While ABC has not aired the video, knowledge of its existence was leaked to the Drudge Report and picked up by the mainstream press including NBC, Fox, the Washington Post, and Reuters who all reported on the video without seeing it.
"ABC News has shared this tape with both the CIA and FBI as part of our reporting process. ABC News is committed to accurate, credible, and complete journalism and is applying the same scrutiny to this tape that we apply to all raw information. ABC continues to report this story very aggressively," says Jeffery Schneider, vice president of ABC News.
At press time, the US intelligence community had yet to authenticate the video but they continued to work on it.
"Unless you can identify the individual or compare [it] to known samples, it is difficult to authenticate," says a US intelligence official. "There's no information in the intelligence community that links this video to a specific threat. So what [the speaker] is talking about doesn't appear in other intelligence."
The tape, delivered to ABC in Islamabad last Sunday by a courier who was paid a $500 transport fee, contains a lengthy Q&A session between "Mr. Amriki" and an off-camera interviewer. It ends with his warning, which cuts off abruptly when the tape runs out.
Analysts at Pakistan's spy agency, the ISI, say the tape is genuine, explaining the material bears the same "signature" as previous As-Sahab video releases, which are unique in the world of jihadi video for their sophisticated editing techniques.
It features the same gold logo that appeared, among other places, in a 2003 statement from Mr. bin Laden.