The Infidels Motorcycle Club, a group made up of troops, veterans and military contractors in Colorado Springs, drew attention recently with its pig roast to protest the holiest of Muslim holidays.
While some people decried the club’s gathering as tantamount to a KKK cross-burning, the group is not classified as an outlaw motorcycle group by authorities.
But other, less- law-abiding motorcycle gangs are actively recruiting troops in the Pikes Peak region and worrying federal agents, a federal report obtained by the Gazette says.
Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Denver spokesman Chris Amon said his agency’s concern over the interaction of troops and outlaw motorcycle gangs is obvious.
“It always concerns us when people with specialized training in weapons and explosives is involved in a criminal enterprise,” he said.
Other experts say outlaw motorcycle life appeals to some troops.
“I think it makes a natural draw for them,” said Steve Cook, who heads the Midwest Motorcycle Gang Investigators Association. “You have to look at people in the military and fresh back from deployment – they are into a warfare mentality.”
Even as the number of crimes involving troops and veterans continues to decline in the Pikes Peak region, the rising number of troops in the ranks of outlaw motorcycle gangs is setting off alarm bells.
A May report from the ATF says outlaw motorcycle clubs – clubs known for criminal behavior – including the Sin City Deciples and others with chapters in Colorado Springs are pushing efforts to add troops to their ranks. “Since 2007, ATF and its law enforcement partners, domestic and abroad, have discovered that documented OMG (outlaw motorcycle group) members have been employed as federal employees and contractors, active-duty military, reservists and National Guardsmen,” the report says.
Colorado Springs Police Lt. Mark Comte said local authorities are well aware of ties between the military and outlaw motorcycle gangs.
“There are some that cater to the military that are of and for military,” Comte said.