Accessibility links

Breaking News

Al-Qaeda Group Offers U.K. Swap For Jordanian Cleric

Jordanian preacher Abu Qatada leaves the Special Immigration Appeals Commission in central London on April 17.
Al-Qaeda's branch in North Africa has offered to free a kidnapped British citizen in exchange for the release of radical Jordanian cleric Abu Qatada, according to a statement posted on an Islamist website.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb said it would release Stephen Malcolm, who also has South African citizenship, if Britain released Qatada "to one of the 'Arab Spring' countries."

The statement warned Britain not to return Qatada to Jordan.

London is seeking to deport Qatada to Jordan, but his case is being reviewed by the European Court of Human Rights.

Malcolm is believed to be one of nine Europeans seized in Mali and Niger since September 2010.

Other kidnap victims are believed to be French, Swedish, and Dutch citizens.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP