Gang Activity Seen in U.S. Troops in Iraq

UPI, May 1, 2006

A growing amount of U.S. gang-related graffiti and activity is being reported among U.S. troops in Iraq, The Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday.

“I have identified 320 soldiers as gang members from April 2002 to present,” said Scott Barfield, a Defense Department gang detective at Fort Lewis, Wash. “I think that’s the tip of the iceberg.”

No one has been arrested for a gang-related felony on the base, Barfield said, but some are suspected of criminal activity off the Washington base, he said.

Meanwhile, graffiti for such Chicago gangs as the Gangster Disciples, Latin Kings and Vice Lords is showing up in Iraq on military buildings and vehicles.

Christopher Grey, spokesman for the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, disputed the problem is rampant.

“We recently conducted an Army-wide study, and we don’t see a significant trend in this kind of activity, especially when you compare this with a million-man Army,” Grey said.

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