Gangfighters Weblog

August 6, 2010

Excerpts from Convergence: Special Operations Forces and Civilian Law Enforcement.

Filed under: gang, gang violence, gangs in the military, mara salvatrucha, mexico, ms-13, murder, police — carterfsmith @ 8:20 am


. . . of concern are the types of weapons that are now found on the streets of many cities. For example, in Palm Beach County, Florida, a suspect bailed out of his car after a high-speed chase and successfully evaded capture. The trunk contained full body armor and several weapons, including a customized .50-caliber sniper rifle capable of penetrating the engine block of an automobile. The driver was later determined to be a known assassin wanted by Interpol. The officer’s 9-mm handgun would have been no match should a shootout have occurred.16 Unfortunately, this event can no longer be considered unique. Similarly, fully automatic weapons, though illegal in most jurisdictions, are increasingly getting into the hands of gang members and experienced criminals. (7)

Operating coast to coast in the U.S., Latin American gangs pose a significant threat to local, state, and federal LEAs. The law enforcement operations required to counter these narcoterrorist threats increasingly take on the appearance of military SOF missions. (40)

Of concern to law enforcement is the sophistication of many of these gangs. The old motorcycle gangs, such as the Outlaws and Hells Angels, are alive and well, but have learned to stay below the radar of police agencies. Instead they are entering the business world in both white and gray enterprises. Working in white collar crime is less conspicuous, and members who cross the line and attract attention may face severe penalties. The rule is, “Do not irritate law enforcement.” 115 However, as the cartel gangs become more active, it is highly likely that friction will occur between them and the older, more established gangs.

Since drugs are the primary funding source for terrorism, eruptions of violence are increasingly likely to take place in American cities. Currently, much of the competition for drug markets produces intergang violence, which does occasionally involve injury or deaths of innocent bystanders. While undesirable, such situations are manageable by existing LEAs. However, if
significant escalation occurs and/or the advent of terrorist attacks in which the actors strike multiple targets with the intent on holding buildings of other facilities, then it may be necessary to consider employing SOF elements domestically. Posse Comitatus Act, acknowledged, it would be better to contemplate these options now rather than being called in after the event
has unfolded. It is the expansion of the drug cartels that could easily force such a scenario. (41)

Note that the criminal activities of MS-13 and the 18th Street Gang have risen to the level to attract Congressional attention. The revolving-door aspects of these repeat offenders in narcotrafficking are of great concern.166 Part of scoping this problem is understanding that 20,000 violent street, motorcycle, and prison gangs are operating in the U.S. today.167 According to FBI statistics, that number equates to at least one million gang members; and they engage in a wide range of crimes including robbery, home invasions, identity theft, extortion, and illegal narcotics.168
Listed by the FBI, the largest gangs are as follows:
a. 18th Street Gang—30,000 to 50,000 members in the U.S.
b. Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation
c. Asian Boyz—2,000 members, mostly Vietnamese and Cambodian
(66)
e. Bloods—30,000 members in 123 cities
f. Crips—30,000 to 35,000 members in 221 cities
g. Florencia 13—3,000 members, a Mexican gang in Southern California
h. Fresno Bulldogs—5,000 to 6,000 members in Central California
i. Gangster Disciples—25,000 to 50,000 members in 31 states
j. Latin Disciples—2,000 members
k. Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13)—50,000 members worldwide, 10,000 in
the U.S.
l. Sureños and Norteños—a Latino prison confederation
m. Tango Blast—14,000 member in Texas prisons
n. Tiny Rascal Gangsters—5,000 to 10,000 members, considered the
most violent Asian gang
o. United Blood Nation—7,000 to 15,000, started in Rikers prison in
New York
p. Vice Lord Nation—30,000 to 35,000 members.
All of these gangs have members who have been in the military.169 When they return to their gangs on the street, their knowledge of weapons and tactics poses a significant threat to LEAs. While having gang members in the military is not new, according to the FBI, the trend is increasing and the population density is above what is found in the civilian sector.170 An
estimated 2 percent of military members have gang affiliation. Despite background security checks, it must be assumed that some number of these members are attracted to, and have become members of, SOF units. (67)
The internal use of military forces, beyond those contemplated in Posse Comitatus, are foreseeable. Groups concerned with stemming illegal immigration have already called,
sending troops to the border. The impact of international gangs, along with instability along the Mexican border, and known infiltration of that zone by terrorists from the Middle East could precipitate a necessity to act. The key factors will be the capabilities of domestic law enforcement and perceived threat to security by the American public. If LEA capabilities to resolve critical situations are exceeded, and Americans feel personally threatened,
the Government may approve use of the military in ways rarely thought about. Should such a situation arise, SOF elements would likely be engaged.
(81)

Alexander, John B. (2010). Convergence: Special Operations Forces and Civilian Law Enforcement. Joint Special Operations University. Report 10-6, July 2010. Retrieved from http://www.afio.com/publications/JSOU10-6alexanderConvergence_final1.pdf

August 2, 2008

Divided Loyalty for military gang members

Filed under: active participation, gang member, gangs in the military, military, police — carterfsmith @ 4:21 pm

  • I am an American Soldier.
  • I am a Warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values.
  • I will always place the mission first.

These lines start the Soldier’s Creed. They also (if tested) would end the military careers of many gang members.

When examining the various aspects of gang life, loyalty within the gang organization often receives little or no attention. It is important that this concept be recognized, since violence is often a forced product of the underlying assumptions that hold street gangs together (Ruble & Turner, 2000), and violence is something that the military trains most service members to respond to (and sometimes deliver).

Loyalty becomes an issue in many organizations, but nowhere is it more critical than in the public service sector. The military and police departments across the United States have been infiltrated by gangs who seek access to weapons or sensitive information regarding investigations (Witkowski, 2004). The threat to these organizations does not come from the traditional worker.

Those in the military who are trained to fight in battle are not the only positions in which the loyalty of a gang member would be an issue. Those who control the finances and personnel assignments, as well as those who oversee logistics shipments can exploit their positions for the gang’s benefit. Those in and affiliated with policing and corrections may have access to criminal records, prisoner assignments, and transportation.

The indoctrination phase of these institutions cannot be compared to that used by the gang, and those holding dual positions (a member of the gang and the military or police) should be watched. They will not be intimidated by drill instructors. They will not admit their gang affiliation to investigators. They will not brag to their co-workers that they were able to join the military even though they were gang members.

Some military installations brief new arrivals and their family members on the dangers of gangs. Periodically, military installations will conduct tattoo inspections or publish local addresses situated near military installations of known gang hangouts that are considered off-limits to military personnel (Witkowski, 2004). Despite these briefings, many military leaders publicly deny the existence of gang members in their organizations, or at a minimum deny that their presence in the organization is a problem.

Nonetheless, members of nearly every major street gang, including the Bloods, Crips, Black Disciples, Gangster Disciples, Hells Angels, Latin Kings, The 18th Street Gang, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), Mexican Mafia, Nortenos, Surenos, Vice Lords, and various white supremacist groups, have been found throughout private and public sector employment, and even the U.S. Military. They are present in most branches and across all ranks of the military, especially the junior enlisted. Estimates of their effect on and participation in these areas are hard to obtain because many gang-related incidences are un-reported or exclude references to gang affiliation and there has been no record of a Department of Defense survey to locate military gang members.

Gang members often enter the workforce at the lower levels, but some may work their way into more career-oriented positions. Many join the military to escape their current environment or troubled gang lifestyle. Others may enlist in the military as an alternative to incarceration; to receive combat training; to obtain access to weapons and supplies; to learn basic first aid and medic skills that can later benefit their gang; or to take advantage of opportunities to commit crimes; and to recruit new members for their gang.

Those who enter the military to leave the gang lifestyle have a perfect opportunity. But those who enter the military to establish connections for drug running and weapons trafficking also have an opportunity. None of the military departments have an effective strategy for 1) identifying and 2) tracking the reformation of gang members, or truly 3) cracking the code. Current law prohibits only “active” participation, which means that those who enter or are sent to learn tactics or make connections would not be seen as active. We learned (again) with the war on terrorism that young men are quite capable of hiding their intentions.

Perhaps we should allow gang members into the military. To do so without oversight, though, is a mistake.

What do you think?

References

Ruble, N. M., & Turner, W. L. (2000). A systemic analysis of the dynamics and organization of urban street gangs. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 28(2), 117-132.
Witkowski, M. J. (2004). The Gang’s All Here. Security Management. Arlington: May 2004, 48,(5) 95.

Divided Loyalty for military gang members

Filed under: active participation, gang member, gangs in the military, military, police — carterfsmith @ 4:21 pm

  • I am an American Soldier.
  • I am a Warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values.
  • I will always place the mission first.

These lines start the Soldier’s Creed. They also (if tested) would end the military careers of many gang members.

When examining the various aspects of gang life, loyalty within the gang organization often receives little or no attention. It is important that this concept be recognized, since violence is often a forced product of the underlying assumptions that hold street gangs together (Ruble & Turner, 2000), and violence is something that the military trains most service members to respond to (and sometimes deliver).

Loyalty becomes an issue in many organizations, but nowhere is it more critical than in the public service sector. The military and police departments across the United States have been infiltrated by gangs who seek access to weapons or sensitive information regarding investigations (Witkowski, 2004). The threat to these organizations does not come from the traditional worker.

Those in the military who are trained to fight in battle are not the only positions in which the loyalty of a gang member would be an issue. Those who control the finances and personnel assignments, as well as those who oversee logistics shipments can exploit their positions for the gang’s benefit. Those in and affiliated with policing and corrections may have access to criminal records, prisoner assignments, and transportation.

The indoctrination phase of these institutions cannot be compared to that used by the gang, and those holding dual positions (a member of the gang and the military or police) should be watched. They will not be intimidated by drill instructors. They will not admit their gang affiliation to investigators. They will not brag to their co-workers that they were able to join the military even though they were gang members.

Some military installations brief new arrivals and their family members on the dangers of gangs. Periodically, military installations will conduct tattoo inspections or publish local addresses situated near military installations of known gang hangouts that are considered off-limits to military personnel (Witkowski, 2004). Despite these briefings, many military leaders publicly deny the existence of gang members in their organizations, or at a minimum deny that their presence in the organization is a problem.

Nonetheless, members of nearly every major street gang, including the Bloods, Crips, Black Disciples, Gangster Disciples, Hells Angels, Latin Kings, The 18th Street Gang, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), Mexican Mafia, Nortenos, Surenos, Vice Lords, and various white supremacist groups, have been found throughout private and public sector employment, and even the U.S. Military. They are present in most branches and across all ranks of the military, especially the junior enlisted. Estimates of their effect on and participation in these areas are hard to obtain because many gang-related incidences are un-reported or exclude references to gang affiliation and there has been no record of a Department of Defense survey to locate military gang members.

Gang members often enter the workforce at the lower levels, but some may work their way into more career-oriented positions. Many join the military to escape their current environment or troubled gang lifestyle. Others may enlist in the military as an alternative to incarceration; to receive combat training; to obtain access to weapons and supplies; to learn basic first aid and medic skills that can later benefit their gang; or to take advantage of opportunities to commit crimes; and to recruit new members for their gang.

Those who enter the military to leave the gang lifestyle have a perfect opportunity. But those who enter the military to establish connections for drug running and weapons trafficking also have an opportunity. None of the military departments have an effective strategy for 1) identifying and 2) tracking the reformation of gang members, or truly 3) cracking the code. Current law prohibits only “active” participation, which means that those who enter or are sent to learn tactics or make connections would not be seen as active. We learned (again) with the war on terrorism that young men are quite capable of hiding their intentions.

Perhaps we should allow gang members into the military. To do so without oversight, though, is a mistake.

What do you think?

References

Ruble, N. M., & Turner, W. L. (2000). A systemic analysis of the dynamics and organization of urban street gangs. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 28(2), 117-132.
Witkowski, M. J. (2004). The Gang’s All Here. Security Management. Arlington: May 2004, 48,(5) 95.

Divided Loyalty for military gang members

Filed under: active participation, gang member, gangs in the military, military, police — carterfsmith @ 4:21 pm

  • I am an American Soldier.
  • I am a Warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values.
  • I will always place the mission first.

These lines start the Soldier’s Creed. They also (if tested) would end the military careers of many gang members.

When examining the various aspects of gang life, loyalty within the gang organization often receives little or no attention. It is important that this concept be recognized, since violence is often a forced product of the underlying assumptions that hold street gangs together (Ruble & Turner, 2000), and violence is something that the military trains most service members to respond to (and sometimes deliver).

Loyalty becomes an issue in many organizations, but nowhere is it more critical than in the public service sector. The military and police departments across the United States have been infiltrated by gangs who seek access to weapons or sensitive information regarding investigations (Witkowski, 2004). The threat to these organizations does not come from the traditional worker.

Those in the military who are trained to fight in battle are not the only positions in which the loyalty of a gang member would be an issue. Those who control the finances and personnel assignments, as well as those who oversee logistics shipments can exploit their positions for the gang’s benefit. Those in and affiliated with policing and corrections may have access to criminal records, prisoner assignments, and transportation.

The indoctrination phase of these institutions cannot be compared to that used by the gang, and those holding dual positions (a member of the gang and the military or police) should be watched. They will not be intimidated by drill instructors. They will not admit their gang affiliation to investigators. They will not brag to their co-workers that they were able to join the military even though they were gang members.

Some military installations brief new arrivals and their family members on the dangers of gangs. Periodically, military installations will conduct tattoo inspections or publish local addresses situated near military installations of known gang hangouts that are considered off-limits to military personnel (Witkowski, 2004). Despite these briefings, many military leaders publicly deny the existence of gang members in their organizations, or at a minimum deny that their presence in the organization is a problem.

Nonetheless, members of nearly every major street gang, including the Bloods, Crips, Black Disciples, Gangster Disciples, Hells Angels, Latin Kings, The 18th Street Gang, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), Mexican Mafia, Nortenos, Surenos, Vice Lords, and various white supremacist groups, have been found throughout private and public sector employment, and even the U.S. Military. They are present in most branches and across all ranks of the military, especially the junior enlisted. Estimates of their effect on and participation in these areas are hard to obtain because many gang-related incidences are un-reported or exclude references to gang affiliation and there has been no record of a Department of Defense survey to locate military gang members.

Gang members often enter the workforce at the lower levels, but some may work their way into more career-oriented positions. Many join the military to escape their current environment or troubled gang lifestyle. Others may enlist in the military as an alternative to incarceration; to receive combat training; to obtain access to weapons and supplies; to learn basic first aid and medic skills that can later benefit their gang; or to take advantage of opportunities to commit crimes; and to recruit new members for their gang.

Those who enter the military to leave the gang lifestyle have a perfect opportunity. But those who enter the military to establish connections for drug running and weapons trafficking also have an opportunity. None of the military departments have an effective strategy for 1) identifying and 2) tracking the reformation of gang members, or truly 3) cracking the code. Current law prohibits only “active” participation, which means that those who enter or are sent to learn tactics or make connections would not be seen as active. We learned (again) with the war on terrorism that young men are quite capable of hiding their intentions.

Perhaps we should allow gang members into the military. To do so without oversight, though, is a mistake.

What do you think?

References

Ruble, N. M., & Turner, W. L. (2000). A systemic analysis of the dynamics and organization of urban street gangs. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 28(2), 117-132.
Witkowski, M. J. (2004). The Gang’s All Here. Security Management. Arlington: May 2004, 48,(5) 95.

March 20, 2008

Truck with "extras" seized . . . Military vs. Gang + Police

Filed under: army, corrupt, drugs, gangs in the military, home invasion, mexican, mexico, military, murder, police — carterfsmith @ 9:56 am
“MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican soldiers battling a violent drug gang and corrupt local police confiscated a sport utility vehicle decked out with extras worthy of a James Bond movie.

Cartel members rammed their SUV into a military truck patrolling in the state of Tamaulipas and threw a hand grenade before making their escape with the help of local police, the army said in a statement late Tuesday.

Following a shootout with the gang, soldiers said they arrested four municipal police and confiscated an armored Jeep Grand Cherokee equipped with a smoke machine and spike sprayer meant to deter pursuers.”

. . . from Truck with extras confiscated from gang International Reuters

OK, so the Mexican government recognizes the problem . . . military-style equipment in the hands of gang members . . . who rammed their SUV into a military truck patrolling in the state of Tamaulipas and threw a hand grenade before making their escape with the help of local police.

I think it’s time U.S. law enforcement sees this in the “not if, but when” category. Our military gang bangers commit murder, armed robbery, and home invasion, in addition to the drug trafficking, of course. If we don’t recruit them, and proactively regulate those who are in, we may avoid what our neighbors to the south have not . . .

Let’s start playing like it’s not a game . . .

Truck with "extras" seized . . . Military vs. Gang + Police

Filed under: army, corrupt, drugs, gangs in the military, home invasion, mexican, mexico, military, murder, police — carterfsmith @ 9:56 am
“MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican soldiers battling a violent drug gang and corrupt local police confiscated a sport utility vehicle decked out with extras worthy of a James Bond movie.

Cartel members rammed their SUV into a military truck patrolling in the state of Tamaulipas and threw a hand grenade before making their escape with the help of local police, the army said in a statement late Tuesday.

Following a shootout with the gang, soldiers said they arrested four municipal police and confiscated an armored Jeep Grand Cherokee equipped with a smoke machine and spike sprayer meant to deter pursuers.”

. . . from Truck with extras confiscated from gang International Reuters

OK, so the Mexican government recognizes the problem . . . military-style equipment in the hands of gang members . . . who rammed their SUV into a military truck patrolling in the state of Tamaulipas and threw a hand grenade before making their escape with the help of local police.

I think it’s time U.S. law enforcement sees this in the “not if, but when” category. Our military gang bangers commit murder, armed robbery, and home invasion, in addition to the drug trafficking, of course. If we don’t recruit them, and proactively regulate those who are in, we may avoid what our neighbors to the south have not . . .

Let’s start playing like it’s not a game . . .

Truck with "extras" seized . . . Military vs. Gang + Police

Filed under: army, corrupt, drugs, gangs in the military, home invasion, mexican, mexico, military, murder, police — carterfsmith @ 9:56 am
“MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican soldiers battling a violent drug gang and corrupt local police confiscated a sport utility vehicle decked out with extras worthy of a James Bond movie.

Cartel members rammed their SUV into a military truck patrolling in the state of Tamaulipas and threw a hand grenade before making their escape with the help of local police, the army said in a statement late Tuesday.

Following a shootout with the gang, soldiers said they arrested four municipal police and confiscated an armored Jeep Grand Cherokee equipped with a smoke machine and spike sprayer meant to deter pursuers.”

. . . from Truck with extras confiscated from gang International Reuters

OK, so the Mexican government recognizes the problem . . . military-style equipment in the hands of gang members . . . who rammed their SUV into a military truck patrolling in the state of Tamaulipas and threw a hand grenade before making their escape with the help of local police.

I think it’s time U.S. law enforcement sees this in the “not if, but when” category. Our military gang bangers commit murder, armed robbery, and home invasion, in addition to the drug trafficking, of course. If we don’t recruit them, and proactively regulate those who are in, we may avoid what our neighbors to the south have not . . .

Let’s start playing like it’s not a game . . .

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.