Writing in The Hill, Robert Amsterdam of Amsterdam & Partners LLP discusses the unsettling attempts by the Gülen-affiliated Coral Academy of Science to establish a school at Nellis Air Force Base:
The most immediate threat is in Nevada, where Coral Academy of Science Las Vegas (CASLV) is currently negotiating with the United States Air Force to locate a charter school at Nellis Air Force Base, with classes starting this fall. What is not widely known is that CASLV is part of a nationwide organization of charter schools and other businesses headed by Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, a reclusive but influential Imam living under self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania to avoid criminal prosecution in his native Turkey.
In Nevada, CASLV is a three-campus school operating under a charter held by tax-exempt Coral Education Corp., headquartered in Reno. Three of Coral’s board members are Turkish, one of whom was formerly the Principal at two other Gülen organization charter schools, the Sonoran Science Academy at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona and the Bay Area Technology School in California.
Unfortunately, Nellis Air Force Base is not the Gülen organization’s first stab at a U.S. military base. The organization successfully opened a school on Davis-Monthan AFB in 2009, and it tried but failed to gain access to Marine Corps Base Hawaii and Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois. In California, Magnolia Public Schools applied for a charter in Oceanside, where Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton is located, although it temporarily withdrew its application after our law firm pointed out Magnolia’s connection to the Gülen organization earlier this year.