• Pentagon Warns Troops To Steer Clear Of Rising Biker Gangs

    Biker gangs are actively recruiting former members of the military, and federal authorities have taken notice of the worrying trend.

    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives found that gangs are aggressively trying to expand their numbers in the Pike Peaks region of Colorado, the Colorado Springs Gazette reports.

    While not recognized as a criminal gang, the Infidels Motorcycle Club, founded in 2006, has attracted the gaze of the ATF after it hosted a pig roast “in defiance of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan.”

    Despite protests from groups like the Mountain States Anti-Defamation League, the Infidels held the event, anyway, though local deputies were concerned the roast might draw backlash from terrorist organizations. Still, authorities do not consider the Infidels an outlaw biker gang with criminal ties, though the group has been spotted riding with the Hells Angels.

    Another rights group, called the Council on American-Islamic Relations, complained that members of the military expressing extremist views is concerning.

    Other biker gangs are also recruiting in the area.

    “It always concerns us when people with specialized training in weapons and explosives is involved in a criminal enterprise,” ATF Denver spokesman Chris Amon told the Gazette, referring to the connection between military personnel and biker gangs.

    According to the ATF, part of the reason why biker gangs court those in military is because of their knowledge and steady income. Biker gangs in general are on the rise, as is violence stemming from disputes over territory. A recent fight between three biker gangs in Texas in May left nine dead. Authorities arrested 170 bikers. (RELATED: Three Rival Biker Gangs Clash In Waco, Leaving 9 Dead)

    Pentagon regulations don’t look kindly on personnel joining so-called extremist organizations.

    “What I can tell you is that military personnel should not participate in organizations that discriminate based on race, creed, color, sex, religion, or national origin and those who violate this prohibition are subject to disciplinary action,” Col. Kelly Thompson told the Gazette. The ATF is keeping a close watch on any federal employees, reservists or active-duty military personnel involved in biker gangs.

    Interestingly, police officers also often find themselves drawn into biker circles, a phenomenon receiving additional scrutiny following the violence in Texas.

    Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter

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