Mali Islamist group proposes deal on UK hostage

Apr 30, 2012, 10:09 AM

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) – A militant Islamic group in Mali’s north says it will release a British hostage in exchange for a deal on where a well-known Islamist held in the U.K will be deported.

SITE Intelligence Group says the statement from al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb was posted Sunday on jihadist internet forums.

The British hostage also holds South African citizenship. He was kidnapped with a Swedish and a Dutch national in Timbuktu in November.

The group says it will release its hostage if the U.K. deports Abu Qatada, a Palestinian-Jordanian preacher described by British courts as a leading al-Qaida figure, to one of the “Arab Spring” countries or allows Qatada to choose where he is sent.

Britain is trying to deport Qatada to Jordan, a move the group said would prompt them to open the “door of evil” on Britain and its citizens.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Mali Islamist group proposes deal on UK hostage