CAIRO, Egypt (AP) – Al-Qaida deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri said in a statement broadcast Monday that his terror network carried out the July 7 London bombings, marking the group’s first direct claim of responsibility for the attacks that killed 52 people.

“The blessed London attack was one which al-Qaida was honored to launch against the British Crusader’s arrogance and against the American Crusader aggression on the Islamic nation for 100 years,” al-Zawahri said in the tape aired on Qatar-based al-Jazeera TV.

“In their final testament, the heroic brothers in the London attacks … provided great lessons to the Islamic nation and Muslims in Pakistan to oppose the infidels,” said al-Zawahri, who was shown wearing a white turban and speaking to someone who was interviewing him off-camera.

The attacks also killed the four bombers.

“This blessed attack revealed the real hypocritical face of the West,” said grey-bearded al-Zawahri, who wore a black vest over a white shirt.

A spokeswoman for London’s Metropolitan Police said she had no immediate comment on al-Zawahri’s tape.

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