Another Somali Muslim dead in Canada due to gang violence
Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 7, 2012
Yesterday was Muslim refugee crime day at RRW with three crime story, I hope today isn’t shaping up the same way.
Here is a story from Canada, not new to us, we have written on many occasions about the young Somali men getting blown away when involved in drug and gang violence in Canada. However, this article from The Globe and Mail is somewhat more interesting than the usual because it describes the structure of Somali gangs.
Imam Said Rageah, who spoke during the hour-long gathering, said that in the past two years he has witnessed about 30 funerals for murdered Somali-Canadians, mostly in Alberta.
Ahmed Hassan died when an assailant drew a gun and fired, killing him and wounding six others; his short life offering a glimpse into a community racked by gang violence. His journey from Toronto to Alberta and back is well-worn by a criminal minority among Somalis who made Canada their home.
Somali gangs are looser and thus harder to dismantle:
Last year, Edmonton police gauged that the number of Somali-Canadians involved in the drug trade totalled about 2,000, countrywide, with a hard core of perhaps 100. And as with almost all types of organized crime, the primary motivator is cash. But in almost every other respect, the Somali drug gangs differ greatly from other ethnically based criminal organizations, police say, and the most striking is in the way they are structured.
The traditional mob model is pyramid-shaped – a hierarchy in which power flows from the top – and law enforcement responded accordingly. Cut off the head, so the thinking went, and the leaderless group will flounder, if only for a while.
But the Somali gangs are looser, much harder to dismantle than more traditional groups. They offer considerable scope for an ambitious, money-driven individual who does not have to “kick the money upstairs” as the loyal Mafia soldier must.
The Somali-dominated gangs also tend to be low profile and highly mobile, often moving as a group from one city to another, chiefly along a circuit that links Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray and, to a lesser degree, Vancouver.
A former Mountie, who is now a professor of criminology at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, suggests that one of the strengths of the Somali-Canadian criminal element is its national network.
“When the heat gets to be a little too much, boom, they’re gone,” said William Pitt. “They’re highly integrated, the Toronto gang, the Edmonton gang and even the Vancouver gang to a lesser extent.”
If you need a summary of refugee-related crimes, be sure to check our “crimes” category, here. Some crime posts are about refugees who have been the victims of crimes, but a larger number of stories are about refugee-generated crime. However, be ready for a lot of reading—there are 940 posts cataloged there!
I wonder if those Kurdish gangs in Nashville are fighting with the Somali gangs yet?
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