WASHINGTON — U.S. intelligence officials believe Osama bin Laden made a propaganda recording shortly before his death and expect that tape to surface soon.

It’s unclear whether the tape is audio or video, but a U.S. official says that intelligence indicates it’s already working its way through al-Qaida’s media pipeline. The official said the timing was coincidental and there’s no indication he knew U.S. forces were bearing down on him.

A new recording from bin Laden would provide a final word from the beyond grave for a terrorist who taunted the U.S. with recorded propaganda for years. It could also provide fodder to those who insist he is still alive.