not earlier.