FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, February 28, 2005

Gangs Going Global

Gangs are back in the news now that First Lady Laura Bush has made combatting them a personal priority. They are also attracting the attention of the FBI, which is taking a new look at gang dynamics, even though gang numbers are declining in the US.

A growing concern among law enforcement is not gangs' raw membership, but the nature of their reach. The Internet is providing gangs with a tool for worldwide networking, recruitment and international alliances. One extremely violent gang in particular, Mara Salvatrucha (MS), has roots in El Salvador but has spread stateside from the Salvadoran community in Los Angeles to Virginia. Even more concerning to the FBI, some MS members reportedly have links to al-Qaeda. As a result, gangs are becoming a focus of counterterrorism as well as anti-crime measures.

Sources: The Economist, Futurismic