Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu announced yesterday that Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) launched investigations against Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) in 20 U.S. states. In a televised interview, Çavuşoğlu said his ministry was informed by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the investigations though he did not elaborate on the subject of investigations.
The FBI have already conducted an investigation into charter schools linked to the terrorist group although it was quiet about the progress of those investigations that focused on shady business practices of those schools. It also cooperated with Turkish authorities in an investigation into alleged money laundering schemes of the terrorist group, an earlier report by the Sabah newspaper has claimed.
The United States is one of the western countries where FETÖ, which is accused of carrying out July 15, 2016 coup attempt in Turkey through its infiltrators in the military, remains active. It is home to a large community of Gülenists, including the group's leader Fetullah Gülen. Gülen resides in a luxury retreat in Pennsylvania while Turkey seeks his extradition from Washington.
FETÖ operates 140 charter schools in 26 states in the U.S. The schools in the U.S., some of which have changed names over time, were opened in the late 1990s and in the beginning of the 2000s. Around 60,000 students attend the schools annually.
FETÖ's schools in the U.S. are usually gathered under umbrella organizations and managed through foundations. As an example, there are 46 schools, all under the name "Harmony" in Texas, 30 schools under the name "Concept" in and around Ohio, as well as Magnolia.
International law firm Amsterdam and Partners recently launched legal action against FETÖ-linked charter schools.
FETÖ runs a global network of schools, from Africa to Central Asia, where it recruits more followers into the group.