Al Qaeda have added pop star Cheryl Cole to their hit list after her visit to troops in Afghanistan last week.

When asked about Cole, radical preacher Anjem Choudary said: “High-profile figures are not beyond the reach of al Qaeda and the mujahideen.”

He added: "I find it completely outrageous that Cheryl Cole can go to Afghanistan and start praising the soldiers.

"The more she is seen as the sweetheart of the forces and the more she is involved in Afghanistan, the more she will create enemies among the Muslims.

"She will only have herself to blame for the repercussions on her own security."

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Cole, 28, flew out on a morale-boosting trip to Helmand’s Camp Bastion last Tuesday, signing autographs and giving out her books to troops.

She said: "I'm delighted to be here to recognise all the hard work they do. Every one of them is a hero in my book."

Hundreds of British and American celebrities have visited men and women stationed in Afghanistan, but Cole is the first to be singled out by extremists.