Ben McClellan and Leigh van den Broeke, Daily Telegraph, August 26, 2014
They are the “dangerous sons” who make up one of Western Sydney’s newest self-styled radicalised Islamic street gangs.
With a combination of teenage bravado, US crime culture swagger and extreme Islamic ideology, the “Fourtwozero (420)” gang is Hezbollah meets Hollywood.
Nearly a dozen sons of refugees who fled war-torn countries such as Afghanistan have embraced the violent culture of their homeland through a modern silver-screen lens to roam Parramatta’s streets as “soldiers”.
The number 420 is a nationally recognised “bad” number in Afghanistan, used to describe someone who is dangerous and dishonest.
The gang, one of whose teen members was stabbed during a Merrylands brawl on Friday, even have their own symbol: an AK-47 rifle set against the Afghan flag with the words “Bachems 420”, which roughly translates to “dangerous sons”.
The flag was posted on Facebook by another member as a tribute to the self-described wounded “Shia soldier”.
The 17-year-old, who goes by the title “Sayed Fourtwozero” on social media, is lucky to be alive after suffering a single stab wound very close to his heart. The teenager was still in Westmead Hospital last night, and has regained consciousness.
A police source said the teenager would have died had police not managed to fight through a sea of drunken, violent teenagers to render first aid in the Merrylands Oval car park.
Police have made no arrests over the stabbing and The Daily Telegraph understands the teenager may have been attacked by someone he knew.
While local police said the gang of teenage boys was not yet on their radar, the Afghan community is worried their young men are being lost to extremist ideology and crime.
One community leader said “420” was well-known Afghan slang for people who “do not care about anything and are not good”.
“They are copying other groups like the bikies,” he said. “For all the community it’s a very, very big warning. These people don’t practise Islamic norms. They are just street boys.”
Some of the gang are believed to be from the persecuted Afghan Hazara group, whose Shia Islam is targeted in Iraq and Syria by Islamic State militants.
More than 10,000 Hazaras live in Western Sydney.
The stabbed teen claims to be a “Hezbollah soldier” and proudly posts quotes from extreme preachers on his Facebook page.
The Facebook pages of other “420” gang members paint a picture of angry, young men posing with batons and machetes, searching for identity both in extremist ideology–with material from groups such as Hezbollah–or US crime culture with references to gangster rap.
Many use the online name “Montana”, after Al Pacino’s drug kingpin character Tony Montana in the film Scarface.