Gangs Recruit Online
Suburban parents used to take some measure of comfort that their teens were far removed from the life of gangs and back alley drug sales. There wasn’t much chance for gangs recruiting them and less chance that they’d run into serious dealers.
The internet has changed that. Just like terrorists now freely use the internet to recruit jihadists, gangs are now online looking to recruit any teenager who is willing to engage. It’s yet another reason why parents of teens at risk have to control their teens internet activities.
The internet accommodates far too many questionable pursuits for parents to just shrug off it’s influence. Teen drug substance abuse is encouraged by the culture and internet pharmacists are happy to illegally supply the drugs. Now gangs are encouraging teens that they never would have had access to before the Internet.
“Dozens of Nashua teens and young adults, including some who have been arrested in gang-related violence over the past year, have profiles posted on MySpace proclaiming gang affiliations.
Combined with the popularity of gangster rap and the portrayal of gang culture in music and movies, such Web sites help to spread gang culture far from its big city origins, said East Coast Gang Investigators Deputy Director Lou Savelli, of Brooklyn, N.Y.
“It’s been a great recruiting tool for gangs,” Savelli said. “Gangs are popping up everywhere, including Nashua N.H . . . because of the media.”
“In today’s day and age, to be a gangster is to be cool,” he said. “Being a gangster is popular.”
By Ann Walker