Bikers like to flex their muscles and keep police on their toes. In the past few years there have been many rumors about biker wars that were about to flare up. So far, luckily, none of those rumors came true. In Germany, however, bikers are adding more gasoline on a smoldering fire that, authorities fear, might turn into a deadly blaze enveloping the city of Berlin.
German bikers are fighting a losing battle against police and each other as more and more of them end up behind bars and some chapters of biker clubs have been outlawed by authorities. Making it a crime to show their club “colors”.
In October of 2011, two chapters of the German Hells Angels based in Frankfurt were banned and outlawed and had their assets confiscated. Over 300 members of the Hells Angels protested these bans during a biker festival in Frankfurt on July 14, but to no avail.
After a recent report from Germany's federal criminal investigation office showed that one in every ten investigations into organized crime was linked to a criminal biker gang authorities developed a zero tolerance toward biker clubs which they enforce to the fullest.
With the situation in Frankfurt under control thanks to arrests and bans, police now have to deal with biker violence in Germany’s capital Berlin. The Hells Angels have claimed the city as theirs while rival club Bandidos is trying to move in.
German newspaper The Local reports: “Violence between the gangs has escalated over the last few months, while the Hells Angels issued what amounted to a declaration of war at the start of July, saying no other gang would be tolerated in Berlin.”
“Berlin is of great strategic importance for the rival gangs,” Berlin’s Interior Minister Frank Henkel told The Local. “He who loses influence in Berlin loses it in the whole of eastern Germany. That is why there is conflict here.”
The conflict so far resulted in the shooting of Hells Angels boss André Sommer in June, while a month later two Bandidos were also shot, during a meeting of the biker club’s leadership.
The Hells Angels and Bandidos have a bloody history in both Europe and North America. In Scandinavia both clubs fought a vicious war that left eleven people dead and over ninety people wounded by bombs and shootings (photo right).
One can imagine the shock when German police arrested three men from Denmark who had almost a kilogram of explosives, a detonator and bullet-proof vests in their car. The three men were picked up in the northern port town of Rostock after police received a tip from Sweden. The three men team consisted of a Swede, a Macedonian and an Iranian. The first two are alleged to be Bandidos members while the third is said to be a close associate.
When there is just talk of war and the media are spinning rumors every which way they can to sell newspapers, one can still sleep with ease knowing the truth likely is much less violent. After several shootings and the arrest of rival gang members from Scandinavia carrying material for a bomb one may want to keep one eye open and a gun nearby when going to bed.
That is, if one can sleep at all in the midst of all this violence.
For more about bikers check out our Biker Section at Gangsters Inc.
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