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Bin Laden Deputy Says U.S. On Brink Of Defeat

9 September 2004 -- On a videotape broadcast today on Al-Jazeera television, a top aide to Al-Qaeda head Osama bin Laden said the United States was on the brink of defeat in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ayman al-Zawahri, who is said to be bin Laden's deputy, said insurgents fighting the U.S.-backed government in Iraq have turned U.S. plans for the country "head over heels".

In excerpts from the videotape aired earlier today on Al-Jazeera, al-Zawahri said mujahedin, or holy fighters, have taken control of much of Afghanistan and that U.S. troops were "hiding in their trenches."

Al-Zawahri appeared on the tape wearing a white turban with a machine gun beside him.

The Arabic-language television station said it obtained the videotape today but did not say how. A spokesman said the station would be broadcasting only excerpts from what it said was a 12-minute recording.

(compiled from agency reports)