Al Qaeda threatens new wave of attacks if terror suspect deported from UK

In a posting on one of the group's websites Friday, leaders of the Islamic fundamentalist group promised to open "the gates of evil" in the U.K. if radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada is deported. 

"The British public is also forewarned that it will be the British government, as a result of its imprudence, that shall be liable for any disaster that befalls them, or their national interests," the group's leaders wrote, according to reports in the U.K's Daily Mail


These latest threats come days after the British government agreed to extradite Egyptian-born cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri to the United States. 

Al-Masri is facing a 100-year federal prison sentence for providing support to al Qaeda. He is also suspected of overseeing of the group's terror cells in Europe. 

But Qatada's extradition to the United States hit a snag on Thursday, when members of the European Human Rights Court blocked the move, Bloomberg reports. 

Members of the court, based in Strasbourg, France, blocked his deportation on the grounds that evidence gathered against Qatada was obtained through torture. 

The deportations of al-Masri and Qatada come at a critical time for U.S.-U.K. relations. 

American intelligence agencies are increasingly keeping their British counterparts in the dark on key information, for fear those secrets could end up on full display in U.K. courts. 

“The Americans have got nervous that we are going to start revealing some of the information and they have started cutting back, I’m sure, on what they disclose," Ken Clarke, the United Kingdom's justice secretary, said in an April 4 interview with the BBC. 

Clarke has proposed new "closed materiel procedures" that would shield sensitive intelligence involving national security from the courts. 

However, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has vowed to oppose the new rules, arguing British security services were not above the law.