A large national sample of gang members (N = 1,042) is used here from Project GANGMILL to develop a behavioral science profile of the use of Molotov cocktails and explosives in connection with gang violence in America. The literature is reviewed and shows no systematic previous research on this topic, only anecdotal examples and more abstract discussions exist. The analysis suggests that some very specific trends exist and that this has particular importance for future social policy regarding a neglected aspect of bomb/arson violence in America today.
Bomb and arson activity are not new to the American gangland. Bombs used by gangs and organized crime groups were routinely used during the Prohibition Era in competition between warring gangs that controlled "speakeasies". Car bombs would later become a "signature" of certain organized crime groups in America in terms of murder attempts at rival gang leaders.
The potential terrorist acts that can stem from the large American 21st Century gang member population, most recently estimated at 1.5 million members in the United States (Knox, et al, 1996: 41), gives the present research additional significance in light of recent international terrorist activities directed against the United States. The research reported here is the first of its kind examining bomb and arson activity among gang members in a large scale empirical analysis.
The findings reported from this research are relevant to social policy, gang specialists, gang researchers, school safety personnel, and those who have to monitor gangs (Security Threat Groups or STGs) inside correctional institutions.
DEFINITION OF GANG AND GANG CRIME
When the first edition of An Introduction to Gangs first came out in 1991 (Knox, 1991), it argued quite specifically that "crime" had to be a required definitive ingredient to define a gang. Without recurrent criminal activity it is difficult to define any group or organization as a gang. Further, Knox (1991) argued that it does not matter what type of crime pattern a group or organization engages in: any violation of the criminal code will suffice (e.g., even "bias" or "hate crimes").
This early definition of what constitutes a "gang" by Knox (1991) ran against the grain of scholarly traditions by gang researchers. A large body of earlier gang "research" or scholarship had classified any unsupervised group of youths or young adults as a "gang". Thrasher (1927), for example, started this trend by considering almost any group or organization that was not a part of the Boy Scouts of America or the YMCA to be a gang. In fact, about twenty-five percent of Thrasher's "gangs" were social athletic clubs (Thrasher, 1927: p. 63).
While criminologists have the intellectual freedom to define "crime" in legalistic terms or humanistic terms, this has not been the problem in gang definitions per se. The problem in gang definitions has been, essentially, a problem of intellectualizing the problem. Gang experts and gang researchers frequently encounter this kind of problem when they have to work with an interdisciplinary group or policy-making group; someone will find it remarkably effective at stalling progress by simply trying to debate the various definitions of what is and what is not a "gang".
This "debate" about what is a gang and what is not a gang led to unusual contributions to the literature. Consider the study by Hamm (1993) who conducted a mail survey of skinheads and argued that skinheads, the kind who engage in bias/hate crimes, are not actually a "gang". Others have argued that gangs in prisons are different than "street gangs", and sometimes quite illogically concluded that contrary to a vast amount of empirical evidence that prison gangs had no relationship to street gangs.
Some of the more influential gang experts in the United States did in fact change their definition of "gang" to comply with the argument advanced by Knox (1991) that "recurrent criminal activity" is a required component. Consider the early definition of "gang" by Malcolm Klein:
A gang is "any denotable adolescent group of youngsters who: (a) are generally perceived as a distinctive aggregation by others in their neighborhood; (b) recognize themselves as a denotable group (almost invariably with a group name); and (c) have been involved in a sufficient number of delinquent incidents to call forth a consistent negative response from neighborhood residents and/or enforcement agencies" (Klein, 1971: p. 13). As one of the foremost scholars in the world on gangs, this was the kind of definition of gang that would confuse more than it would enlighten. It begins with assuming incorrectly that there are no "adults" in gangs: that gangs are limited to "any denotable adolescent group of youngsters". It further used terms like "adolescent" and "youngster" that cannot be readily translated into age-specific categories. The ambiguity of what would constitute a "sufficient number of delinquent incidents" made it a definition of gang similar to Thrasher's in "over-defining" what is and what is not a gang (i.e., status offenses were at that time considered "delinquent incidents").
Klein would, after the first full textbook on gangs by Knox (1991), offer a new definition of gang:
"Whatever may have been the history of the term gang and whatever may have been the desire - in many ways legitimate - to avoid stigmatizing youth groups with a pejorative term, it is time to characterize the street gang specifically for its involvement, attitudinal and/or behavioral, in delinquency and crime.
In this I am in some agreement with George Knox, who produced the first genuine textbook on gangs." (Klein, 1995: p. 23).
Definition of "Gang"
Knox (2000, p. 7) specifically defines a gang as: "A group is a gang when it exists for or benefits substantially from the continuing criminal activity of its members". This covers any group or organization, formal or informal in structure, that accounts for a recurrent or continuing pattern of criminal activity. This definitely includes white racist extremist gangs like the Aryan Brotherhood, the Ku Klux Klan, skinheads, etc.
Definition of "Gang Crime"
Knox (2000) defines a gang crime as any criminal code violation committed by a member of a gang. This is the most controversial aspect of Knox's (2000) approach. This is true because cities like Chicago, today anyhow, routinely have extremely serious crimes such as that of gang members murdering police officers, but such offenses by gang members cop killers are not considered "gang crimes" by the Chicago Police Department today. The reason has to do with a shift away from dealing with the gang problem in public discussion, a shift towards an "Ostrich Syndrome" of simply not recognizing the gang problem, and thus being able to avoid any controversy about policing and minority groups.
The Eric Lee Story: Reducing Gang Crime by Defining Gang Crime Out of Existence
On Sunday, August 19, 2001 Chicago police officer Eric D. Lee was killed on duty from a high-powered handgun. The scene of the shooting was outside a "drug house" in an area known to be dominated by the Gangster Disciple street gang on Chicago's southside. The shooter and his confederate were both members of the Gangster Disciple gang; what brought them to the attention of the police was they were administering punishment to a third person, probably for not paying a "drug bill". Why? Because the location of the killing was outside a drug house operated by the Gangster Disciples. But police officer Eric D. Lee, a graduate of the Department of Criminal Justice at Chicago State University, was not killed in a "gang crime" according to Mayor Daley's new "gang policy". The Chicago Police Department therefore declared on television (see: Chicago Tonight show, channel 11, WTTW, August 23, 2001) that this was not a "gang crime". How it could not be considered a "gang crime" and a "gang homicide" stems from a bizarre new way of dealing with the gang problem in Chicago that began in 2000 when the citywide gang unit in the Chicago Police Department was abolished (i.e., following the pattern of New York City and Los Angeles in the spring of 2000). Under this new "gang policy", there is no gang crime unless the gang openly plans the crime in advance with the approval and involvement of the full gang, perhaps at some meeting where they would operate like the Chicago City Council, debating the merits of various options and then "voting" on what they crimes they would do, and presumably having this "vote" or decision placed in the "minutes" of their meeting so that it is an "official act" of the gang.
REVIEW OF THE RELEVANT LITERATURE
There are some references in the previous literature on gangs pertaining to the use of explosives and incendiary devices, but these are for the most part anecdotal in nature. There has been no systematic research of an empirical nature that has previously examined the use of explosives and incendiary devices by gang members in the United States or anywhere else for that matter. It is accurate to say that this issue of bomb and arson activity, among gang members, has been a totally neglected area of gang research in the previous literature. In fact, news writers in the mass media in routine crime reporting coverage of gang involvement in bomb and arson crimes have produced more on this issue than criminologists.
About the closest we come to gang member involvement in the use of explosives and incendiary devices in the previous literature is a more general discussion about the gang member as a "guerilla fighter", "revolutionary", or "rebel". We will examine these issues below. We will also briefly examine the cases of the Chicago gang known as the Black P. Stone Nation (AKA "El Rukn gang") in terms of its actual proven involvement in a federal terrorism conspiracy case involving Libya; as well as the example of the Rodney King riot aftermath involving gang members in looting and arson incidents. A far left extremist gang (e.g., the Black Guerilla Family) will also be briefly examined to illustrate that some gangs do have pronounced ideological beliefs, and gang involvement in cross-national assassination will also be examined. These are issues that can possibly explain why and how gangs and gang members may represent a risk to their society in terms of using explosive and incendiary devices in furtherance of their gang activities.
The Gang Member as Urban Guerilla Fighter Theme
Gang violence and conflict has been previously described as guerilla warfare (Short and Strodtbeck, 1974: p. 200). The Crip gang member who gave his glamorized story of gang life in the book Monster similarly describes himself as a trained combat veteran and freedom fighter in an undeclared urban guerilla war. The rebellion theme has similarly been common in the gang literature (Hagedorn, 1988: p. 164;) as is the relationship of gangs to various forms of social conflict (Tannenbaum, 1938). The gang member as warrior is a similar theme corresponding to the book title of Keiser (1971). Is it only that, a simple analogy? Or do gangs represent the highest threat yet seen in terms of maintaining the security of our nation's communities and public institutions and, comparably, do gangs represent a continuing threat(1) or menace in terms of the essence of what is implied by "terrorism" (Davis, 1978)? Similarly, calling gangs "urban terrorists" as an official criminal justice council in California did (California Council on Criminal Justice, 1989: p. viii) is strong language, but again does labelling gangs terrorists make them terrorists?
This issue exemplifies one of the intellectual debates about gangs today. Some authors had concluded earlier that gangs --- whatever their rhetoric --- were simply not well organized and in no sense constituted a revolutionary group. Some contemporary gang analysts in direct contradiction of such assertions may point to groups like the Black Guerrilla Family as a clear cut example of such a revolutionary gang. As in some of the other debates about gangs, what we must realize is that there are sufficient variations in group function and organizational capability that all dimensions (apolitical to that of revolutionary, rightwing to that of leftwing, etc) can probably be found in the modern reality of American gangs. The "debate" in this and other instances is more often than not simply a problem of authors overgeneralizing from inadequate previous research. It is an error to consider all "gangs" equal --- either in terms of the threat they may represent, or in terms of the potential for intervention.
For those who have studied guerilla warfare and unconventional combat forces there is a striking commonality between the basic affinity group represented by the typical urban street gang, of whatever stage of organizational development, and guerilla combat operations. Further, the nature of the conflict --- its direction, its intensity, the means by which it is moderated and controlled --- is also of some comparable interest. At least this provides the rationale for introducing to the reader the gang "study/research/experimentation" by Lieut.-Col. W.H. Sleeman from Calcutta in 1849 and other authors and views in the analysis of social conflict.
Gangs as Revolutionaries Theme
Some early gang authors (e.g, Campbell) have said that gangs are anything BUT revolutionary organizations --- they are rather thugs and exploiters, mostly opportunist, often reactionary. Unthinking. Unreflective. Functionary operatives. Grand scheme of things followers. Defenders of the social order. They seek not to overthrow and revise, rather they seek their fair share. They seek the equal opportunity to exploit.(2)
The early 1970's Krisberg (1975) study provided an excellent analysis of gang views on racism and revolution. Interviews with gang members showed, as might be expected, a projection that most white prison guards are racist (Krisberg, 1975: p. 16). That is, there was little more than enmity towards white people with the noted exception that "if some rich white man will buy guns for Black revolutionaries, then he would be spared" (Krisberg, 1975: p. 16).
Apparently, the group studied by Krisberg saw themselves ready for revolution, where revolution meant "a large rumble (gang fight)" (ibid). Said one of the gang members "we're the experts in revolution...I know how to stab, he knows about dynamite, and none of us is afraid to use a gun" (Krisberg, 1975: p. 16).
Monster Cody's Revolutionary Image: A Thematic Example
The author of Monster (Shakur, 1993) in a "60 Minutes" interview (July 31, 1994) outlined a chronology of how he gave up the life of "Crips" as "Monster Cody" and converted to a revolutionary ideology supportive of the New African Republic. Prison, he said, was just a place for studying revolutionary science. He denied he was a sociopath, "I am just an ordinary guy" he said, in response to a sound bite from the prosecuting attorney who put Monster in prison. "He is extremely intelligent" and uses his cunning and personal power to manipulate others is what the prosecuting attorney implied.
Since writing the book he has gained much attention in the mass media. He renounced any loyalty to the United States in the interview, but vowed support for revolutionary ideals. With tears dripping from his eyes during a period of questioning about his football star legend father, whom Monster said he hated for essentially "not being there", he was quick to point out how he can be regarded as a political prisoner because he was a "political organizer" in the California prison system prior to being transferred to Pelican Bay.
Gang Members as Rebels Theme
Oppenheimer discussed gangs in several contexts, including a mention of Jeff Fort's Blackstone Rangers involved in political activities (1969: p. 38), but sees them generally, like Hobsbawm, as "bandits", with the caveat that one scenario could allow for the blurring of distinctions between criminal bandits and guerrillas, allowing for an escalation of conflict. From Oppenheimer's view:
People with guns but without ideology are bandits; people with ideology but without guns are liberals....the analogous social formation in the urban area is the gangster, or on a less organized level, the juvenile fighting gang (1969: p. 34).
Presumably gangs need only an ideology of pro-social systematic self-help to become, then, guerrillas by most definitions. The author's appraisal would suggest that this exists already.(3)
Moore's (1978) work tends to suggest similarly a "self-help" internalized ideology in the context of a visibly obvious in-group/out-group relationship between the gang member and larger society. Oppenheimer had recognized that:
"From time to time urban gangs (mainly juveniles, not racketeers) go "social", that is, abandon fighting and adopt tasks of a "social welfare" character, such as recreation, clean-up campaigns, and so forth" (1969, p. 35).
Perhaps what made the Symbionese Liberation Army different than the Crips or Bloods was their epitomizing this "social welfare" character in their role in food give-away's to the poor.
The haunting question, knowing that Jeff Fort's gang could be eager to carry out, for a price, terrorist activities in America, is this: How have other gangs have fared in this developmental direction(4)? Do gangs carry out political assassination?(5) Are gang members terrorists by definition?(6) Some new research on this issue is now emerging, in terms of access to military weapons by gang members, and their firearms usage patterns. This new research does show the gang member to have greater access to better firepower including fully automatic weapons, explosives, and military weapons, and a higher likelihood of wearing body armor during the commission of a crime.(7) A recent development in Chicago's gang community exemplifies this trend, several leaders of the Four Corner Hustlers gang were so angry about the effectiveness of a recent community policing initiative that was cutting into their drug operations income, that the gang members tried to acquire missiles and machineguns to blow up the local police station and wage a total war against the local police. They had turned over a large amount of cash and cocaine as their deposit on the purchase of an M72A2 LAWS anti-tank rocket. They were very serious about wanting to blow up the police station.(8)
The issues here are many. Could today's street gang be tomorrow's terrorist/urban guerilla group in armed warfare or low intensity conflict? Organizationally, the early India gangs were able to effectively function much like guerilla groups. That they kept their apolitical and ethnocentric views of the world, as professional bandits, may have kept them from seizing political power. What qualitative aspects of ideology must be present before we can consider the gang as a guerilla group? In the absence of such a formalized ideology is their opposition to be interpreted as little more than mercenary behavior? Or as Taylor (1990) would call it, "quisling" behavior? Or is the typical military terminology used by higher level gang formations just a social "put on"?
Stinchecombe's (1964) analysis of youth rebellion is useful here in coming to a summation on the matter of gangs, guerilla warfare, and social conflict. It advances the "articulation hypothesis" which amounts to this element of hope: to those who can articulate little relationship between their current socialization and relationship to dominant social institutions (e.g., the schools, etc, which are designed to train persons for such future productive roles in American society) and their subsequent life chances in the hope for a better existence --- it is among these for whom rebellion is strongest. Whether it is perceived or objective, the net effect is equally the same: alienation. In a high school context it became, ala Stinchecombe (1964), "expressive alienation". In a subsequent gang maybe it can become "active alienation" to the extent that these same persons carry on a war against their own society.
Bombing For Profit: An Example of an Islamic Chicago Gang (BPSN) and Terrorist For-Hire Arrangement With Libya
Jeff Fort the leader of Chicago's El Rukn gang seemed to follow a historical pattern in organizational emulation. When Louis Farakhan was able to get a five million dollar no interest loan from Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, Jeff felt he could get some too, and proceeded to seek $2.5 million to engage in domestic terrorism inside the United States on behalf of Gadhafi:
"In five years, Federal agents taped some 3,500 hours of conversations. Eventually they heard what sounded like an extraordinary transaction: Fort was trying to cut a deal with Moammar Gadhafi. For $2.5 million ("two dinners and half a lunch" in El Rukn code), the El Rukns would bomb government buildings and commit other terrorist acts in the United States, the Feds believed.
But they needed proof. It came when an El Rukn bought a rocket launcher from an undercover agent. And the icing came when Trammel Davis, an El Rukn amir, agreed to turn state's evidence in return for $10,000 for his family."(9)
Had Jeff Fort's Chicago gang, the El Rukn's, not contemplated seriously the ideological exploitation value of being a terrorist for hire organization for a foreign nation hostile to America (Useem and Kimball, 1989: p. 77), do you think Jeff Fort would still be operating on the streets of Chicago, indeed perhaps throughout America today? In the late 1960s, during a time of intense ideological strife in America, much of it having to do with civil rights and the anti-war movement in reaction against the war in Vietnam, was it not the Black Panther's who were attacked rather than Jeff Fort's gang of thugs and robbers? That gangs in America, whatever their skin color, have previously had the overall characteristic of being rightwing, and reactionary, supportive of the status quo, tends to be supported from most of the extant literature.(10) But that may have changed today with the advent of greater sophistication in the organizational structure of gangs.
Bombing Rival Gang Clubhouses: The Use of C-4 in a Car Bomb in Chicago (1994) in the War between Hells Angels and Outlaws
The rivalry between the two outlaw motorcycle gangs known as the Hell's Angels and the Outlaws is one of competition: it is similar to the gang rivalry between Crips vs. Bloods or People vs. Folks in being a kind of conflict not likely to ever disappear. This conflict has routinely involved the use of explosive devices. In fact, one of the incidents that happened to occur in Chicago in 1994 involved a detonation of 100 pounds of C-4, making it the third largest explosive device ever criminally detonated on American soil prior to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 (#1 = World Trade Center truck bomb, #2 = Oklahoma City federal building truck bomb).
In 1994, the Hell's Angels were expanding their gang by means of a hostile merger scenario: the Hell's Angels told the Hell's Henchmen gang members to quit or join the Hell's Angels. Most of the members of the Hell's Henchmen "patched over" (e.g., flipped gang allegiance) to the Hell's Angels gang. The Outlaws were not going to sit back and allow this to go unchecked and violence quickly erupted in a variety of different forms in various parts of the USA. But in Chicago, the Outlaws devised a large and powerful "Car Bomb" that would be used to target a clubhouse owned by the Hell's Henchmen.
This "car bomb" consisted of using a stolen car, then loading it with an estimated 100 pounds of C-4, the military grade plastic explosive, and then using it to attack their rival gang. On November 9th, 1994, about 5:00 p.m., the "car bomb" was driven to the Hell's Henchmen clubhouse then located at 1734 W. Grand Avenue, in Chicago, Illinois. The gang member who drove the "car bomb" to its intended target was the President of the Gary, Indiana chapter of the Outlaws. The "car bomb" was parked in front of the Hell's Henchmen clubhouse with a short time-delay because within two minutes after it was parked next to the clubhouse, the bomb detonated.
Gang Involvement in Looting, Rioting, and Arson: The Los Angeles Example
No one disputes the fact that gang members and gangs were actively involved in the Los Angeles riots after the "not-guilty" verdict regarding Rodney King. Gang rights activist and advocacy views tend to downplay the role of gangs in the riots and point to the widely viewed television news footage showing entire families and many diverse individuals who were looting stores. The record shows that during the riot over 800 buildings were torched resulting in property losses exceeding $750 million dollars. Among the subsequent arrests made for arson related to the riot, about a third were gang members or gang-affiliated(11).
In a riot situation, a condition of civil disorder and the breakdown of legal regulations, it is the individual "one-time" rioter or the novice (e.g., a homeless person, a mother, etc) who is most likely to be arrested. A gang member could be expected to operate with members of his/her own gang; and thus, acting as a group they are much more formidable, and therefore less likely to actually be caught. Gangs are predisposed to criminal activity, and therefore are more likely to systematically benefit from looting in a riot or civil disturbance. Gang members were not stealing Pampers or canned food goods, they were targeting businesses like the 29 gun shops that were looted of about 5,000 firearms. Gangs in L.A. were believed to have taken most of those guns including two hundred police uniforms that were also stolen(12).
Political Extremist Gangs on the Far Left of the Political Spectrum: The Case of the Black Guerilla Family
The Black Guerrilla Family (BGF) is typically found in adult prisons, but has also been reported as active by local law enforcement, in adult jails, and in juvenile correctional institutions. While it is found throughout California, the BGF has been reported in a number of other states (Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin). The written constitution of the BGF consists of 16 pages of single spaced typed text. This is one of the few gang constitutions that clearly indicates an intent to engage in armed conflict.
The BGF in its written constitution clearly regards other gangs like the Aryan Brotherhood and the Mexican Mafia (EME) as enemies; in fact, as "tools" of the penal administration. Of all the written gang constitutions, that of the BGF is clearly the most politically sophisticated. Yet much of it seems as if it could have been copied --- in terms of phrases, "pat expressions", etc --- straight out of radical leftist newspapers or periodicals. The BGF also recognizes its beginnings in the "guiding example and teachings of George Jackson". George Jackson was a famous African-American militant who died of gunfire while imprisoned. He helped ignite the "prisoner rights/reform/protest" movement of the 1970's (Jackson, 1970).
The BGF oath like that of their arch enemy (the Aryan Brotherhood) rhymes in the form of a poem(13):
OATH OF THE BLACK GUERRILLA FAMILY
If I should ever break my stride,
And falter at my comrades side,
This oath will kill me.
If ever my world should prove untrue,
Should I betray this chosen few,
This oath will kill me.
Should I be slow to take a stand,
Should I show fear to any man,
This oath will kill me.
Should I grow lax in discipline,
In time of strife refuse my hand.
This oath will kill me.
Under its section on Exemplary Punishment, the BGF constitution specifies a death sentence to any member who basically doesn't go along with the program. Several gang laws are listed, such as "use of heroin", "selling or giving weapons to the enemy", etc. Many gangs have the rights of trial for members, but not the BGF which includes this very efficient clause: "Time not permitting a chance of review, the Generals, for security reasons, may order and have a sentence of death carried out against a member for violation of one of the above laws".
In addition to its "do's" and "don'ts" in terms of expected behavior (basically political indoctrination), the BGF constitution includes a very elaborate "Party Platform". It specifically identifies the "Party" as the overall reference group, apparently the Communist Party from this paragraph in Part III of the BGF constitution:
"We use Marxism, which is positive in spirit, to overcome liberalism, which is negative. A communist should have largeness of mind, and he/she should be staunch and active, looking upon the interest of the revolution as his/her very life and subordinating his/her personal interests to those of the revolution. Always and everywhere he/she should adhere to principles and wage a tireless struggle against all incorrect ideas and actions, as to consolidate the collective life of the Party, and strengthen the ties between the Party and the masses. He/she should be more concerned about others than about himself/herself. Only thus can we be considered a Communist."
In its ideal and self-described form, then, this particular gang does in fact see itself by name and intention as a group that is "about revolution". Guerilla warfare and political terrorism are definitely potential interests of this gang.
It is of some interest, as well, that gangs behind bars in states like Illinois such as the Brothers of the Struggle (B.O.S.) refer in their internal literature to their development goals as a "movement". A number of such internal written documents of the B.O.S. gang (basically another name for the Gangster Disciples) are provided in this book. As reported elsewhere (Knox, 1993), this same gang that operates inside jails and adult prisons (and juvenile correctional institutions as well) has evolved to the point where it now has it own written "Disciplinary Report Forms" that it completes on its own members when they violate one of the internal rules and regulations of the gang.
Assassination Inside Mexico: Using U.S. Streetgang Members
The two top Catholic leaders of Mexico were gunned down in 1993 in Guadalajara, Mexico near the airport because their car resembled that of a rival drug lord targeted for assassination. The shooters that killed Mexico's Cardinal on May 24th, 1993 were American street gang members hired by a Mexican drug lord to hit a rival(14). The facts show that important linkages have been made between foreign groups and American gangs: Islamic terrorist groups and the El Rukns, the Yakuza and the Latin Kings, and the above instance of a Mexican drug lord and the 30th Street Gang in San Diego. It would seem gangs may be expected to figure prominently in such future scenarios unless our society confronts this problem most forthrightly.
It was not until February of 1998 that arrests were made in the mistaken-identity/assassination-style killing of Roman Catholic Cardinal Juan Jesus Posada Ocampo. It turned out that the Arrelano Felix drug trafficking gang based in Tijuana, Mexico recruited ten (10) gang members from San Diego, California for this "hit". The gang members were from the Logan Heights neighborhood in San Diego. They were supposed to kill Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman Loera. "Chapo" is a rival gang/drug kingpin competing with the Arelano Felix drug gang.
What happened at the Guadalajara Airport parking lot in 1993 was that seven people were killed, including Cardinal Ocampo. Guzman was there, but he escaped injury. Guzman was in an armored car. Several of the shooters are, like the Felix brothers, fugitives living somewhere today in Mexico.
The Arellano Felix drug gang is led by Ramon Arrelano Felix and his brother, Benjamin Arrelano Felix. A two million dollar reward was offered by the FBI for information leading to the arrest of these two fugitives from justice.
GANG MEMBERS WITH BOMBS: A PRINT JOURNALISM EXAMPLE
It is a growing trend: gang members with bombs. In early April, 1998, Rahshan Hodge, age 22, was wanted by police, having been indicted along with 43 others on drug and related charges, all those indicted were associated with the GI (Gary Indiana) Boys gang, also known as "Young Boys, Inc". While Young Boys, Inc was first established in Detroit, it eventually became active in Gary and Columbus, Ohio.
Police received a tip that Hodge might be coming into Columbus, Ohio on a Greyhound bus. Staking out the bus terminal, police spotted Hodge and arrested him. He had ten (10) pipe bombs in his possession at the time.
What do you think a gang member would do with ten bombs?
Project GANGMILL involved the following researchers: Kathy Aquino, George Corbiscello, Alice P. Franklin Elder, Ph.D., Gregg Etter, Ed.D., Shirley R. Holmes, Ph.D., James G. Houston, Ph.D., Janice Jackson, Ph.D., George W. Knox, Ph.D., Curtis Robinson, M.A., and Sandra Stone, Ph.D. --- all working together to collect data on N = 1,042 gang members from 22 different correctional facilities in 7 states during 1998-1999.
The Project GANGMILL research project by the National Gang Crime Research Center involved collecting data on N = 3,489 juvenile and adult offenders in seven states from 22 different correctional facilities. The data was collected during the time frame of 1998-1999. This sample was then pared down to N = 2,865 by means of intentional efforts to "validate" the data: that is, intentionally eliminating cases from the sample where deception or inconsistency was detected. Just over a thousand of these offenders in the national sample were gang members (N = 1,042). It is this national sample of N = 1,042 gang members that is used for the present analysis.
The research design used here offered the respondents complete anonymity. Instructions during the collection of the data included the routine statement: "please do not put your name on this survey" to enhance the role of anonymity in the data collection procedure. This, combined with the fact that the respondents simply put their completed survey in a stack or collection box in a group context, allowed them a concrete assurance that their survey would not be "singled out" and linked to them in anyway.
A variety of independent explanatory variables will be examined in the research reported here. These independent or causal variables will be explained at appropriate points in the analysis. The primary dependent variable examined is the issue of bomb and arson activity by gang members. This factor was measured by the survey item: "Involving gang activities, has your gang ever used Molotov cocktails or explosives?". Thus, the dependent variable covers both incendiary and explosive devices in the furtherance of gang activities. This particular item on the Project GANGMILL survey was constructed by Kathy Aquino.
Table 1 presents the overall summary table of factors significantly differentiating gang use of explosive or incendiary devices involving gang activities. Each of these factors will be discussed separately. The test statistic in Table 1 is the Chi-square test, thus each factor includes the "Chi = " value and the probability level associated with this test result. The factors presented in Table 1 are also presented in the same sequence that the survey items appeared inside the Project GANGMILL survey instrument.
Gender, as could be hypothesized, is a factor significantly differentiating the use of explosives and incendiary devices. Generally, the crime of arson itself is an offense pattern that is largely male in nature, as evidenced by trends reported over the years in the Uniform Crime Report (UCR). Historically, women constitute a low percentage of arson arrests overall in America. Table 1 shows that 52.8 percent of male gang members are reporting the use of explosives by their gang, compared to 36.6 percent among female gang members.
Bullying behavior early in the school years of the lifespan of gang members is shown in Table 1 to be a factor significantly differentiating bomb/arson activity by American gangs. Bullying behavior usually occurs after being a bully victim, and leads directly to gang membership itself in the etiological sequence explaining gang joining behavior and entry into gang life, where the average age of joining a gang is about age 12 (i.e., about 6th grade). Some 43.7 percent of those who were not bullies in school reported gang use of explosive/incendiary devices, compared to 55.2 percent among those gang members who were bullies while in school.
The factor of religious socialization was measured by whether the respondent reported that his/her parents regularly attended church. This factor of parental church involvement is shown in Table 1 to be a factor significantly differentiating bomb/arson gang activity. Some 54.1 percent of those without parental church involvement (i.e., their parents did not regularly attend church) reported bomb/arson gang activity, compared to 47.6 percent among those who did have this factor of early childhood religious socialization (i.e., parents who regularly attend church).
A series of survey items from Project GANGMILL addressed gang activity in the workplace. Gang activity in the workplace is an emerging issue in gang research (see for example: www.search-international.com/whatsnew/wnstreetgangs.htm). Stealing from an employer was a factor significantly differentiating bomb/arson gang activity as seen in Table 1. The bomb/arson gang activity level was 47.9 percent for those who had not stolen anything from an employer they had worked for, compared to 58.1 percent among those who had in fact stolen something from an employer. All of our factors about gang activity in the workplace were significant in relationship to bomb/arson gang activity. This may, therefore, be measuring some larger underlying behavioral tendency as will be addressed shortly.
The existence or lack of parental supervision during childhood was a factor significantly differentiating bomb/arson gang activity in this large national sample of gang members. Those gang members lacking in effective parental supervision during their childhood years are reporting higher levels of bomb/arson gang activity. As seen in Table 1, some 59.0 percent of those who lacked parental supervision are reporting bomb/arson activity, compared to 46.1 percent among those who did not exhibit this factor of ineffective parental supervision. This socialization factor is therefore consistent the behavioral science profile that would predict unsupervised youths could "drift" into gang life.
Sexual abuse has, historically, been a significant factor in explaining gang membership itself; particularly among female gang members. The factor in Table 1, however, relates to incest experiences among gang members: whether they have ever had sex with someone in their immediate family. Obviously, this is consistent with the lack of parental supervision factor as well. What Table 1 shows is that gang members who have had incestual sexual experiences are much more likely to also report bomb/arson activity. Some 61.3 percent of those who report incest also report bomb/arson activity by their gang; compared with 50.1 percent among those who did not have incest in their behavioral science background.
A factor measuring criminal victimization of an employer or former employer is shown in Table 1 to be a factor significantly differentiating bomb/arson gang activity. The survey asked "have you ever robbed or burglarized a company that you ever worked for?". In most scenarios, the way this plays out is the sequence where the gang member is fired or terminated from employment, and sometime after this separation from the company/employer the same facility is targeted for robbery/burglary. Table 1 shows that 49.1 percent of those who have not victimized a former employer in this regard report bomb/arson gang activity, compared to 63.8 percent among those gang members who have in fact victimized their previous employers.
Violence in the workplace by gang members, itself a factor likely to lead to their termination from employment in the overall etiological sequence, is shown in Table 1 to be a factor significantly differentiating bomb/arson gang activity. What this shows is very consistent with the overall behavioral science profile: the more violent the gang member's previous history, the more likely they are to report bomb/arson gang activity as well. As seen in Table 1, while 47.5 percent of those who have not threatened or assaulted someone while working at a legitimate job report bomb/arson gang activity, this rises to 65.9 percent among those gang members who have exhibited this kind of violence in the American workplace.
Selling drugs while employed at a legitimate job is simply a way that gang members supplement their income. Table 1 shows this background factor to be one that significantly differentiates bomb/arson gang activity. Some 44.5 percent of those who have not sold drugs at a legitimate employer's job site report bomb/arson gang activity, but this rises to 62.5 percent for those who have in fact sold drugs while "on the job" in legitimate employment. Obviously, in the overall etiological sequence of events, this factor of selling drugs on the job site is something that could itself be presumed to be a reason for their termination from employment if discovered. They would not be fired for being a gang member, they would be fired for their harmful threats to the workplace: crime and violence in the workplace is what gets them fired.
While it is not a particularly a strong relationship (p = .05), Table 1 does show that the factor of "dabbling in black magic or the occult" is a behavioral profile factor significantly differentiating bomb/arson gang activity. Some 45.3 percent of those gang members who were not knowledgeable of "black magic/occult" reported bomb/arson gang activity; but this rises to 60 percent among those gang members who report "yes" that they have in fact previously dabbled in "black magic" or the occult.
The racial background of gang members is shown to produce much variation in the reporting of bomb/arson gang activity as seen in Table 1. The lowest rate for reporting bomb/arson gang activity is associated with those gang members who are African-American (42.4%), while the highest rates are for Hispanic/Latino's (61%) and those in a bi-racial category (61.1%).
The factor of what must be presumed as retaliatory crime against a former employer is shown in Table 1 to significantly differentiate bomb/arson gang activity. The assumption of a retaliatory/revenge motivation is justified by reason of the higher probability that when a gang member exits from legitimate employment he/she is more likely to be in a terminated status than in a situation of having moved on to a better job offer. A cluster of gang behaviors in the American workplace suggest gang members bring this kind of activity to the job site (threats, violence, drug sales, theft, etc). This factor of criminal revenge against a former employer is measured from the survey item "have you ever returned to the place of a business of a former employer to commit a crime?". Therefore, the sequence is specifically "former employer" and generally can be assumed, in the case of gang members, to have some retaliatory or revenge motivation as well. Table 1 shows that some 46.9 percent of those who have not victimized a former employer report bomb/arson gang activity, but this rises to 71.3 percent among those gang members who have victimized a former employer. This kind of "hard-core violence-prone gang member" surfaces in the overall behavioral profile developed in the research reported here to be more likely to be associated with bomb/arson gang activity.
Having ever sold crack cocaine is a background factor shown in Table 1 to significantly different bomb/arson gang activity. Some 44.9 percent of those gang members who have not previously sold crack cocaine report bomb/arson gang activity; but this rises to 55.9 percent among those gang members who have previously sold the illegal drug "crack cocaine". Several different "drug sales" and "drug abuse" variables demonstrate a consistent cluster of factors generally associated with a higher level of bomb/arson gang activity as can be seen in Table 1.
Having ever used crack cocaine is a background factor shown in Table 1 to significantly different bomb/arson gang activity. Some 48.7 percent of those gang members who have not previously used crack cocaine report bomb/arson gang activity; but this rises to 62.7 percent among those gang members who have previously used the illegal drug "crack cocaine". While sales of drugs may be associated with the higher level of expected violence from gang rivalry and competition in the illegal drug market itself, usage may tend to reflect a greater level of impulsivity. The drug abuse factors generally may be assumed to reduce critical thinking skills or aggravate existing tendencies towards violent behavior.
Having ever used "crank" or methamphetamine is a background factor shown in Table 1 to significantly different bomb/arson gang activity. Some 48.2 percent of those gang members who have not previously used "crank" report bomb/arson gang activity; but this rises to 65.3 percent among those gang members who have previously used the illegal drug "crank" or methamphetamine. While historically this "speed" drug known as crank or meth is culturally associated with white biker gang members, recent research by Robinson (2001) now demonstrates that there has been a major "cross-over effect" in meth use and meth sales across ethnic groups within the American gang member population.
Having ever sold "crank" or methamphetamine is a background factor shown in Table 1 to significantly different bomb/arson gang activity. Some 46.2 percent of those gang members who have not previously sold "crank" report bomb/arson gang activity; but this rises to 65.7 percent among those gang members who have previously sold the illegal drug "crank" or methamphetamine. Note, this is not measuring meth production or the operation of meth labs, it is the issue of distribution of the meth drug that is rampant throughout ethnic groups within the American gang member population today.
Consistent with the "hard-core violence-prone" cluster of behavioral factors emerging in Table 1 which are associated with higher levels of bomb/arson gang activity, is the factor of having ever fired a gun at a police officer. This does not measure firearms homicides of police officers, nor even firearm injuries sustained by police officers from gang members; it is a more generalized measure of firearm violence directed at police officers. More typically, gang members fire handguns in the direction of police officers in the context of their ongoing conflict. Currently, no national statistical database exists in regard to the level of firearm violence directed at police officers from gang members. A strong statistically significant difference emerges in Table 1 in regard to this factor. While 44.1 percent of those gang members who have not fired a gun at a police officer report bomb/arson gang activity, this rises to 69.7 percent for those gang members who have in fact discharged firearms at police officers.
A cluster of different factors exist that could be loosely termed "highly committed to gang life" which are shown in Table 1 to be logically consistent behavioral profile factors significantly differentiating bomb/arson gang activity. Having ever held a position of leadership in the gang, for example, is itself one of these factors. As seen in Table 1, 41 percent of those who have not held a leadership role in their gang report bomb/arson gang activity, but this rises to 56.6 percent for those gang members who have ever held any "rank" or leadership position in their gang. It is, therefore, a measure of the extent of integration into gang life; a reflection of their commitment to continuity in a gang lifestyle.
Another variable that becomes a surrogate measure of the level of continuing commitment to gang life is violence from the same gang. When we first began investigating this ritualistic use of violence against gang members as a mechanism of controlling gang members, we had originally hypothesized that the stigma and experience of going through "violation" ceremonies (violation ceremonies consist of having several members of the gang administer violent punishment against a fellow gang member) might be associated with a higher likelihood of defection attempts from the same gang. We were very wrong indeed in this regard, as the data has previously shown that those gang members who are ritually punished by violence from their own gang generally develop a higher level of commitment to the gang: they become more "hardcore" members of the same gang, not less likely to quit the same gang. Thus, Table 1 shows that 39.1 percent of those gang members who have not experienced violence in connection with their initiation into the gang are reporting bomb/arson gang activity, but this rises to 56.1 percent among those gang members that did have violence involved in their initiation into the gang. This "violence" as a part of gang initiation can include, generally, two different trends: having the gang initiate undergo a ritualistic endurance test where they are become "beat into" the gang, the other gang members present can administer violence to the initiate; and secondly, where the new gang recruit is expected to earn his admission into the gang by means of violence directed at a rival gang (e.g., in the Aryan Brotherhood gang "kill to get in, die to get out", real AB's have to kill a gang rival or someone designated by the AB gang to be killed, most typically a gang rival or someone who has offended the gang).
A cluster of factors that tend to measure gang infrastructure organizational sophistication are associated consistently with higher levels of bomb/arson gang activity. That is, the more organizationally complex or sophisticated the gang, the more it is likely to report bomb/arson gang activity. This is also consistent with the theoretical model of gang classification (Knox, 2000) where the gang crime threat assessment is also to a large degree associated with the extent to which a gang is either an informal/formal group/organization. A gang that has a special language code, its own developed oral tradition over the years that has generated a unique sub-language system allowing its members to communicate in code, is an example of a feature of gang life associated with more organizationally sophisticated gangs. Table 1 shows that 42.7 percent of those gang members whose gang lacks such a language code are reporting bomb/arson gang activity, but this increases to 55.9 percent for those gangs that have such a special language code; it is, therefore, a significant factor.
Whether a gang has written rules for its members is another aspect of gang organizational infrastructure significantly differentiating bomb/arson gang activity. As seen in Table 1, some 42.7 percent of those gang members who do not have written rules in their gang report bomb/arson gang activity, but this rises to 55.5 percent in gangs where there are "written rules" for the gang members. These "written rules" vary widely from gang to gang (see Knox, 2000 for examples), but are generally a series of "do's" and "don'ts" that constitute the basis for "violating" or punishing errant gang members. For example, one kind of almost universal gang rule for inducing commitment to gang life is "don't drop your flag": meaning, when confronted or taunted by a rival gang, show your gang allegiance, do not run from the rivals, do not deny your gang affiliation to rivals, etc. This behavior of "dropping the gang nation's flag" is generally punished violently within more organizationally sophisticated American gangs (e.g., Vice Lords, Latin Kings, Gangster Disciples, etc).
Whether a gang holds regularly weekly gang meetings is another aspect of gang organization shown in Table 1 to significantly differentiate bomb/arson gang activity. As seen in Table 1, some 43.9 percent of the gang members whose gangs do not hold regular weekly meetings report bomb/arson gang activity, compared to 57.7 percent among those in gangs that do require such regularly weekly meetings. For those not familiar with this aspect of American gang life, among those gangs that do require regular weekly meetings, a gang member can be "violated" for not showing up on time or not at all for such a gang meeting.
Whether a gang requires its members to pay regular "dues" is similarly an aspect of organizational sophistication shown in Table 1 to be associated with higher levels of bomb/arson gang activity. As seen in Table 1, some 48.6 percent of those gang members who do not face weekly dues from their gang report bomb/arson gang activity, but this rises to 62.2 percent within gangs where such weekly dues are in fact required (i.e., mandatory) by the gang. Failure to pay such "dues", by the way, is also typically a behavior sanctioned by the gang by means of "violations". Gangs "violate" their deadbeat members is the reality in more sophisticated complex gang organizations in America today.
Early studies of "gang defection" and what could be done to increase the likelihood of gang members quitting their gang revealed an interesting trend: the difference between volunteers and recruits. Persons who volunteer to join a gang are generally more highly committed to their gang and less likely to attempt to quit their gang. Conversely, those persons who are recruited by a gang are less committed to their gang and are more likely to attempt to quit their gang. Thus, it is a surrogate measurement of commitment to gang life to know whether a gang member "voluntarily joined" (i.e., sought out the gang as a lifestyle) or was "recruited into" the gang (i.e., cultivated and sucked into gang life). Table 1 shows that this factor does significantly differentiate bomb/arson gang activity. Among those who did not volunteer to join their gang, some 48.6 percent report bomb/arson gang activity, but this rises to 53.7 percent for those who volunteered (were not recruited) into the gang.
The way to distinguish between an established gang organization and an emerging youth gang is whether the gang has adult leaders who have been in the same gang for many years. This aspect of the gang membership composition and leadership structure differentiates between gangs like the "Trenchcoat Mafia" consisting of young schoolage youths and gangs like the Black P. Stone Nation (BPSN) who have members and leaders who are in their 50's and 60's in terms of their age. This organizational factor of having adult leaders who have been in the gang for many years significantly differentiates bomb/arson gang activity. Table 1 shows that, first of all, most of the gang members nationwide fit the category of having such adult leaders. Some 30.5 percent of the gang members who reported not having older adult leaders reported bomb/arson gang activity, but this rises to 54.7 percent where the gang has such adult leaders who have been in the gang for many years.
Some recent research by the National Gang Crime Research Center has focused on how some gangs operate like cults: where members of the gang blindly but obediently obey the "marching orders" of their gang (see: Knox, 2000: pp. 227-251). After the September 11 terrorist attacks on America, there was much discussion among policy makers about the difficulty of dealing with groups whose members are willing to engage in "suicide bombings". However, we can recall from the Columbine High School "attack" by the Trench Coat Mafia, that while a small group it too had committed itself to dying in the attack on their own American high school. Before one becomes tempted to say that the Trench Coat Mafia were a rare anomaly, recall from Project GANGPINT (1995) that some 50.8 percent of American gang members are willing to die for their gang friends. It is in light of this larger backdrop of a national gang assessment that we now discuss the issue of "gang automatons".
The gang member "automaton" is basically a gang member willing to do anything the gang asks them to do. There have been cases, for example, where new female initiates into the gang have been ordered to have sex with an HIV-infected gang leader: they willingly complied with this order. The "gang automaton" factor was measured in Project GANGMILL by means of the following survey self-description item: "Which best describes you: ___Whatever the gang expects of me, I do ___I do whatever I want regardless of what the gang expects me to do". It is, therefore, a difference in terms of commitment to the gang itself. As seen in Table 1, this factor of gang commitment significantly differentiates bomb/arson gang activity. Those gang members describing themselves as "I do whatever I want regardless of what the gang expects me to do" in 48.9 percent of the cases are reporting bomb/arson gang activities. However, this rises to 56.9 percent among gang members who describe themselves as "whatever the gang expects of me, I do".
Openly "branded" gang members are those whose gang membership is well-known to their own parents and other members of the community in which they live. There is a behavioral distinction in examining those gang members who have and who have not concealed their gang involvement from their parents. Those who conceal their gang membership from their parents are still, to some extent, probably subject to some level of social control from legitimate figures of their society. Those who do not conceal their gang membership from their parents sometimes (about 10 percent of the cases in the American gang member population today) fit the profile where a parent (mother or father) has actually encouraged their child to join a gang: this should probably be defined in the criminal codes as a blatant and felony form of child abuse, but there is not one single state in America that has yet addressed this issue of social policy. Thus, legally in America today (2001) a "bad parent" can raise their kid to be a KKK member or gang member and not be subject to any penalty whatsoever. We present this matter in the context of understanding how and why a gang member is generally more "hard-core" or more highly committed to gang life when the same gang member's parents are knowledgeable of their child's gang membership.
As seen in Table 1, whether the parents know about the gang membership of their offspring is a factor that significantly differentiates bomb/arson gang activity. Among those who conceal or have concealed their gang membership from their parents, some 41.3 percent report bomb/arson gang activity. This rises to 56.9 percent among those gang members where their parents are fully aware of their gang membership.
Knowing whether the gang itself, as an organizational entity, has ever sold crack cocaine is a factor that also significantly differentiates bomb/arson gang activity. We have previously examined, in Table 1, the sales and use of crack cocaine by individual gang members: this additional and separate measurement addresses whether the gang itself as an illegal economic enterprise has been involved in the systematic sales of crack cocaine as well. As seen in Table 1, some 35.3 percent of those gang members whose gangs did not sell crack cocaine report bomb/arson activities, but this rises to 54.8 percent where the gang has in fact (as an organizational profit-making endeavor) sold crack cocaine.
Another common measurement of the extent of commitment to gang life is knowing whether the person has yet been "branded": i.e., has a permanent gang tattoo. These gang tattoo designs typically include the gang symbols, the gang logo, the gang name or the initials of their gang, special slogans for their gang, sometimes even special memorial statements related to the loss of members of their gang (e.g., RIP messages relating to gang members "killed in action" or killed by rival gangs). Tattoo parlors in America do a thriving business selling their tattoo services to gang members and thereby encouraging an increased public safety threat in the jurisdictions in which they operate these businesses. Again, there is not a single state in America that has sought to regulate such tattoo businesses in terms of at least recording what types of gang tattoos (e.g., perhaps pictures recorded for police inspection, etc) are actually being produced. In fact, about the only "regulations" that exist are age restrictions on who can get a tattoo (typically 18 years of age), but few penalties exist in this regard for violation of such minimal statutory restrictions. Actually one way to monitor what gangs are doing active aggressive recruiting in a community is to simply ask the tattoo parlors and the operators of "customized sports wear/airbrushing" shops what new types of gang apparel are being purchased: the new recruits have to show their "gang colors". Many gang members who end up in prison or juvenile correctional institutions improvise in regard to permanent tattoo markings: they do varying levels of art work appeal and sophistication in terms of self-made tattoos or with the help of their fellow gang member inmates (sometimes even incorrectly spelling gang slogans on their body).
Knowing whether a gang member has a permanent gang tattoo is shown in Table 1 to be a factor significantly differentiating bomb/arson gang activity. Among those gang members lacking a permanent gang tattoo, some 45.4 percent also report bomb/arson gang activity. But this rises to 58.6 percent if the gang member has a permanent gang tattoo. This variable of having a permanent gang tattoo fits into the cluster of factors about "high level of commitment to gang life".
Another variable measuring "commitment to gang life" deals with the best known gang-defection screening question: "would you consider leaving the gang for a steady, secure job opportunity?". A lot of people who have something to say about what causes people to join a gang frequently see a "steady, secure job opportunity" as a Silver Bullet, a panacea, for gang prevention. That is actually not a very safe assumption at all: it presumes, quite incorrectly, that someone wants to be a part of "mainstream" American society. Merton's (1949: p. 133) typology of deviance illustrated to criminologists many years ago that not all deviants even internalize the goals of having a "legitimate job"; some reject this way of life in favor of criminal alternatives.
But, nevertheless, there is within this issue of the lure of a "job opportunity" a measure of the extent to which the gang life has become the single most salient concern to gang members above and beyond any interest in getting a good job. Those who would leave gang life behind in favor of a job opportunity can be viewed at the low threshold level of commitment to gang life. Thus, as seen in Table 1, this variable of whether gang members would consider leaving the gang for a steady, secure job opportunity is a factor that does significantly differentiate bomb/arson gang activity. Some 49.0 of those who would leave the gang for a job report bomb/arson gang activity; but this rises to 56.6 percent of those gang members who would not be tempted to leave their gang simply because they are offered a steady, secure job opportunity.
Creating a kind of "group think" is not easy for gangs today, given the type of person who enters into gang life: persons not necessary gifted at following any kind of rule whatsoever. Thus, the more sophisticated gangs in America today achieve their ability to "keep members in line" by means of using violence against their own members. The survey included an item specifically designed to measure this aspect of gang organization: "do you use violence against members of your own gang?". Table 1 shows that this factor significantly differentiates bomb/arson gang activity. Among those who report their gang does not use violence against its members some 47.4 percent report bomb/arson gang activity, compared to 58.5 percent for those gangs that do use violence against their own members.
We have previously discussed and examined the variable measuring whether a gang uses violence against its own members, but a separate question on the Project GANGMILL survey measured specifically whether the respondent had in fact experienced such a violation procedure. The survey asked "have you ever been 'violated' (i.e., physically punished with violence) by members of your own gang?". This factor of both organizational complexity and its impact (e.g., higher commitment to the gang) is shown in Table 1 to significantly differentiate bomb/arson gang activity. Some 48.4 percent of those who have not been "violated" report bomb/arson gang activity, compared to 56.5 percent among those gang members who have personally experienced a "violation" procedure from their own gang.
Obviously, some gangs will kill their own members if necessary to enforce internal discipline. This has been illustrated in the Hollywood movies about gangs, such as American Me and turns up in a large variety of forms across all ethnic groups represented in the American gang member population. This was illustrated in Chicago's Black Disciples gang in the summer of 1994 when 11-year-old Robert "Yummy" Sandifer was executed by his own gang for bringing unnecessary "heat" on the gang (see cover story of Time Magazine, September 19, 1994). The survey asked "Has your gang ever killed one of its own members?". This is a measure of organizational sophistication in terms of maintaining obedience of the membership of the gang. It is shown in Table 1 to be a factor that significantly differentiates bomb/arson gang activity. Some 43.2 percent of those who indicated their gang has not killed its own members did report bomb/arson gang activity, but this rises to 70.6 percent in those gangs that do kill their own members.
Gangs that are bilingual have an organizational sophistication capability higher than those whose members speak only in English. Table 1 shows this factor to significantly differentiate bomb/arson gang activity as well. Among those gangs that speak only in English, some 44.2 percent report bomb/arson gang activity; but this rises to 58.5 percent for those that are not limited to speaking the English language.
It is unfortunately true that about one in ten gang members in America today had a parent who encouraged them to join the gang. Much more prevalent than this is the matter of having siblings who are also in the same gang. The survey included the question: "Some of my family are also in my gang. ___True ___False". This factor can be classified as one in the cluster of factors related to "high gang commitment", because having a sibling or family member in the same gang can reasonably be assured to make it harder to quit gang life. This factor is shown in Table 1 to significantly differentiate bomb/arson gang activity. Some 44.2 percent of those who do not have family members in the same gang report bomb/arson gang activity, but this rises to 55.9 percent for those who have family members in the same gang.
A way to measure the extent to which a gang member is "highly committed" (e.g., hardcore) to gang life is to see if the gang member is alienated from gang leadership. Thus, Project GANGMILL included the true/false scenario question: "Gang leaders are real slick. They use you to get all they can out of you. So really, they're just like all the other rip-off organizations in society". This factor did significantly differentiate bomb/arson gang activity as seen in Table 1. Some 44.6 percent of those who were alienated from gang leadership reported bomb/arson gang activity; but this rises to 53.5 percent for those answering "false" (i.e., the more highly committed to gang life).
While not enjoying much previous attention from gang researchers, some gangs today are involving in more sophisticated criminal enterprises such as counterfeiting. The survey included the true/false question: "My gang has members who produce quality counterfeit United States Currency". This is a factor measuring the organizational sophistication of gangs. It is shown in Table 1 to be a factor that significantly differentiates bomb/arson gang activity. Some 44.5 percent of those who report no USC counterfeiting capability report bomb/arson gang activity, but this rises to 70.7 percent for those in gangs who are involved as well in producing counterfeit U.S. currency.
Manufacturing and distributing "bootleg" copies of newly released motion pictures is also an offense pattern that some American gangs are involved in today. The survey included the true/false question: "My gang has members who produce and sell illegal copies of the latest movies made in Hollywood". This, again, is a measure of gang organizational sophistication viewed from their crime pattern analysis. As seen in Table 1, this factor does significantly differentiate bomb/arson gang activity. Some 46.1 percent of those not involved in "bootleg" videos report bomb/arson gang activity, but this rises to 69.4 percent for those gangs that are involved in this crime pattern.
Finally, another measure of gang sophistication included the degree to which the gang had "cross-national" contacts. The survey included the true/false question: "My gang has members who have connections with crime figures in foreign countries". This factor significantly differentiates bomb/arson gang activity as seen in Table 1. Some 38.1 percent of those lacking foreign crime contacts report bomb/arson gang activity, but this rises to 64.5 percent when the gang has such foreign crime figure connections. An additional cluster of factors found to be associated with bomb/arson gang activity has to do with the behavioral adjustment of gang members to the correctional environment. Generally, some gang members after conviction arrive at a correctional institution and inside these correctional environments they continue to "gangbang". They went to prison for "gangbanging" and there is a certain type of gang-inmate who just continues this combative behavior pattern inside correctional facilities. We have called this the "high-STG" pattern: they continue to demonstrate a high level of security risk behaviors from a security threat group perspective. Gangs inside correctional facilities typically are called Security Threat Groups (STGs).
Gang members, generally, are more likely than non-gang members to get into fights inside a correctional facility. But even within the gang member population there is much variation in this regard: about half "chill out" and about half tend to get into fights. Table 1 illustrates how getting into physical fights while in custody is itself a factor that significantly differentiates bomb/arson gang activity. Some 45.4 percent of those who did not get into a fight report bomb/arson gang activity, and this rises to 56.8 percent for those who have been in a physical fight while incarcerated.
Starting a fight with another inmate or attacking someone is a more serious security infraction inside a correctional facility because of the aggressive premeditation. This factor is shown in Table 1 to significantly differentiate bomb/arson gang activity. While 45.5 percent of those who have not started a fight or attacked someone report bomb/arson gang activity, this rises to 65.1 percent among those who show the higher levels of aggressive and disruptive behavior pattern implied by starting a fight or attacking someone.
More serious in terms of its potential deadly consequence is the security threat represented by the behavior where an inmate manufactures an improvised weapon (knife or "shank", etc) and carries this weapon around while an inmate. Table 1 shows this factor to significantly differentiate bomb/arson gang activity. While 47.2 percent of those who have not carried a homemade weapon inside the correctional environment report bomb/arson gang activity, this rises to 72.6 percent among those who have in fact carried such a homemade weapon in custody.
More likely than carrying homemade weapons among inmates is the tendency of some hardcore gang members to threaten staff and correctional officers. These are typically verbal threats, implied or specific, that occur in the ordinary course of business where an inmate has to be "searched" or his "house" (cell) has to be "tossed" (examined for contraband); they get upset, and sometimes threaten to retaliate or do violence. This factor of threatening staff or correctional officers is shown in Table 1 to significantly differentiate bomb/arson gang activity. Some 47.2 percent of those who have not threatened staff or correctional officers report bomb/arson gang activity, but this rises to 63.4 percent among those who have threatened correctional staff or officers.
Fighting with rival gang members inside a correctional institution is also a high level of disruptive and potentially deadly behavior pattern. This is, after all, the issue of "gang fights" behind bars. This factor is shown in Table 1 to also significantly differentiate bomb/arson gang activity. Some 44 percent of those who have not engaged in fighting with rival gang members report bomb/arson gang activity, but this rises to 70.3 percent for those who have fought with rival gang members behind bars.
Selling drugs is an offense that often lands gang members behind bars, not surprisingly they sometimes continue this activity even after being locked up. That is, they try to "corner" the illicit drug market inside the inmate underground, they come up with ingenious methods of smuggling in drugs as well as using tried and proven methods (e.g., bribery). The survey asked "Have you tried to smuggle in any illegal drugs while in this facility?". This factor is shown in Table 1 to significantly differentiate bomb/arson gang activity. Among those who have not tried to smuggle in drugs to their correctional institution, some 47.4 percent report bomb/arson gang activity, but this rises to 73.7 percent for those who have tried to smuggle in illegal drugs into the correctional setting.
When some gang members get locked up in prison one other thing they sometimes do is stay in touch with their "homies" on the street. The survey included the question "Have you communicated by telephone or letter with your gang friends on the street while in this facility?". This factor is shown in Table 1 to significantly differentiate bomb/arson gang activity. Some 39.5 percent of those who have not kept in communication with their homies on the street reported bomb/arson gang activity, but this rises to 62.8 percent among those who have kept in touch with their outside gang contacts while in prison.
Some of the more sophisticated and complex organization gangs do in fact send a kind of "welfare check" or routine monetary support payments to their incarcerated gang members. The survey therefore asked "Has your gang sent you any money or helped you in any way since you have been in this facility?". This factor is shown in Table 1 to significantly differentiate bomb/arson gang activity. Some 43.6 percent of those who received no such "slammer aid" reported bomb/arson gang activity, compared to 61.1 percent of those who had received monetary or other support from their gang while inside the correctional institution.
Spreading the gang gospel is another activity that unfortunately goes on inside correctional institutions. This occurs when gang members proselytize other inmates or pressure them to join their gang. Thus, "neutrons" (e.g., inmates who are not gang affiliated) get converted into the status of gang members while they are inmates. Another variation on this theme is where an inmate in another gang is "courted" to defect and join a different gang, perhaps a larger or more powerful gang. The survey asked "have you helped to recruit anyone into your gang while in this facility?". This factor is shown in Table 1 to significantly differentiate bomb/arson gang activity. Some 39.8 percent of those who did not proselytize (i.e., try to recruit new gang members) report bomb/arson gang activity, but this rises to 63.7 percent among those who engaged in gang recruiting while in custody.
A factor of hardcore gang violence is killing for the gang. The survey asked "Do you think you may have ever killed someone intentionally or unintentionally when you got mixed up in gang violence?". This factor is shown in Table 1 to significantly differentiate bomb/arson gang activity. Some 39.8 percent who have not reached this lethal level of gang violence reported bomb/arson gang activity, but it rises to 62.1 percent for those who have this higher level of hardcore gang violence in their profile background.
Similarly, having ever shot a person close-up with a gun is a measure of hardcore violence in the behavioral background of gang members. The survey asked "have you ever actually shot a person with a gun, close-up?". This factor significantly differentiates bomb/arson gang activity as seen in Table 1. While 40.4 of those who have not shot a person close-up reported bomb/arson gang activity, this rises to 63.2 percent among those who have displayed this violent background characteristic.
Finally, Table 1 examines type of gang affiliation and the distribution (N) by bomb/arson gang activity. The variation here ranges from a low of 39.1 percent for "Bloods" to a high of 66.6 percent for "Nortenos". Thus, there does appear to be significant variation between gang alliance gang types in regard to bomb/arson gang activity.
Distribution (N) by
Gang Ever Used Molotov
Coctails or Explosives?
NO YES % Yes
Male 411 460 52.8%
Female 57 33 36.6%
Chi = 8.51, p = .004
Did you ever bully someone in school?
No 176 137 43.7%
Yes 291 359 55.2%
Chi = 11.1, p = .001
Do your parents regularly attend church?
No 263 311 54.1%
Yes 199 181 47.6%
Chi = 3.92, p = .04
Have you ever stolen anything from an employer that you ever worked for?
No 324 298 47.9%
Yes 141 196 58.1%
Chi = 9.19, p = .002
When I was growing up I really did not have much adult supervision from my parent(s) or guardian.
False 292 250 46.1%
True 167 241 59.0%
Chi = 15.6, p < .001
Have you ever had sex with someone in your immediate family?
No 435 437 50.1%
Yes 34 54 61.3%
Chi = 4.04, p = .04
Have you ever robbed or burglarized a company that you ever worked for?
No 406 392 49.1%
Yes 56 99 63.8%
Chi = 11.3, p = .001
Have you ever threatened or assaulted someone while working on a legitimate job?
No 400 363 47.5%
Yes 66 128 65.9%
Chi = 20.9, p < .001
Have you ever sold drugs while working on a legitimate job?
No 333 268 44.5%
Yes 135 225 62.5%
Chi = 28.8, p < .001
Have you ever dabbled in "black magic" or the occult?
No 337 348 50.8%
Yes 54 81 60.0%
Don't know what it is 71 59 45.3%
Chi = 5.97, p = .05
Race of offender:
African-American 214 158 42.4%
Hispanic/Latino/Mexican 58 91 61.0%
White/Caucasian 121 127 51.2%
Asian/Chinese 9 10 52.6%
Native American Indian 13 14 51.8%
Bi-Racial 42 66 61.1%
Chi = 21.2, p = .001
Have you ever returned to the place of business of a former employer to commit a crime?
No 417 369 46.9%
Yes 45 112 71.3%
Chi = 31.1, p < .001
Have you ever sold crack cocaine?
No 218 178 44.9%
Yes 250 317 55.9%
Chi = 11.2, p = .001
Have you ever used crack cocaine?
No 400 381 48.7%
Yes 69 116 62.7%
Chi = 11.6, p = .001
Have you ever used "crank" (Methamphetamine)?
No 404 377 48.2%
Yes 63 119 65.3%
Chi = 17.3, p < .001
Have you ever sold "crank" (Methamphetamine)?
No 378 325 46.2%
Yes 88 169 65.7%
Chi = 28.7, p < .001
Have you ever fired a gun at a police officer?
No 382 302 44.1%
Yes 82 189 69.7%
Chi = 50.8, p < .001
Have you ever held rank or any leadership position in your gang?
No 185 129 41.0%
Yes 278 364 56.6%
Chi = 20.5, p < .001
Was any violence involved in your initiation into your gang?
No 159 103 39.3%
Yes 305 390 56.1%
Chi = 21.5, p < .001
Does your gang have a special language code?
No 194 145 42.7%
Yes 270 343 55.9%
Does your gang have written rules for its members?
No 163 121 42.6%
Yes 296 370 55.5%
Chi = 13.3, p < .001
Does your gang hold regular weekly meetings?
No 223 175 43.9%
Yes 230 314 57.7%
Chi = 17.4, p < .001
Does your gang require its members to pay regular weekly dues?
No 372 353 48.6%
Yes 82 135 62.2%
Chi = 12.2, p < .001
I volunteered to join my gang, I was not recruited to join.
False 142 118 45.3%
True 320 372 53.7%
Chi = 5.30, p = .02
Does your gang have adult leaders who have been in the gang for many years?
No 84 37 30.5%
Yes 375 453 54.7%
Chi = 24.6, p < .001
Which best describes you:
Whatever the gang expects
of me, I do 93 123 56.9%
I do whatever I want
regardless of what the
gang expects me to do 347 333 48.9%
Chi = 4.17, p = .04
Do your parents know that you are a member of a gang?
No 187 132 41.3%
Yes 268 355 56.9%
Chi = 20.5, p < .001
Has your gang ever sold crack cocaine?
No 108 59 35.3%
Yes 357 433 54.8%
Chi = 20.9, p < .001
Do you have a permanent gang tattoo?
No 288 240 45.4%
Yes 180 255 58.6%
Chi = 16.5, p < .001
Would you consider leaving the gang for a steady, secure job opportunity?
No 124 162 56.6%
Yes 326 314 49.0%
Chi = 4.54, p = .03
Do you use violence against members of your own gang?
No 325 293 47.4%
Yes 134 189 58.5%
Chi = 10.4, p = .001
Have you ever been "violated" (i.e., physically punished with violence) by members of your own gang?
No 311 292 48.4%
Yes 150 195 56.5%
Chi = 5.75, p = .016
Has your gang ever killed one of its own members?
No 377 287 43.2%
Yes 79 190 70.6%
Chi = 57.5, p < .001
My gang speaks only in English.
False 191 270 58.5%
True 274 221 44.6%
Chi = 18.5, p <.001
Some of my family are also in my gang.
False 209 166 44.2%
True 258 328 55.9%
Chi = 12.5, p < .001
My gang will fight another gang of the same race.
False 71 33 31.7%
True 386 458 54.2%
Chi = 18.8, p <.001
Gang leaders are real slick. They use you to get all they can out of you. So really, they're just like all the other "rip-off" organizations in society.
False 329 379 53.5%
True 130 105 44.6%
Chi = 5.53, p < .01
My gang has members who produce quality counterfeit United States Currency.
False 373 300 44.5%
True 65 157 70.7%
Chi = 45.6, p <.001
My gang has members who produce and sell illegal copies of the latest movies made in Hollywood.
False 378 324 46.1%
True 67 152 69.4%
Chi = 36.1, p <.001
My gang has members who have connections with crime figures in foreign countries.
False 282 174 38.1%
True 158 288 64.5%
Chi = 62.9, p < .001
Have you been in a physical fight with anyone while in this facility?
No 246 205 45.4%
Yes 211 278 56.8%
Chi = 12.1, p < .001
Did you start a fight or attack someone while in this facility?
No 353 295 45.5%
Yes 101 189 65.1%
Chi = 30.9, p <.001
Have you ever carried a homemade weapon (knife, etc) while in this facility?
No 409 366 47.2%
Yes 44 117 72.6%
Chi = 34.5, p < .001
Have you threatened any facility staff member or officer while in this facility?
No 364 326 47.2%
Yes 90 156 63.4%
Chi = 18.9, p <.001
Have you fought with any rival gang members while in this facility?
No 377 297 44.0%
Yes 78 185 70.3%
Chi = 52.2, p < .001
Have you tried to smuggle in any illegal drugs while in this facility?
No 417 376 47.4%
Yes 37 104 73.7%
Chi = 33.2, p < .001
Have you communicated by telephone or letter with your gang friends on the street while in this facility?
No 271 177 39.5%
Yes 174 294 62.8%
Chi = 49.7, p < .001
Has your gang sent you any money or helped you in any way since you have been in this facility?
No 275 213 43.6%
Yes 165 260 61.1%
Chi = 27.9, p < .001
Have you helped to recruit anyone into your gang while in this facility?
No 382 357 48.3%
Yes 70 123 63.7%
Chi = 14.5, p < .001
Do you think you may have ever killed someone intentionally or unintentionally when you got mixed up in gang violence?
No 291 193 39.8%
Yes 155 254 62.1%
Chi = 43.8, p < .001
Have you ever actually shot a person with a gun, close-up?
No 296 201 40.4%
Yes 152 262 63.2%
Chi = 47.1, p < .001
Type of gang affiliation:
Crips 97 118 54.8%
Bloods 59 38 39.1%
People/Brothers 14 27 65.8%
Folks 157 141 47.3%
Surenos 26 45 63.3%
Nortenos 5 10 66.6%
Other 75 70 48.2%
Chi = 18.2, p = .006
SUMMARY OF MAJOR RESEARCH FINDINGS
The analysis reported here revealed a number of different factors that significantly differentiated bomb/arson gang activity. It is possible to summarize these factors in terms of the following inter-related clusters: background/childhood, workplace violence/crime, drug abuse/sales, violence proneness, high commitment to gang life, and the corrections STG factors. Each of these clusters contain several different variables, the results of which can be summarized below. These factors, within the gang member population, are shown to be statistically significant and may help screen or identify persons at risk of engaging in bomb and arson crimes carried out by gang members.
Background/childhood Factors. The analysis revealed the following overall profile: male, non-religious parents, school bully, low supervision from parents, incest, dabbled in black magic/occult, Hispanic or Bi-racial, did not conceal gang membership from parents.
Workplace Violence/crime Threat Factors. The analysis revealed the following overall profile: stealing from employer, robbed/burglarized employer, threat/assault while at work, selling drugs at work, victimizing previous employer,
Drug Abuse/Sales Factors. The analysis revealed the following profile: sold crack, used crack, used meth, sold meth, gang enterprise selling crack,
Hardcore/Violence Proneness Factors. The analysis revealed the following profile: fired gun at police officer, may have killed someone in gang violence, shot someone close-up with gun,
High Commitment to Gang Life Factors. The analysis revealed the following profile: held rank/leadership in gang, violently initiated into gang, volunteered to join gang, gang automaton (Whatever the gang expects of me, I do), has permanent gang tattoo, would not leave gang for a good job, has been "violated" by the gang, family members in the same gang, not alienated from gang leaders (i.e., does not think they are rip-offs),
Gang Organizational Sophistication Factors. The analysis revealed the following profile: gang has special language code, gang has written rules, gang hold regular meetings, gang requires paying dues, gang has adult tenured leaders, gang uses violence against its own members, gang will kill its own members if necessary, gang is multi-lingual, gang will fight other gangs of its own race, has members who counterfeit USC and movie videos, has foreign crime connections,
Corrections STG Factors. The analysis revealed the following profile: physical fights, start fight/attack someone, carry homemade weapon, threaten staff, fight rival gang members, smuggle drugs into facility, communicate with members on the street, received money/aid from gang, recruits other inmates into gang.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Clearly, the research was able to identify a variety of factors from a larger research project which help to understand the statistical likelihood of bomb and arson crimes by gang members. At this preliminary stage of analysis only bivariate statistical test results have been released. Further multivariate statistical analysis on this data is warranted and might be expected to be reported from the National Gang Crime Research Center in the future.
One of the limitations of the present research was that we could not isolate explosive device use from incendiary device use, and further isolate type of structure or target for the use of these bomb and arson crimes in the gang member population. It would appear worthwhile to pursue this line of inquiry with greater vigor and more analytical detail for data collection purposes. The manner in which our primary dependent variable was measured reflected whether the gang itself, involving gang activities, had ever used Molotov cocktails or explosives. We would recommend future research additionally include individual usage by the respondent as well in terms of refining this dependent variable. Minimally, we recommend that future research distinguish between explosive devices and incendiary devices, rather than aggregate these as is done in statutory definitions of this type of crime.
Clearly, there is a need for further and more indepth research on the potential for gang involvement in terrorism, civil disorder, and low-intensity conflict. That some gangs have shown their capability to use explosives and incendiary devices is clearly evident in American society. We have much to do in the analysis of the gang crime problem in America.
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1. As Sibley says "the police and the public are facing an enemy army with its own uniforms, weapons and rules" (1989: p. 403).
2. See Campbell and Muncer (1989) for how American gangs have historically lacked a revolutionary ideology, in fact, their values have tended to be those of the "mainstream" society, albeit somewhat distorted.
3. Recall that the California prison gang, the Black Guerilla Family (BGF), is very political and "is an adjunct of the Black Liberation Army (BLA) which operates as a Marxist-Leninist terrorist organization on the streets of America" (Jackson and Mc Bride, 1990: p. 53). But outside of the prison context, Jackson and Mc Bride see the BGF as apolitical, due to the waning of the political movement, such that this gang is "now almost totally a criminal group trafficking in narcotics" (ibid).
4. According to a gang informant a relationship does exist between a known terrorist organization (the F.A.L.N.) and a street gang (Spanish Lords). This is a cultural tie, both being oriented towards and composed of members descending from Puerto Rico. This has a prison connection as well. Luis Rosa, the informant indicated, was tied to the FALN; and is like a brother with Carlos Vega, who was said to be a leader in the Spanish Lords. Further ties become established in the prison setting when, for example, in 1988 in Stateville Penitentiary a Latin Exchange Cultural Committee (an inmate organization with outside ties) was established to increase political awareness among inmates.
5. The murder of Chicago's Rudy Lozano is one such case known and documented. But, apparently, still not completely "solved".
6. The work of Davis (1982) is worth some attention here. It is a short book filled with pictures and horror stories; everything from a prison gang rape to "how to" approaches to making explosives. It does provide much discussion about terrorism generally (Davis, 1982: p. 50) and does tend to equate gang members with terrorists (Davis, 1982: p. 52).
7. See: "Gangs and Guns: A Task Force Report of the National Gang Crime Research Center", Nov. 11, 1994. For release at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Miami, FL. Co-principal investigators on this Task Force included: George Knox, John Laske, Jim Houston, Tom McCurrie, and Edward Tromanhauser.
8. See: "Plot To Blow Up Police Alleged Gang Sought Rocket Launcher, Feds Say", by Tom Seibel and Art Golab, Chicago Sun-Times, Oct. 21, 1994, p. 1, 12. See also: "Five in Gang Accused of Plan to Blow Up Police Station", Chicago Tribune, Oct. 21, 1994, section 2, p. 10.
9. See: Tom Brune and James Ylisela, Jr., "The Making of Jeff Fort", Chicago, November, 1988.
10. Clearly, the strongest evidence yet to emerge that gangs have a left-wing ideological base is from the present study of gangs. In Knox (2000), in examining actual written gang constitutions, it will be noted how some major Chicago gangs have a common ideological component regarding their official declaration as being the avant guard for "oppressed peoples" generally, or at a minimum identifying with struggles of the oppressed groups.
11. "Probers Hint Gangs Used L.A. Riots To Get Guns, But Not All Agree", Chicago Tribune, June 18, 1992: Section 1A, p. 41.
12. Chicago Tribune, ibid.
13. I am grateful to correctional gang investigator and researcher Jeff McCaddon for internal documents and indepth analysis materials on the BGF and other major gangs.
14. Hugh Dellios, 1993, "Mexican Drug Lords Recruit U.S. Street Gangs", Chicago Tribune, July 11, Section 1, p. 3.