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Al Qaeda threatens UK over Islamist's extradition

Al Qaeda on Tuesday threatened to attack Britain if it decides to extradite to Jordan the radical Islamist Abu Qatada, once believed to be an aide to Osama bin Laden.

world Updated: Apr 10, 2012 23:37 IST

Al Qaeda on Tuesday threatened to attack Britain if it decides to extradite to Jordan the radical Islamist Abu Qatada, once believed to be an aide to Osama bin Laden.

In a statement signed by alQaeda's general command and published on jihadist forums, the terror network said Abu Qatada's extradition would "open the gates of evil" onto "Britain and its citizens everywhere."

"We warn the British government against extraditing Sheikh Abu Qatada to Jordan," where he faces terror charges, said the statement.

The 51-year-old Jordanian, labelled the right-hand man of bin Laden by a Spanish judge, was convicted in Jordan in absentia for involvement in terror attacks in 1998, and faces a retrial on his return.

Meanwhile, Europe's human rights court ruled on Tuesday that Britain can extradite a radical Muslim cleric and four other suspects to the United States to face terrorism charges.

The case centering on Mustafa Kamal Mustafa, also known as Abu Hamza al-Masri considered Britain's most recognisable extremist, has been closely watched as a sign of Europe s view on tough US prisons. The court said Britain would not be violating EU human rights rules.