WORLD

Senior FETO figure hides his past from U.S. officials

A Texas-based member of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the terror group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey, is hiding his background from American officials.

Soner Tarım, one of the key figures running FETO's charter school network in the U.S., is the CEO of the Unity School Services and served as the founder of Harmony Schools, a FETO-linked charter school network in Texas.

Tarim, who repeatedly denied his link, worked as a teacher and coordinator at the Aziziye Private College (Aziziye Koleji) in Erzurum, eastern Turkey between 1988-1991, Anadolu Agency has learned.

Tarım mentioned his position at the college for the first time and only on Jan. 21, 2000, when he applied to the Texas Board of Education to establish Harmony Science Academy.

His connection to the college, however, is not included in any applications to the U.S. institutions after 2000.

In early August, the Alabama Education Association (AEA) filed a lawsuit against Tarim who is seeking to open a charter school in rural southwest Alabama.

According to a report of Al Reporter, a news magazine in Alabama: "Tarim will make 15% of all federal, state and local funds received by Woodland. If Woodland's projected enrollment of 260 students is accurate, Tarim will make more than $300,000," making him the highest-paid official in the poverty-stricken county.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Turkey also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

FETO has a considerable presence internationally, including private schools -- more than 150 charter schools in the U.S. -- and hospitals which serve as a revenue stream for the terror group.

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