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German Police Search for Extremist Leader

Police have launched a massive manhunt for Metin Kaplan, an extremist leader facing deportation from Germany to Turkey, according to a police spokesman in the western city of Cologne. Around 100 officers have been combing the area since late Wednesday, when they discovered Kaplan was missing after going to his home to arrest him. A court in the city of Münster had ruled on Wednesday that the 51-year-old fundamentalist Muslim, also know as the "Caliph of Cologne," could be extradicted to Turkey, which accuses him of calling for a holy war and attempting to overthrow the country's secular government. Kaplan had completed serving four years in a German prison in March 2003 for inciting members of his Cologne-based group, Hilafet Devleti, to murder a rival Islamic leader. German authorities have since outlawed the organization. German media is reporting that Kaplan may have fled to the Netherlands, where it is believed he has supporters.

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