A security guard at the compound of U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen fired a warning shot at a suspected armed intruder Wednesday who then fled.
Pennsylvania police said the unidentified intruder fled after the guard fired the warning shot at 8:30 a.m. and has yet to be located. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has demanded that the U.S. extradite Gülen on the charge that he orchestrated the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, though U.S. authorities have refused, saying there is no evidence to support the claim. (RELATED: Turkish Intel Will Run ‘Operations’ Against Political Opponents On US Soil, Erdogan Spokesman Says)
Erdogan has also tried to use U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been imprisoned in Turkey for two years on unsubstantiated charges of aiding terrorist groups, as leverage to persuade the U.S. to hand over Gülen.
“The attempted armed entry comes on the heels of Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin speaking recently that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization would launch overseas ‘operations’ against supporters of Mr. Gulen. And it is well-known that the Turkish government under Recep Tayyip Erdogan has devised kidnapping plots against Mr. Gulen, as well as executed successful kidnappings of his supporters around the world,” a statement from the Alliance for Shared Values read.
Turkish authorities denied that they attempted to kidnap Gülen in 2017, but maintained that he “masterminded” the 2016 coup.
Police are continuing to investigate the intruder incident, according to The Associated Press. No injuries were reported.
“We urge the U.S. authorities to continue to hold Turkey accountable for its actions and threats against innocent people both here in the United States and abroad,” the statement from Alliance for Shared Values added.
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