Al-Qaida names Queen Elizabeth II "one of the severest enemies of Islam"

The al-Qaida terror group has named Queen Elizabeth II "one of the severest enemies of Islam," the Sunday Times newspaper reported, citing a video message allegedly obtained by Britain's security service.

The Sunday Times said the remarks were contained in a video message justifying the July 7 bombings in London that killed 56 people, including the four suicide bombers. The tape was passed by Britain's MI5 domestic security service to the queen's protection team, the newspaper said.

MI5 had obtained the full video, issued by al-Qaeda after the London attacks, after parts of it were broadcast on the Arabic satellite channel Al-Jazeera, according to the newspaper, early editions of which are available Saturday night.

The newspaper also said it had viewed the full 27-minute video, which it said was circulating on extremist Web sites.

Government officials were not immediately available Saturday night to confirm the report. A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman refused comment, saying it was a matter for the police.

In the video, Ayman al-Zawahiri, a leading lieutenant of terror boss Osama bin Laden, says the queen is responsible for what he terms Britain's "crusader laws" and calls her an enemy of Muslims, the paper said.

The video also labels the British monarch one of Islam's "severest enemies," and warns British Muslim leaders who "work for Elizabeth, the head of the Church of England."

Al-Zawahiri says in the video that Islamic leaders who were loyal to the queen were effectively saying: "We are British citizens, subject to Britain's crusader laws, and we are proud of our submission ... to Elizabeth, head of the Church of England," according to the newspaper.

"MI5 is aware that there are some pieces of that video that have not been aired," it quoted an unidentified government official as saying. "They are aware of the bit of al-Zawahiri talking about the queen, and they have notified the relevant authorities" reported AP.

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