Aryan Brotherhood

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The Aryan Brotherhood, also known as The Brand, the AB, or the One-Two, is a white prison gang and organized crime syndicate in the United States with about 15,000 members in and out of prison.[5][6] According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), although the gang makes up less than 1% of the prison population, it is responsible for up to 18% of murders in the federal prison system.[7][8] The AB has focused on the economic activities typical of organized crime entities, particularly drug trafficking, extortion, inmate prostitution, and murder-for-hire.

Organization at lower levels varies from prison to prison. For example, in the Arizona prison system, members are known as "kindred" and organize into "families". A "council" controls the families. Kindred may recruit other members, known as "progeny", and serve as a mentor for the new recruit.[9] The group has an alliance with La Eme (The Mexican Mafia) as the two are mutual enemies of Black Guerilla Family. According to a federal indictment, the AB has partnered with Asian gangs to import heroin from Thailand.

Like most prison gangs, Aryan Brotherhood members mark themselves with distinctive tattoos. Designs commonly include the words "Aryan Brotherhood", "AB", SS, 666, sig runes, shamrocks, and other Nazi symbolism and Celtic iconography.[7]

Contents

History

Until the 1960s, most prisons in the United States were racially segregated. As prisons began to desegregate, many inmates organized along racial lines.[8] The Aryan Brotherhood is believed to have been formed by a group of Irish bikers in 1964 at San Quentin State Prison,[6] but it may have been derived from or inspired by the Bluebird Gang.[6] They decided to strike against the blacks who were forming their own militant group called the Black Guerrilla Family.[10] By the 1990s the Aryan Brotherhood had shifted its focus away from killing for strictly racial reasons and focused on organized crime, such as drug trafficking, prostitution and sanctioned murders.[10] They took on organized crime-like powers, and may be more powerful than the Italian crime families within the prison system.[10] For example, while incarcerated in Marion Federal Penitentiary in 1996, after being assaulted, Gambino crime family boss John Gotti allegedly asked the Aryan Brotherhood to murder his attacker. Gotti's attacker was immediately transferred to protective custody and the planned retaliation was abandoned.[7][11]

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