Kaplan, The Caliph of Cologne
The “Caliph of Cologne” can rest easy. He has two months to rest, cover his tracks, and make plans. From Reuters, with thanks to Susan:
BERLIN, May 27 – The German authorities began a Europe-wide search on Thursday for a Turkish Islamic militant facing extradition to Turkey on treason charges, and then dropped their hunt amid confusion over a court ruling.
The man, Metin Kaplan, is wanted in Turkey for a 1998 plot to crash an aircraft with explosives into the mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern, secular Turkish state. The attack was planned to occur during a ceremony at the mausoleum attended by the country’s political and military leadership.
A German court ruled Wednesday that Mr. Kaplan, known as the “Caliph of Cologne,” would not face human rights abuses in his home country and could be extradited. On Thursday, the police put out an alert across Europe for him. But the warrant was withdrawn after it emerged that Wednesday’s ruling had granted Mr. Kaplan a stay of two months to appeal the ruling. There was no indication whether Mr. Kaplan, head of a Cologne-based group known as the Kalifstaat (Caliphate state), was in Germany.