Germany stages raids onradical Islamic cleric's followers

6th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

6 August 2004 , COLOGNE - Authorities in Germany Friday staged raids on followers of a radical Islamic cleric who calls himself the "caliph of Cologne". Searches were carried out at 31 homes, businesses and Muslim prayer rooms in southern Germany, authorities said. The raids came as a deadline approached for a two-month delay in extraditing Metin Kaplan, 51, to Turkey to stand trial for treason and murder. The fate of Kaplan, a breakaway Turkish imam who claims the title of "caliph" of the Islamic world, h

6 August 2004

COLOGNE - Authorities in Germany Friday staged raids on followers of a radical Islamic cleric who calls himself the "caliph of Cologne".

Searches were carried out at 31 homes, businesses and Muslim prayer rooms in southern Germany, authorities said.

The raids came as a deadline approached for a two-month delay in extraditing Metin Kaplan, 51, to Turkey to stand trial for treason and murder.

The fate of Kaplan, a breakaway Turkish imam who claims the title of "caliph" of the Islamic world, has become a national political controversy in Germany, with the media and law-and-order groups suggesting he is making a fool of the authorities.

Currently Kaplan is required to report daily to police and has a temporary permit to remain on German soil. German laws do not allow for his detention in connection with the Turkish treason charge.

Officials contend federal judges can give a final ruling on the legality of Kaplan's removal after he is back in Turkey. A city of Cologne spokeswoman said the latest challenge was being closely coordinated with federal authorities.

Kaplan has served a four-year jail term in Germany for inciting the murder of a rival pretender to the caliphate. His group has been banned because of its violence and its rejection of democracy.

DPA

Subject: German news

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