Battleland

Hail, Hail, The Gang’s All Here…

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A gang slogan on a U.S. military vehicle in Iraq / FBI

Sure you know the military has the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. But what about the Bloods and the Crips? Not to mention other street and prison gangs like the Asian Boyz, Gangster Disciples, Latin Kings, MS-13, Sureños, Tiny Rascal Gangsters, the Juggalos, the Aryan Brotherhood, Barrio Azteca, Texas Syndicate, along with motorcycle gangs including the Bandidos, Hells Angels, Mongols, Outlaws, and Vagos.

That’s according to the FBI, in its just-released National Gang Threat Assessment. Gang recruitment among uniformed personnel “constitutes a significant criminal threat to the U.S. military,” it says. “Members of nearly every major street gang, as well as some prison gangs and [outlaw motorcycle gangs], have been reported on both domestic and international military installations.”

Military deployments spread gang influence around the world, the report says. Young people who join the military to escape gangs, “but often revert back to their gang associations once they encounter other gang members in the military.” Gang members learn about weapons in the military — information they then share with non-military gang members.

“Gang members have been reported in every branch of the US military, although a large proportion of these gang members and dependent gang members of military personnel are affiliated with the US Army, Army Reserves, and National Guard branches,” the report says. “Younger gang members without criminal records are attempting to join the military, as well as concealing tattoos and gang affiliation during the recruitment process…”

That’s bad news for the U.S. military. The good news, relatively speaking, is that the military portion of the FBI gang report accounts for only three of its 99 pages (starting on page 34).

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