CAIRO, Egypt – Al Qaeda's No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri said in a new video posted Monday that the United States is trying to hide its failures in Iraq and warned that the mujahedeen there are increasing in strength.
"We are seeing a triple failure for the Americans in Iraq," al-Zawahri said in the 90-minute videotape. "No matter how much the gigantic propoganda machine in America tries to deceive the people, the reality is stronger and worse than all the deceptions."
He said U.S. forces were "defeated and looking for a way out," and Iraqi forces were unable to keep security. Al-Zawahri denounced Sunni Arab tribal forces that the U.S. has backed in the fight against insurgent groups, calling them "traitors" to whom the Americans "pour oceans of bribes."
"The reports from Iraq tell of the growth of the mujahedeen and the collapse of the Americans' circumstances," al-Zawahri said.
He spoke in an interview with Al-Sahab, the media arm of Al Qaeda. In the footage, Al-Zawahri — wearing a white turban and robes — sat in front of shelves of Islamic theology and law books, answering questions from an unseen interviewer.