Hell’s Angels graffiti written on the back of a military vehicle in Iraq. / FBI
Gang members have been signing up with the United States Armed Forces, posing a “significant criminal threat” to law enforcement, according to a report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
“Gang infiltration of the military continues to pose a significant criminal threat, as members of at least 53 gangs have been identified on both domestic and international military installations,” the report says, resulting in American gang graffiti in Iraq, among other things.
Every branch of the military contains some gang members, the FBI reported, but most gang members join the Army, the Army Reserves, and the U.S. National Guard. And gang member enlistment doesn’t require a sinister intention. “Many street gang members join the military to escape the gang lifestyle,” says the FBI, while others join at the behest of a court “as an alternative to incarceration.”
But the military sometimes proves a bad environment for gang members, who “often revert back to their gang associations once they encounter other gang members in the military.”
Numerous U.S. gangs, according to the report, “advise members without criminal records to join the military for necessary weapons and combat training.” Military deployments, in the event, end up placing gang members alongside other members of the armed forces on active duty…..