5 Of The Biggest Gangs

Gangs and criminal organizations come into creation for a number of reasons or motives. Usually they revolve around money, and use fear, crime and extortion. They can be loosely controlled with no apparent structure, or they can be highly efficient with military like organization. In contrast to general media conception, gangs have been around for centuries in one shape or another, the Chinese Triads for example were started as a resistance to the Manchu Emperor of the Qing Dynasty in the 1760s. Here are just 5 of the biggest gangs and criminal groups in existence today.

The Crips

The Crips are a primarily, but not exclusively, African American gang founded in Los Angeles, California in 1969 by 15 year old Raymond Washington. What was once a single gang is now a loosely connected network of individual sets, often engaged in open warfare with one another. The gang is known to be involved in murders, robberies, drug dealing, among many other criminal pursuits. They have been popularized in many movies, thousands of songs, and even video games like GTA 3.

Gang Size
Through the years the gang has grown to be one of the largest and most powerful gangs in the United States with a membership that exceeds well over 30,000 gang members. Since affiliation is lose and unofficial, the number may be much higher.

Gang Symbols
The gang is notorious for flamboyant use of the color blue in their clothing. However, this practice has waned due to contentious police crackdowns on gang members. It’s thought to be from the school colors of Washington High School in South L.A. Another theory is the co-founder, Stanley Williams, had a good and close friend called “Buddha”, who wore blue shirts, khakis, shoes, and a blue bandanna from his back left pocket. When Buddha died, Williams made blue the Crip color in honor of Buddha.

Due to the infamous rivalry with the Bloods, some Crips will change words containing the letter B or choose another word to replace it, the best being a word with a C. If no word can reasonably be substituted, the letter B may be crossed out. Sometimes excessive use of the letter C also occurs, such as “be right baCC” to refrain from using the initials “ck” which stands for “Crip Killer”. Also, the letter B can be written Bk as in “Blood Killer”.

Notes
The Crips are known to have an intense and bitter rivalry with the Bloods as well as with some Chicano gangs.

Many famous entertainers have Crip affiliation including:

  • Afroman
  • Coolio
  • Ice T
  • Snoop Dogg
  • Xzibit

Hells Angels

One of the most international groups, Hells Angels are more of a club than a criminal organization, and shouldn’t be considered a gang. In fact in the USA and Canada they even have their own copyrights as the Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation. Generally considered to have started up in San Francisco around 1950, virtually all Angels ride a Harley and their website states that members travel on average 20,000 miles per year, come rain or shine. Although the media has always viewed the Angels as a criminal organization, and indeed in the past much crime and even murders were performed by Angels, or on their behalf, they are no longer seen as a major threat to society and organized charity events have been held by the Angels.

Symbols
The Hells Angels insignia is called the Deathshead (pictured above). They also utilize the number 81, 8 for the eighth letter of the alphabet: H, and 1 for the first: A. HA being Hells Angels. They also use the colors red and white.

Size
Due to the secretive nature of the Hells Angels, there is no way to accurately tell how many members they have.

The MS13 Gang

MS13 or Mara Salvatrucha are a huge international gang comprised mostly of Salvadorans, Hondurans and Central Americans, but have also aquired followings throughout most parts of the Western World. Activities typically include drug smuggling and sales, black market gun sales, human trafficking, assassinations for hire, theft, and assaults on law enforcement officials and as such are one of the most hated gangs by police forces and FBI, who declared them the greatest internal threat to national security. In 2005 the FBI began wide-scale raids on suspected gang members and arrested 600 members.

Most Mara Salvatrucha gang members from the Los Angeles were deported either because of their illegal status in the United States, or for committing crimes as non-citizens, or both. This resulted in a huge recruitment drive in the deportees home countries. Some contend deportation policies have contributed to the size and influence of the gang both in the United States and in Central America.

Gang Size
Former gang member Brenda Paz said that MS is well structured, with multiple leaders, and that the gang’s goal was to become the top gang in the United States. Currently the gang is estimated to be at least 100,000 members strong and growing fast.

Gang Symbols
Sign: The “devil’s head” hand signal, which forms an “M” when displayed upside down, is similar to the same symbol common in hard rock. The founders copied this symbol they saw on their visits to rock concerts.

Most Mara Salvatrucha members often cover themselves in tattoos. Common markings include “MS”, “13″, “Salvadorian Pride” the “Devil Horns” and the name of their clique.

Notes
“Mara” refers to the Spanish word for army ant.

IRA

The Provisional IRA (Irish Republican Army) or PIRA, are commonly referred to as the IRA and have existed in one form or another since around 1916. They are a left wing republican paramilitary organization who sought home rule and independence from the United Kingdom for a United Ireland. Since 1969 it’s main goal has been the overthrow of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland with their replacement by a sovereign all-Irish state. They are heavily political yet the United Kingdom continues to class them as an illegal terrorist group. The IRA are recognized as professional, dedicated, highly skilled and resilient by official British Military documents.

The IRA refers to its ordinary members as volunteers. Up until the late 1970s, IRA volunteers were organized in units based on conventional military structures. Volunteers living in one area formed a company, which in turn was part of a battalion, which could be part of a brigade, although many battalions were not attached to a brigade.

In the early years their strategy was to use as much force as possible to cause the collapse of the Northern Ireland administration and to inflict enough casualties on the British forces that the British government would be forced by public opinion to withdraw from Ireland and as such decades upon decades of violence, murder and rioting have been commonplace.

Official documents state that the IRA have been responsible for around 1,800 deaths. Of these, roughly 1,100 were members of the security forces - British Army, Royal Ulster Constabulary and Ulster Defence Regiment, between 600 and 650 were civilians and the remainder were either loyalist or republican paramilitaries (including over 100 IRA members accidentally killed by their own bombs). It has also been estimated that the IRA injured 6,000 British Army, UDR and RUC and up to 14,000 civilians.

Size
In the early to mid 1970s, the numbers recruited by the Provisional IRA, may have reached several thousand, but these were reduced when the IRA re-organized its structures from 1977 onwards. An RUC report of 1986 estimated that the IRA had 300 or so members in Active Service Units and up to 750 active members in total in Northern Ireland.

According to The Provisional IRA (Eamon Mallie and Patrick Bishop), roughly 8,000 people passed through the ranks of the IRA in the first 20 years of its existence, many of them leaving after arrest, “retirement” or disillusionment. The total figure for the number to have passed through the organization must therefore be higher again, once those recruited since 1988 are taken into account.

Notes
Bloody Sunday (1972) was an incident where 26 unarmed civil rights protesters were shot by the British Army in Derry, the first of which was a man running down a street away from advancing troops, who was shot in the back. Twelve further people were killed, mostly trying to aid the already injured. Fourteen others were wounded, twelve shot by the British soliders and 2 knocked down by armoured personnel carriers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloody_Sunday_%281972%29 gives an account of each victim and how they died, showing that 6 minors were killed, all unarmed, while trying to attain safety. Incidents like this helped to bolster the IRAs status amongst the Irish community.

Despite some successes by the British and Irish security services, military and police at infiltrating the IRA, as of the year 2001, the British, Irish and American governments believed that the IRA remained an extremely potent and capable terrorist organization.

Russian Mafia

The Russian Mafia had been around since the 1970’s but became highly established in and after 1991 when the Cold War ended. Many of their members are ex Soviet Army and ex KGB officers who lost their posts due to the large reduction after the end of the Cold War. They have political ties too, due to many officials being desperate for money, eventually turning corrupt or entirely to crime. They also recruit boxers, wrestlers, weightlifters, athletes and martial arts experts. Infighting is common and murders across the Russian mafia take place often. They are highly secretive and maintain this using one significantly morose tactic where they will not only murder an informer or snitch, but his entire family too.

Throughout the 1990’s they attempted and somewhat succeeded hostile takeovers of national banks. Banking executives, reform-minded business leaders, even investigative journalists, were systematically assassinated or kidnapped. In 1993 alone, members of the eight criminal gangs that control the Moscow underworld murdered 10 local bankers. Calling themselves “Thieves in Law”, Russian gangsters murdered ninety-five bankers between 1993 and 1998.

Foreign companies pay up to 20% of their profits to the Mafia as the on-going price of doing business in Russia. Ignoring shakedown threats merely invites tragedy. Most American and other western firms find it necessary to hire private security guards to protect their executives from extortion threats and roving assassins.

Size
Intelligence reports emanating out of Russia peg the numerical size of the Russian Mafia at 100,000.

Yakuza

The term “Yakuza” literally derives from beginnings of the traditional words “Yattsu (Eight)”, “Ku (Nine)” and “Za (Three)” based on the worst hand attainable in the Japanese card game Oicho-Kabu.

Prospective yakuza come from all walks of life. In the past they would accept sons who have been abandoned or exiled by their parents. Many yakuza start out in junior high school or high school as common street thugs or members of bosozoku gangs. Some yakuza “goons” are actually mentally handicapped, but recruited due to their large physiques while the leadership levels of yakuza gangs usually consist of very sharp, cunning, intelligent men, as the process to rise to the top-levels in the yakuza can be very competitive and Machiavellian. Members of yakuza gangs cut their family ties and transfer their loyalty to the gang boss. They refer to each other as family members - fathers and elder and younger brothers. The Yakuza is populated entirely by men, and there are usually no women involved. However, unlike many crime groups, women are sometimes involved in its activities. When the Yamaguchi-gumi Family boss was shot in the late nineties, his wife took over as boss of Yamaguchi-gumi for a short time.

Yubitsume
Popularized in the west in several movies, Yubitsume is the cutting off of a finger as an act of apology or humility. For a first offense the offender cuts off the tip of his left pinky, giving it to his boss. Sometimes an underboss does this to his boss in order to spare a member of his own gang from retribution. This is so prominent in Japan that when UK kids shows Bob The Building and Postman Pat were imported, the Japanese considered adding an extra finger to the characters’ four fingered hands to avoid scaring children.

Symbols


Sign in a Public Bath banning Yakuza

Irezumi are full body tattoos, which many Yakuza members have and are often hand-poked, where the ink is injected using a steel or bamboo needle instead of a machine. This can be very painful and take as long as 10 years to complete.

Size
Nationwide, there were some 84,700 known members of Yakuza. Since they are not a secretive gang, their numbers are relatively easy to track down.

Notes
Historical reports show the Yakuza to have been around since the 17th century as a low ranking derivative of the hatamoto, similar to the shogun warriors.

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61 comments ↓

#1 Vaj3k on 10.08.07 at 6:44 pm

Excellent article dude very informative!

#2 Mandi on 10.08.07 at 11:41 pm

Great information - however; one could ask where you draw the line between gangs and organizations attempting to effect political change? Some might argue that while the IRA has most assuredly participated in terrorist type activities, that they are less of a gang than they are an organization who resorted to violence to free Ireland. Overall this was a great post.

#3 ubz on 10.09.07 at 12:13 am

Thats not a MS13 gang member. Thats a 18th Streeter. (MS13’s rival). Also to point out that there are estimates in Los Angeles alone,Latin gang participation is estimated at over 120,000 members. (all of which fall under the sureno gang)

#4 Horatio on 10.09.07 at 1:26 am

Ice-T ran with the bloods not the crips. And the Hells Angels still participate in illegal activities. They control a major part of the meth, pcp, and marijuana activity in Northern Calif.

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#5 Anonymous on 10.09.07 at 2:05 am

informative, even if if incomplete and/or not entirely accurate.

#6 G. Goulet on 10.09.07 at 8:49 am

Very weak, unresearched and uninformed summary of the HELLS. Author has no idea of the scope, sophistication, and organization of this criminal gang. It appears the author has read press releases or propaganda released by the Hells. FYI there are approximately 3000 members worldwide.

#7 Sean on 10.09.07 at 9:11 am

Mandi, which groups/gangs to include was an important part of writing this up. I decided I wanted a varied cross section so I deliberately included MS13 and Crips who typically (though not always) participate in low end street crimes, as well as IRA who are mainly political, and Yakuza & Russian Mafia who are involved heavily in legal business, and then the Hells Angels who are mostly law abiding (debatable).

ubz, thanks for the tips!

G Goulet I mainly used information from Wikipedia. If you feel the information is weak and uninformed then please post references and I’ll update. You quote 3000 members, where did you get this information?

#8 Sean on 10.09.07 at 11:11 am

Also, Ice-T has been noted to be affiliated with the Crips, more specifically the West Side Rollin 30s Original Harlem Crips, from various sources (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice-T). I couldn’t find any links from him to the Bloods.

#9 Lee on 10.09.07 at 12:16 pm

I have to agree with G. Goulet that the Hell’s Angels are still a very active criminal organization, at least here in Canada they are. There are social and other elements to the club, but this can be said of most gangs.

#10 Lee on 10.09.07 at 12:20 pm

P.S. Very interesting post though.

#11 AnusJuice.com on 10.09.07 at 4:10 pm

Interesting. I can’t believe someone didn’t comment on GW Bush’s gang. JK. What about Clan members? Or Neo-Nazi’s?

#12 rob on 10.10.07 at 3:24 am

Forget the Albanian Mafia, much more powerful than the russian mob

#13 Langx on 10.10.07 at 3:26 am

Maybe you can do a list of mafioso crime families.

#1 with a bullet.

The United States Government

#14 wellOne on 10.10.07 at 3:27 am

If you don’t know what you are talking about, why post it? The dumbing down of Amerika is extensive enough as it is.

#15 Mr. Right on 10.10.07 at 3:30 am

Don’t forget the worst and most corrupt gang of all… THE POLICE

#16 carl on 10.10.07 at 3:30 am

the brotherhood is one of the most feared gangs in the usa

#17 J on 10.10.07 at 3:31 am

HA are still very active. One of the common practices is to share your woman amonst your brothers. They still traffic large amounts of drugs across the country, and are responsible for many murders, although this type of activity has definitly diminished in recent times. They are a very structured organization with leaders in each state/chapter. In recent times they have started to make alot of money from capitolizing on the name and releasing things like books.

#18 p on 10.10.07 at 3:36 am

The IRA is a gang with political face.The politics are used as a tool to take the focus away from the real activity.This shows that the IRA , although not the biggest “gang” , are with out doubt, the cleverest gang there has ever been.

#19 Brock Bakke on 10.10.07 at 3:52 am

You made a big error.

Click to edit (Available for 60 seconds)
Yakuza = Japanese word for gang.

It’s like some Japanese person listing the biggest gangs in Japan, then saying “but watch out that the terrible American ‘GANG’”.

Which one? There are many rivaling factions of “yakuza”.

Just us whites thinking all asains are the same again.

#20 Niko Bellic on 10.10.07 at 3:53 am

What about the KKK? The largest known UN labelled terrorist organization actively operating within the United States of America?

Insignia:
Clansmen outfit, consisting of white robes for regular members, and black for what is known as the Grand Wizard or Grand Pooba as it’s sometimes referred to as. Additionally they wear an iconic hat that is an attempt to mask their identity, the white robes indicate a display of what they consider racial purity (as in ‘White Power’).

Symbols:
Extensive usage of Triangles and the Cross, in representation of the holy trinity of Christianity. Additionally they use flaming crosses to symbolize the burning desire for a nation of only Aryans.

They’re located almost entirely within the Southern Belt of America, as well as a considerable following in Europe - predominantly Scotland.

#21 ShaolinTiger on 10.10.07 at 3:58 am

What about triads? They are probably bigger than all of these gangs.

There are thought to be an estimated 78,000,000 Triad members worldwide (That’s almost the population size of Germany).

Or the Italian mob?

Or the Mexican Mafia/Sureno which has 750,000 gang members…

Or even KKK which still has 3000 members

Pretty poor article IMHO.

#22 jack on 10.10.07 at 4:14 am

No mention of the Chinese Triads, another bunch of Emmy Award winners who like trading people, drugs, weapons and other contraband.

Also, no mention of the CIA, a highly organised group that is highly specialised in drug trafficking, assassination, weapons traficking and all manner of illegal jiggery-pokery. Since many of their activities are not covered by the Constitution they work outside of the purview of the law, which makes them a [state-sanctioned] criminal organisation.

Also not mentioned: the Catholic church, which also has strong connections to organised crime. But they wear dresses when they perform, maybe that makes it ok somehow.

Most banks can also be considered to be organised crime although they are heavily concentrating on fee-based theft. It’s not because you’re not sticking a knife in someone and drive a Bentley in an expensive suit that you’re honorable by definition.

Citing Wikipedia as a source…. bad academics, my friend. Bad academics. There are better sources out there.

#23 Dug Fresh on 10.10.07 at 4:15 am

uh, that’s 6…

#24 Jay on 10.10.07 at 4:20 am

Don’t forget the Bushes, Windsors, DeBeers, Rothchildes, Chase Manhattan the fed, and quasi-government paramilitaries organizations. There all criminals.

#25 Sam on 10.10.07 at 4:38 am

What about the ISI and LTTE?

#26 Bob The Builder on 10.10.07 at 4:43 am

Hell’s Angels are still pretty active in Canada, especially in British Columbia where they are responsible for ’some’ of our illegal drug/human trafficking problem. Even around special groups of interest where they assist in importing questionable goods. Also you don’t really talk about Yakuza or Triads much or go into good detail. They are probably just as large as the Russian Mafia in legal/black market business transaction.

No offence, but your article is weak in some areas. I would consider taking out the IRA, as political movements shouldn’t belong in an article like this. In other parts of the world the US Government can be considered the biggest and most powerful gang with its political agendas and unfavourable policies. Like the saying goes what is a ‘terrorist’ for one government is a freedom fighter for another.

#27 Cynical on 10.10.07 at 4:44 am

Shouldn’t the Bush government be added here as well?

#28 Hank Fox on 10.10.07 at 4:49 am

I grew up in Texas and Alabama, and though I heard about the KKK all my life down there, I never met anybody who even said they KNEW a Klan member.

I think the Klan is probably something like a few dozen paranoid insiders, a small number of braggart wannabes, and just a shitload of sensationalist media coverage.

#29 andres on 10.10.07 at 5:01 am

A gang is a group of individuals that share a common identity, even if that identity consists of little more than their association with one another. In early English usage, it referred to a group of workmen, and later underwent pejoration. Modern reference uses the word gangs as a term for violent groups.

#30 Amanda on 10.10.07 at 5:04 am

Where are your sources!?! i hope it’s not another website.

#31 Daniel on 10.10.07 at 5:05 am

Come to New Zealand and see some real gangs. The Mongrel Mob and the Black Power. Tattoos, they came from the polynesian culture. Weapons, 2 fists, hammers and axes. Dont hide behind guns. The cops dont even touch them, they just let them be.
Have a look at this, it’s quite interesting:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSclO8suF6Y&mode=related&search=
Remember NZ is a very small country. A murder is nationwide news.

#32 sodipodium on 10.10.07 at 5:07 am

You have a lot of constructive criticism being construed across your page here. Perhaps what the readers are trying to say is “What makes you so sure these are the 5 biggest gangs?”

The Crips may have been a large gang, but there are PLENTY more out here that are active, just as much as MS13. And true, the Yakuza has been around forever, but any of the other Japanese gangs go unmentioned and have just as many ties with the Yakuza as are the intertwined American gangs.

There is no way to prove which of the many, many gangs is the biggest. Each are equally big if you think about it. Sure the Russian Mafia is probably the most brutal and the MS13 the most popular, but what about the Bloods? What about the Neo-nazi’s? Any of the cults out there can be similarly compared to gangs by the brotherhood that connects them.

Gangs aren’t about brutality, but rather brotherhood and dominance. What better way to bring in troubled individuals than to demonstrate the power they possess should they choose to join?

You have a lot of work ahead of you, my friend.

Oh and @ sean, Ice-T would not have any links to the Bloods because obviously he was a former Crip and the two gangs are not ones to mix.

#33 Daniel on 10.10.07 at 5:10 am

I forgot to metion that they are all generally all pretty nice guys, and they are extremely respectful to most people. They’re just in rivalry with each other.

#34 bbb on 10.10.07 at 5:10 am

You missed out the Brandhall Boot Boys or BBB

#35 shazzb0t on 10.10.07 at 5:15 am

Brock Bakke wrote:

‘Yakuza = Japanese word for gang.

It’s like some Japanese person listing the biggest gangs in Japan, then saying “but watch out that the terrible American ‘GANG’”.

Which one? There are many rivaling factions of “yakuza”.’

Actually, what the author wrote here about the name is correct though yakuza is more of a term for individuals not groups. The yakuza in their infancy were known for running gambling operations. The dice game as referred to in the entry on yakuza is accurate.

“Yakuza” is NOT the Japanese word for “gang”. Boryokudan would be a more fitting term. It more or less means ‘violence organization/group’.

‘Just us whites thinking all asains are the same again.’

Speak for yourself. You obviously didn’t know what were talking about to begin with.

P.S. Hatamoto were samurai who were in the direct service of the Shoguns. They had no other lord above them other than the Shogun. Most samurai would have his domain lord who was directly under the Shogun.a

#36 addpile on 10.10.07 at 5:29 am

This is very informative. Some of these groups you always hear about, but don’t know what or who they are.

This story has been added at Addpile.com

#37 subcorpus on 10.10.07 at 6:09 am

yep … very informative article …
havent heard about crips …
can u believe that … hehe …

#38 miku on 10.10.07 at 6:16 am

you missed out on probably the biggest gang there is out there…..The Triads.

#39 tom on 10.10.07 at 6:25 am

You’re a fuckin moron. I wasted 5 minutes of my life. Is a book report for your 8th grade english class? Because if it is, you fail. People like you who act like they know something when they’re VERY ignorant should listen, not talk. Get a clue.

#40 seba on 10.10.07 at 6:29 am

Are you joking?
you forget the the organization that origin the term mafia: the ITALIAN MAFIA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mafia

and the ‘Ndrangheta(one of the most powerful and ruthless organized crime organizations in the world)
In germany recently they killed 9 person:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%27Ndrangheta

#41 PK on 10.10.07 at 6:58 am

Russian Mafia part = bullcrap. There is no such thing anymore - FSB (ex-KGB) took them all down in 2000-2005th. And actually replaced mafia’s functionality: now all bigger companies pays those 20% to FSB instead of mafia. And many of those companies were extorted from their owners to FSB officers - now we can see fights between FSB branches in daily news: organized crime unit arrested 2 generals from narcotic unit few days ago because they closed down weapon smuggling business (”Tri kita furniture case”) which belong to orginized crime FSB unit.

#42 Philip on 10.10.07 at 7:00 am

Your article is fair but you are under a misconception when it comes to Bloody Sunday. The IRA have a habit of using riots as a blackdrop to gun attacks on the Security Forces, weapons were sighted on the day by the security forces. I would trust the word of a Soldier or Policeman over the comments of a bunch of people whos only goal is to kill soldiers and Police who try to PROTECT them.

Plus Wiki is not a suitable reference for that event, I expected more from your work.

#43 mitsunari on 10.10.07 at 7:03 am

Lol@Shazb0t.
I think you completely missed the gist of what Brock was saying. The “Crips” and “MS-13″ are the names of independent organizations. There is no organization called “Yakuza”. Yamaguchi-gumi, Sumiyoshikai, etc are just two of the gang organizations popularly known as Yakuza. Although they share certain similarities they all have their own initiation rituals, and rules of honor. They also fight each other over territory, properties, etc. Boryokudan is just the “clean” word that the government and NHK use to refer to what everyone else calls Yakuza.

#44 Guillaume on 10.10.07 at 9:22 am

What about the CIA??? Thought it was number 1

#45 chuck on 10.10.07 at 10:07 am

I second the comment about the Russian mob. There isn’t such thing any more. Now how do you expect anyone to take the rest seriously when you’re writing crap like that?!

#46 KOKO on 10.10.07 at 10:14 am

The days of the gangs is coming to an end, now big corporations are coming on the sceen.

#47 Max on 10.10.07 at 5:58 pm

Everyone who says he should of done different gangs need to need shut the fuck up and just enjoy the gangs he picked. It interested me for a few minutes, at least.

#48 Craig on 10.11.07 at 2:53 am

The Russian Mafia segment - doesn’t make sense to me. If the Russian Mob murdered 95 bankers between 1993 and 1998, why is it important to mention that they murdered 10 in 1993? Was that the year that they murdered the least amount of bankers? To get to 95 they have murdered more per year than 1993. Hmm….

#49 Craig on 10.11.07 at 2:54 am

BTW - very interesting site.

#50 shazzb0t on 10.11.07 at 4:56 am

mitsunari:

Actually, I understood what he wrote completely. He wrote ‘yakuza=japanese word for gang’. Simply isn’t the case. So why do the Japanese public call those groups ‘yakuza’? How did they get their name? Ohhh.. yeah.. its because they ran gambling operations in the past. Everyone knows that ya=8 ku=9 and za=3 and therefore knows the origin of them.

Regardless, the author makes mention of different groups within the popular heading of ‘yakuza’ so why are you and brock both reguritating what has already been said and passing it off as though the author missed it. Brock said that ‘yakuza’ is the Japanese word for gang. It isn’t. Case closed. Don’t say stupid shit and defend stupid people. We don’t need any more ‘white’ people showcasing their awesome knowledge of Japan and asking their ‘Japanese friends’ for help with discussion on digg.

#51 Anonymous on 10.11.07 at 5:12 am

Nice post. Like others said lots of other mafias left out.

Touch on the Israeli mob, I read they are involved in running drugs (X) and what not in the good old USA.

#52 Norwine on 10.11.07 at 2:06 pm

Wikipedia is not an authoritative source!!! With so many excellent sources available, such as Internet Public Library and Librarian’s Internet Index, why do people always resort to Wikipedia? In academic research this would never fly! If info is worth posting, it’s worth posting correctly!

#53 LOL on 10.11.07 at 2:32 pm

I love all the “gang experts” on a blog! Too funny people, get a dating life and stop playing WOW and editing WIKIs

#54 Oscar Zoroaster on 10.11.07 at 2:37 pm

Wrong! Oprah’s Book club is the biggest gang. They control the media with alarmist soccer mom scare tactics that frighten you into pussifying terror.

#55 Reaper on 10.12.07 at 11:39 am

Add the Bloods after the Crips - Remove the IRA or add the UDA - Other then that, informative, non boring article…

#56 bogie211 on 10.17.07 at 1:15 pm

all of you pc people have forgotten or just ignored alqida and hesbola (sp)

#57 shishio on 10.17.07 at 6:47 pm

This list lacks the Triads the Biggest Crime organization. I suggets you do better reasearch next time! You also lack the SURENO gang!

#58 Daniel on 10.19.07 at 4:27 am

I couldn’t understand some parts of this article e Biggest Gangs | A List of Lists, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

#59 Cal on 10.19.07 at 7:44 am

I don’t quite understand why you bothered putting this article together. It is ill-informed and shows a strange world view. Firstly, the Crips mean very little to anybody outside of the US. To include them in an international list is questionable. They might be big in the States, but pale in comparison to so-called “Yardie” gangs who are pretty much running the crack cocaine business from Jamaica to the UK. You classify the IRA as a gang? This displays a stunning lack of awareness regarding international political movements and the difference between criminality and terrorism. Ludicrous. If the IRA are a gang then what about the Tamil Tigers? The Basque separatists ETA? You mention the Russian “Mafia”, yet no mention of Cosa Nostra - absurd. In my view this page is a complete waste of webspace. Derivative and poorly thought out, like a fifteen year old’s cobbled together last minute school essay.

#60 Sean on 10.20.07 at 3:58 pm

Cal if you read the article you’ll see I didn’t classify the IRA as a gang, instead calling them “a left wing republican paramilitary organization” and that the British government classes them as a terrorist group (although in recent years a decommission of weapons was observed).

In fact the only stunning lack of awareness here is that you failed to notice that and in my opinion your comment is the complete waste of webspace.

To those who commented that the Hells Angels were still active, thank you. I have since confirmed this. They are active in drug trafficking and crimes ranging from high profile to low street crime.

#61 TiredofIdiots on 10.21.07 at 2:16 pm

wellOne on 10.10.07 at 3:27 am

If you don’t know what you are talking about, why post it? The dumbing down of Amerika is extensive enough as it is.

Wow what an idiot…the “wellOne” cant even spell America …. sounds like the pot calling the kettle black to me.

Maybee I should rewrite that so “wellOne” can understand - “wellOne” YOU ARE AN IDIOT

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