Came across something this am, and am concerned as if we are recruiting gang members or turning a blind eye to them... are we then preparing them to be better street warriors when they return? I know there is pressure to keep the military strenghth up, but there does seem to be limits... talk about logistical issues when deploying troops, will this group who has some Gangster Disciples get along with the Barrio Azteca???
11. Gang Warfare
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, law enforcement officials report that the military is now "allowing more applicants with gang tattoos because they are under the gun to keep enlistment up." They also note that "gang activity may be rising among soldiers." The paper was provided with "photos of military buildings and equipment in Iraq that were vandalized with graffiti of gangs based in Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities."
Last month, the Sun-Times reported that a gang member facing federal charges of murder and robbery enlisted in the Marine Corps "while he was free on bond -- and was preparing to ship out to boot camp when Marine officials recently discovered he was under indictment." While this particular recruit was eventually booted from the Corps, a Milwaukee Police Detective and Army veteran, who serves on the federal drug and gang task force that arrested the would-be Marine, noted that other "[g]ang-bangers are going over to Iraq and sending weapons backā¦ gang members are getting access to military training and weapons."
Earlier this year, it was reported that an expected transfer of 10,000-20,000 troops to Fort Bliss, Texas caused FBI and local law enforcement to fear "a turf war" between "members of the Folk Nation gangā¦[and] a criminal group that is already well-established in the area, Barrio Azteca." The New York Sun wrote that, according to one FBI agent, "Folk Nation, which was founded in Chicago and includes several branches using the name Gangster Disciples, has gained a foothold in the Army."
Army Transfers Could Trigger A Gang War
By JOSH GERSTEIN - Staff Reporter of the Sun
March 16, 2006
Law enforcement authorities fear that the planned relocation of thousands of Army soldiers in Texas could trigger a battle the military has not trained for - a turf war between violent criminal gangs.
Local police and FBI officials said they expect the transfer of between 10,000 and 20,000 troops to Fort Bliss near El Paso, Texas, to bring more members of the Folk Nation gang into contact with a criminal group that is already well-established in the area, Barrio Azteca.
"What we have started looking at is which military units are going to be moving to El Paso," an FBI agent there, Andrea Simmons, said in an interview. "There is a potential for more gang activity, whether it be soldiers, or dependents and families of soldiers."
Ms. Simmons said some gangs actually direct members to join the military to learn how to handle weapons. "The intelligence that we have thus far indicates that they may try to recruit young people who have clean records and encourage them to keep their record clean to get into the military. They would get great weapons training and other types of training and access to weapons and arms, and be able to use that knowledge," she said. "They're taking training that is great and very altruistic and turning around and using it for criminal activity