FBI Raids 19 Charter Schools: Why? (Hint: They’re Run By A Turkish Cult)

An initially puzzling article from the Chicago Sun-Times:

FBI raids last week targeting Concept Schools included the charter-school operator’s Des Plaines headquarters and a school in Rogers Park.

FBI agents flashed their badges and entered after normal business hours on June 4 at Concept’s offices at 2250 E. Devon Ave. in Des Plaines, Kesha Dunn, an administrator for the O’Hare Lake Office Park that includes the chain’s headquarters, said Thursday.

The same day, agents with a search warrant visited Concept’s Chicago Math and Science Academy at 7212 N. Clark St. in Rogers Park.

“We have no idea” what they were looking for, said Irene Bermudez, a spokeswoman for the school, known as CMSA. “Of course, we cooperated. They were incredibly polite — not like in the movies. We’re conducting business as usual.”

A special agent in the Cleveland FBI office that’s leading the probe said earlier this week that the raids at 19 Concept campuses — in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio — were part of an investigation of an “ongoing white-collar crime matter” but would give no details and would not identify the schools.

FBI agents also sought records from Quest Charter Academy, a Concept school in Peoria, according to administrators of the school. They said the federal agents “disclosed they were searching for information on a federal program called E-Rate,” which provides funding for schools for telecommunications and Internet access.

“The officials also identified certain external individuals/entities in which they were interested,” according to a written statement from the Quest officials. …

CMSA gets about 92 percent of its $6 million annual budget from taxpayers, most of that through per-pupil funding from CPS.

A reader points out that if you go to the Concept charter schools website, you can read:

Back in 1999, a small group of educators, engineers and academicians founded Horizon Science Academy Cleveland and Horizon Science Academy Columbus in Ohio. The group, which included Turkish American educators, developed what has evolved into a proven successful school design that Concept implements in all of its schools today. Part of this visionary team was our current CEO, Sedat Duman, and Vice President, Salim Ucan.

In other words, these are Gulenist charter schools under the leadership of Imam Gulen in exile in the Poconos, whom I wrote about in Taki’s Magazine back on New Year’s Day. The Turkish cult is the biggest operator of charter schools in America, taking in over a half billion dollars per year of American taxpayer money.

It would be interesting to know whether the CIA is mad at the FBI for raiding the Gulen cult’s funding sources? Presumably, Imam Gulen is in America for roughly the same reason the Tsarnaev family was in America: Deep Staters like Graham Fuller see Gulen and the Bomb Brothers’ Uncle Ruslan as potential Major Players back home in the Islamic world. But wouldn’t it be better for the CIA to just give Imam Gulen money out of its own budget rather than have Gulen skim it off the education of American children?

Here’s one American teacher’s description of what it’s like at one of the Gulenist chains, probably this one raided by the FBI.