Al-Qaida offers to trade UK hostage for cleric
Al-Qaida's North African affiliate has offered to free a British hostage if London allows radical cleric Abu Qatada to leave Britain for another country.
Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb in a statement posted Monday on a militant website said it would release Stephen Malcolm if Abu Qatada were let go. It warned that the British government would be responsible for the consequences if it deports him to Jordan, where he faces a terrorism trial.
Authorities in Britain have been trying to expel the Palestinian-Jordanian preacher since 2001. The European Court of Human Rights ruled in January that he could not be deported to Jordan because of a risk that evidence obtained through torture would be used against him there.