A video has surfaced showing two men identified as former LA gang members. The men were seen fighting in Syria for Assad. In the video, they give shout outs to friends here in LA. According to federal officials, the men had been deported, but still have friends and family here. Are we exporting gang culture?
In the video they call out: "It's Syria homie. We're in Syria homie!"
They are in Syria, but one gang officer here in the states says they are products of Los Angeles- both of them deported convicted felons.
It appears the two-minute video was first discovered on You Tube by a pro-Israel group called the Middle East Research Institute in Washington.
The gangsters introduced themselves: "It's Creeper from the G'd up 13 gang, Sun Valley gang homie!. F-g Wino from Westside Armenian Power Gang homie!"
Chief Charlie Beck says the two are known to LAPD. "It's our belief based on that same video that they've joined the foreign fighters in Syria."
The two clearly don't handle their weapons as if they are seasoned military, and Steve Stalinsky, who is with the research institute, says it is "very unique" to find anyone form America fighting for the pro-Assad, Hezbollah forces in Syria, let alone street gangsters.
Beck begs to differ. "It doesn't surprise me. Gang violence is a form of urban terrorism in Los Angeles and it's not much of a stretch to go to Syria."
One local gang detective agrees. They "are now terrorists," but he describes them as deported "misfits" probably with little choice but to fight for Assad. He sees this video as no more than a shout out to homies here in L.A.
It doesn't appear the two are in actual combat here, with people firing back at them. Chief Beck says LAPD became aware of the video about a month ago and "gave the information to the FBI and they are conducting an investigation."
The local FBI office confirmed they are investigating to determine if there is any potential threat to Americans or American interests.