Al-Qaida in Islamic Maghreb Demands Release of Abu Qatada

by Florian Flade

Last November Islamist militants of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) kidnapped three Europeans in the Mali desert city of Timbuktu. Among them British-South African national Stephen Malcolm.

Today AQIM released a statement offering the release of the Briton in return for the release of Palestinian cleric Abu Qatada. If the British government agrees to deport Abu Qatada to a country of his choice, Stephen Malcolm will be freed, the statement by AQIM reads.

Britain has been trying to extradite Abu Qatada to Jordan for more than six years now. In the Arab country the cleric has been sentenced in absentia for the involvement in terror attacks. Now the European Court of Human Rights is about to decide wether or not the British government is allowed to extradite Abu Qatada.

In today´s statement AQIM says that Britain will “open the doors of evil” if the Palestinian cleric will be send to Jordan.

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