FBI Releases Some Interesting Findings : The U.S. Military Has A lot of Gang Members In It
The FBI has just released a new gang assessment announcing that there are 1.4 million gang members in the United States. This is a 40 percent increase since 2009. Many of these members have enlisted and are serving in the US military. The FBI defines ‘gangs’ as being : street, prison, outlaw motorcycle (OMG), One Percenter OMG, and neighborhood.
The report says the military has seen members from 53 gangs and 100 regions in the U.S. enlist in every branch of the armed forces. Members of every major street gang, some prison gangs, and outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMGs) have been reported on both U.S. and international military installations.
The report states:
Through transfers and deployments, military-affiliated gang members expand their culture and operations to new regions nationwide and worldwide, undermining security and law enforcement efforts to combat crime. Gang members with military training pose a unique threat to law enforcement personnel because of their distinctive weapons and combat training skills and their ability to transfer these skills to fellow gang members.
The report notes that gang members have been reported in every branch of service, but are concentrated in the U.S. Army, Army Reserves, and the Army National Guard.
Many street gang members join the military to escape the gang lifestyle or as an alternative to incarceration, but often revert back to their gang associations once they encounter other gang members in the military. Other gangs target the US military and defense systems to expand their territory, facilitate criminal activity such as weapons and drug trafficking, or to receive weapons and combat training that they may transfer back to their gang. Incidents of weapons theft and trafficking may have a negative impact on public safety or pose a threat to law enforcement officials.
The FBI points out that many gangs, especially the bikers, actively recruit members with military training and advise young members with no criminal record to join the service for weapon access and combat experience.
Gang recruitment of active duty military personnel constitutes a significant criminal threat to the US military. Members of nearly every major street gang, as well as some prison gangs and OMGs, have been reported on both domestic and international military installations, according to NGIC analysis and multiple law enforcement reporting. Through transfers and deployments, military-affiliated gang members expand their culture and operations to new regions nationwide and worldwide, undermining security and law enforcement efforts to combat crime. Gang members with military training pose a unique threat to law enforcement personnel because of their distinctive weapons and combat training skills and their ability to transfer these skills to fellow gang members.
NGIC reporting indicates that law enforcement officials in at least 100 jurisdictions have come into contact with, detained, or arrested an active duty or former military gang member within the past three years.
As of April 2011, the NGIC has identified members of at least 53 gangs whose members have served in or are affiliated with US military. Among the identified gangs with military-trained members are street gangs such as the Asian Boyz, Bloods, Crips, Gangster Disciples, Latin Kings, MS-13, Sureños, Tiny Rascal Gangsters, and the Juggalos; the Aryan Brotherhood, Barrio Azteca, and Texas Syndicate prison gangs; and OMGs including the Bandidos, Hells Angels, Mongols, Outlaws, and Vagos.