Military-Trained Gang Members Worry Police
(05/03/06 - FAYETTEVILLE) (WTVD) -- An unlikely place has become the new battleground for American gangs. Gang leaders want their members to sign up for military duty so they can learn urban combat tactics.
The FBI says the gang members are getting valuable lessons on the streets of Baghdad.
Images of graffiti in Iraqi combat zones is capturing attention. Military personnel who are gang members in their hometowns allegedly put it there. Fayetteville police officer Hunter Glass, a gang expert, says whoever did the graffiti knew exactly what they were doing.
He says he is not surprised by what he calls the infiltration of gang members in the military. Glass blames recruiters.
"With millions of gang members out there, it may seem like a great place to recruit from as an element, but the problem is is that gangs are a problem," he said.
One shocking video shows a gang member, who also served as a Marine in Iraq, using urban warfare tactics to kill a California police officer and seriously wound two others.
Military leaders at Fort Bragg are aware of the issue of gang members in the military, but they do not believe the problem is out of control.
"Anyone who comes in the military and serves here at Fort Bragg or deploys and is involved in urban combat and warfare learn techniques and skills they can share with anyone," said spokesman Col. Billy Buckner. "It's not limited to just people who have maybe have affiliations with gangs."
But Glass says more should be done to keep gang members out of the military because the urban warfare and firearm skills they learn can be deadly when the come back home.
"Combine all that together, and you can create some super gangs," he warned.
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