An arrest warrant was issued by a Turkish court for U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, founder of the Gulen Movement schools and former ally, and now fierce critic, of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
According to the warrant, Gulen is accused of leading a criminal terrorist organization. The charges include operating an armed terror group, which includes a sentence of up to 15 years in prison, according to the Guardian. Istanbul Public Prosecutor Hasan Yilmaz said that there is “sufficient tangible evidence showing that Gulen committed a crime was collected during the investigation.”
Turkish authorities are now appealing to Washington, D.C. to assist in extradition. Gulen came to the United States in 1999 due to health problems and has stayed in the United States after gaining his green card by convincing a federal judge that he was an influential education figure here.
These charges stem from a string of orchestrated raids on media outlets with ties to Gulen. According to the Guardian, the warrant marks another escalation in the battle between Erdoğan and Gulen, whose movement, also known as Hizmet, has millions of followers worldwide.
Editor’s Note: Video recently surfaced of Gulen calling for jihadists to “explode” themselves “like a bomb against the US.” Gulen is one of the most dangerous Islamists in the West.