Michael Webster
October 7, 2009
Drugs and terror: one feeds off the other
By Michael Webster

According to the National Gang Threat Assessment of 2009 and other law enforcement agencies report there are over 20,000 violent murderous street gangs, motorcycle gangs, prison gangs and international gangs which total well over a million foot solders and members. These gangs are criminally active in the U.S. and elsewhere today including Afghanistan. Many are well armed and U.S. militarily trained and are organized as well as our most sophisticated corporations; all use violence to control members, citizens as well as entire neighborhoods, drug corridors and turf, to boost their illegal money-making activities totaling more than $400 billion dollars, which include Mexican Drug Cartel (MDC's) retaliation hit squads, murder for hire, drug trafficking, smuggling drugs, guns and humans, robbery, theft, fraud, extortion, prostitution, retaliation kidnappings, kidnappings for ransom and military grade weapons trafficking.

Gang members with military training pose a unique threat to citizens and law enforcement personnel because of the distinctive military skills that they possess and their willingness to teach these skills to fellow gang members around the world.

Many U.S. gangs have today working relationships with MDC's and other criminal organizations that the U.S. Government like to refer to as drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) these relationships extend to Mexico, Central America, Canada and the Middle East, including Afghanistan. The principle reason is to develop sources of supply for wholesale quantities of illicit drugs and to facilitate other criminal activities. According to law enforcement information, gang members provide Mexican MDCs/DTOs with support, such as smuggling, transportation, and security.

Based on the 2009 report these specific examples include:

• Some prison gangs are capable of directly controlling or influencing the smuggling of multihundred kilograms of cocaine and methamphetamine weekly into the United States.

• Texas-based, regional-level prison gangs cooperate with Mexico-based MDCs/DTOs to smuggle wholesale quantities of cocaine and marijuana and illegal aliens into the United States from Mexico. Additionally, these gangs extort money from drug and alien traffickers transiting the Southwest Border.

• Some national-level Hispanic street gangs have close associations with Mexico-based MDC's/DTOs. Hispanic gang members reportedly obtain cocaine and marijuana from these connections and transport the drugs to primary U.S. drug market areas for further distribution.

• Canada-based Chinese and Vietnamese DTOs and criminal groups maintain close working relationships with Asian gangs operating in Canada and the United States. Canada-based DTOs are the primary suppliers of multithousandtablet quantities of MDMA and multihundredpound quantities of high-potency marijuana to Asian gangs operating in the United States. The DTOs also use Asian gang members for other aspects of drug distribution operations in the United States.

U.S.-based gang members are increasingly involved in cross-border criminal activities, particularly in areas of Texas and California along the U.S. — Mexico border. Much of this activity involves the trafficking of drugs and illegal aliens from Mexico into the United States and considerably adds to gang revenues. Further, gangs are increasingly smuggling weapons from the United States into Mexico as payment for drugs or to sell for a significant profit.

Gangs are morphing, multiplying, and migrating — entrenching themselves into most cities in the Americas not just in our inner cites but increasingly in our ever-sprawling suburbs and wide-open rural spaces.

Law enforcement indicates that in some communities, they are responsible for as much as a staggering 80 percent of all crimes.

They are selling drugs to your kids, shooting up your neighborhoods, invading your homes, robbing your banks and stores, stealing your identities and money, and sowing plenty of fear and violence along the way. There are gangs in the military...gangs in prison...gangs all over the Internet (recruiting, communicating, intimidating)...gangs on Native American reservations...and gangs on motorcycles roving the countryside. More and more women are joining gangs, too, sometimes leading their own subsets of larger criminal groups.

It's estimated that a large portion of gang drug and other profits finds its way into international terrorist organizations and that is why the war on drugs and the war on terror is interwoven and that one feeds off the other.

Sources:

National Gang Threat Assessment of 2009
DEA
FBI
ICE
Mexican News sources
Mexican officials

© Michael Webster

 

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Michael Webster

Michael Webster's Syndicated Investigative Reports are read worldwide, in 100 or more U.S. outlets and in at least 136 countries and territories. He publishes articles in association with global news agencies and media information services with more than 350 news affiliates in 136 countries... (more)

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