CrillzCity

Which Gang is this, a lotta confusion and contradictions

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The rise of the Muslim Boys

By David Cohen, Evening Standard

3 February 2005

Winston emerges menacingly from the kitchen, a meat cleaver in one hand and a kitchen knife with an eight-inch blade in the other. "I love knives," he says, his eyes gleaming as he begins to slash the air inches from my face.

"Guns make a f***ing noise, but knives go in," he pauses, " silentlike, easy." He begins stabbing the wall and hacking the plaster, and then, just as suddenly, stops, seemingly sated, like an addict who has had his fix.

He holds up his blades to inspect them. "F***ing quality," he says, and deposits them unceremoniously his trousers. Winston, 21, black and from south London, licks his teeth as he paces around the stripped-bare flat on a Peckham estate that serves as one of his gang's many secret hideouts. He speaks in his gang's uniquely coded lingo.

"Knives is f***-all. Later, my bruvs will be back from their robberies with our skengelengs [guns] and cream [money]. Later there be MACinside-10s [sub-machine guns] all over the floor, laid wall to wall. And moolah! We count it - 10 grand, 20 grand. Then, after midnight," he adds, matter-of-factly, "me and my bruvs go to mosque to pray."

Winston's casual depiction of a lifestyle of crime tightly bound up with religious observance would normally be regarded as paradoxical, but in his case it is what defines him. For Winston is a member of the Muslim Boys, a gang, the black community says, unlike any that has operated before in south London.

Until now, the Muslim Boys have never allowed any members to be interviewed. Ex-convicts and youth workers who know some of them personally warned us: "It's too dangerous. They'll shoot you on the spot."

But an Evening Standard investigation - involving dozens of interviews and finding go-betweens with underworld connections who would agree to take us into one of the many dens of the Muslim Boys - has for the first time thrown light on this street phenomenon.

They number in their hundreds, according to some estimates, with ages ranging from 15 to 30, and their hallmark is extreme violence, with automatic and semi-automatic machine guns their weapons of choice. But what makes them unique is that they are socalled "converts", whose perverted interpretation of Islam is central to their identity as killers and criminals. Their stamping grounds are the estates of south London, where they hole-up in safe houses, living ascetic lives in stark contrast to the " blingbling" lifestyle of other gangs.

D e t e c t i v e Chief Superintendent John Coles, in charge of the Met's Operation Trident team, which investigates black-onblack shootings, confirmed that " the Muslim Boys are responsible for at least two executionstyle murders in the past eight months", as well as scores of robberies and attempted murders. "We have taken out most of the hardcore," he says. "We arrested 20 of them. The majority were sentenced for crimes ranging from murder to shootings to possession of firearms and drugs."

The shooting of PC Liam Morrow, shot in the legs in Bromley in December, has also been linked to the gang. A 19-yearold youth has been charged with attempted murder.

Coles believes, nevertheless, that the Muslim Boys have been "over-hyped", that there are "less than a hundred", and that they are nothing more than "nasty, ordinary south London criminals who have adopted the Muslim Boys name to make them sound bigger and more fearsome than they really are".

But Lee Jasper, the Mayor of London's senior advisor on policing, vehemently disagrees. He says: "The Muslim Boys pose one of the most serious criminal threats the black community has ever faced. The police tell me they have never seen anything like this gang before. They speak in an almost impenetrable code, they use heavy firepower, are forensically aware, unbelievably violent and extraordinarily disciplined. They're as tough to crack as the IRA."

Our investigation reveals that Jasper's concerns are shared by many - including youth workers dealing with vulnerable teenagers in south London.

The Muslim Boys, they say, are notorious for intimidating imams into opening their mosques in the early hours of the morning so that they can pray, often right after committing crimes, and for their "forced conversions", carried out at gunpoint, of black youths to Islam. At least one local young man, Adrian Marriott, thought to have resisted such a conversion, is believed to have been murdered "as an example to others".

At greatest risk of being forcibly recruited are "feral kids", the kind identified by outgoing Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens as being left to fend for themselves without adult supervision, and who already operate on the fringes of criminality.

This is how gang member Winston describes "conversion". "You got to be Muslim to be in our group," he tells me. "If you not down [cool] with Muslim, we visit your home, maybe strip you naked in front of your f***ing mother, we put a gun in your mouth. We give you three days [to change your mind], then, if you not down with it, we f* * * ing blow

The existence of the gang is a cause of profound concern within the Muslim community. The precedent set by Richard Reid - the infamous " shoebomber" who prayed at Brixton mosque, and who was both a black convert and a criminal who became a terrorist - is one they don't want repeated.

Last month, the Brixton and Stockwell mosques moved to publicly distance themselves from the gang, saying - without actually naming the Muslim Boys - that there are "criminals masquerading as Muslims" who threaten the good name of their religion.

Abdul Haqq Baker, chairman of Brixton mosque, said: "What we are seeing is a new phenomenon that I have not seen in my 15 years as a Muslim." He added that TV scenes of militant uprisings in the Middle East are presenting a distorted view of Islam that appeals to criminals. "Keep away from our mosques," he pleaded.

Lee Jasper, speaking in his capacity as chair of the Lambeth police consultative group, says that "the story is potentially explosive", but that he is speaking out because he has become "increasingly frustrated" at the "lack of adequate police action".

"So far," he says tersely, meeting me face-to-face in central London, "police arrests have not made a dent in this lot. There is barely a major estate in Lambeth or Southwark - and increasingly in Lewisham - not dominated by the Muslim Boys. The problem is that the police treat them like an ordinary criminal gang, which they are not. I've asked them to increase their level of policing to a level appropriate for serious organised crime. But the Met has refused to raise its game."

Jasper's deepest worry - that "the leaders of the Muslim Boys could be a criminalised front for terrorist extremists" - is voiced by many with links to the south London underworld.

Trident's John Coles acknowledges these concerns, but says, "we have found no evidence whatsoever of a link to terrorism". Nevertheless, questions remain: if their crime spree is not funding a lavish lifestyle, what are the Muslim Boys doing with their illgotten gains?

The story of the rise of the Muslim Boys started 15 months ago, when a hardcore of Afro-Caribbean "Muslim converts" began violently "taxing" the south London criminal community. Dressed in long, flowing black leather coats, as in the film The Matrix, and initially dubbed "the Taliban Terrorists", these were exconvicts who had been turned on to Islam in prison, and who began to use the austere discipline of Islam to fashion a criminal network with a "higher" purpose.

Their first targets were other criminals - especially local drug dealers and pimps - who were ordered to pay "protection money". If the dealers refused, they were held at gunpoint, often facing the muzzle of a MAC-10.

In the early days, there were about 25 hardcore members, plus 40 " footsoldiers". They had come out of a gang called the SMS, the South Man Syndicate, and now began to rope in other crews, such as The Brotherhood and the Stockwell Crew, evolving into an umbrella crew called the PDC, Poverty Driven Children. To this day, gang members refer to themselves as PDC, regarding the Muslim Boys as a term used by outsiders.

By January 2004, the gang had managed the unique feat of uniting the bitterly divided south-east black criminal-fraternity against them. City officials became aware of a war brewing, says Jasper. "The police were warned: either you take them out, or we do. If you don't move on these guys, all hell will break loose."

Police arrests, it is claimed, have failed to break the gang. Instead, the Muslim Boys are believed to have prospered, recruiting inside Feltham, Brixton and Wandsworth prisons, as well as on the outside, and their numbers have leapfrogged from dozens to hundreds. It has helped that the Yardies, once the most feared gangsters in London, have become marginalised, and the Muslim Boys are said to have stepped into the breach.

Wayne Rowe, 39, an ex-prisoner working as a Brixton community liaison officer, explains their appeal. "For many poverty-stricken kids growing up alienated on estates, often without fathers, the Muslim Boys have become a seductive, alternative family."

One who was nearly seduced was Michael, 31, a youth worker for a south London charity, who thought of joining the gang after growing up alongside many of their older brothers. He says they have jumped on the al Qaeda bandwagon. "Since 9/11, Muslims have become demonised as the number one enemy and alienated black kids feel a kinship with this. The war in Iraq has taught them that those with the biggest guns rule, and so they have the biggest guns."

The trend of black youths converting to Islam has gathered pace in the past three years. Omar Urquhart, 34, imam of the Brixton mosque and himself a black convert to Islam, says: "Sixty per cent of their 500-strong community are black converts."

Unlike religions that have lengthy, formal conversions, the process in Islam can be instant. You neither have to convert in a mosque, nor in front of an imam, says the Muslim Council of Britain. All that is needed is that, in the presence of two other Muslims, you voluntarily make a declaration of faith "that none is worthy of worship except Allah" and that "Muhammad is the messenger of Allah".

But the conversions administered forcibly by the Muslim Boys are, says Imam Omar, totally anti-Islamic, as is their violent, criminal lifestyle.

Last June, the imam had to step in personally after Adrian Marriott - having been hounded by the gang to convert with bullying visits to his home - was found shot several times in the head, in parkland off Barrington Road, Brixton.

"I had to approach the family of the murdered boy and assure them that these criminals have nothing to do with real Islam, or with our mosque," he says. Three men in their early twenties have been charged with Adrian Marriott's murder.

The Standard's attempts to reach a member of the Muslim Boys initially came to nothing, with warnings that contact was "not possible". But suddenly, one afternoon, I am told: "A middle-ranking member will see you." I am driven down the Old Kent Road to a poverty-stricken estate - whose name I am obliged to keep secret - and led upstairs to a dingy-looking flat.

There, lithe and athletic, and fiddling incessantly with his knives, Winston speaks to me, often lapsing into his strange "lingwo", as he calls it, for over an hour. When the time feels right, I ask him about Adrian Marriott. "Yeah, I went to school with him, grew up with him." he says, spitting out each word with venom.

Why was he shot? I ask. "His name came up, innit. He was involved in this Muslim Boys t'ing. He did something that doubled back on his people. So they killed him. Shot in his mouth and his throat."

HAVE you killed anyone? I press him. "I've stabbed people," he says. "Everyone I know has." Ever shot anyone? "Not at close range. My other bruvs have, obviously. But I ain ' t, " he half- smiles, " 'cos I got a little bit of heart. I don't mind f***ing someone up, but I won't blow them in the mouth. I turn my head when I see them things happen, bruv. It happens."

Winston, who has done time in Feltham and Bullingdon prisons for burglary, armed robbery, GBH and affray, says his life of crime started when he left home and school at 14.

"My father, f*** him, he was a low-life drug addict. He held up banks and went to prison when I was 12. I never knew the lovely life - you know, nine-to-five, kids, settle down. My life is the grime. Look at this s***-hole. I'm on the run. This year I've lived in 15 places just like this."

Winston invites me to look around the flat, which he calls "the slumberdrop" and resembles a bolt-hole in a war zone. In the bedroom, there is a bed with a cardboard box stuffed full of clothes; the second bedroom, piled top to bottom with rubbish, cannot even be entered; and the living room has no carpet, just a foam-rubber sofa without upholstery and a small television.

"This is where we do everything - count the money, sell the drugs, hide our guns," he boasts. The picture Winston paints is of an affiliation of gangs - all "converted Muslims" - holding up banks and post offices, trading guns and "taxing" drug dealers, then returning days later to share the booty with affiliates. According to Winston, gang members fan out beyond London to towns such as Reading and Bristol.

If this is true, then Winston and his fellow Muslim Boys are responsible for a national crime wave whose significance extends way beyond south London.

Aren't you worried about the police catching up with you? "The police are f***-all - they don't bother me," he shoots back. "The people I worry about is the gangs. This t'ing of being a Muslim is a new t'ing. It used to be that being in a gang was an individual t'ing. You could come in and leave the next day. But this Muslim t'ing is for life. The only way I can get out of this is if I done a certain amount of murders, then I can get out at the last one."

When I ask Winston whether he believes in Islam, he prevaricates. "Sort of," he says. "I converted when I was in prison. I found it relaxing, we got better food. Now we all go to mosque together. If I refuse, they blow [shoot] me, innit. I pray twice a day: before I do crime, and after. I ask Allah for a blessing when I'm out on the street. Afterwards, I apologise to Allah for what I done."

Winston becomes angry when I show him the Brixton mosque's denunciation of his crew as "bogus Muslims", crushing their statement in his fist. "F***ing cheek!" he says. "Mocking us. There be retribution for this!"

Winston is now agitated again and he begins playing with his knives, laying them in patterns at his feet. "You lucky the other bruvs not here yet," he says. "They pick you up and throw you straight off the f***ing balcony."

One final question, I say. Where does your money go? "To the f***ing laundry, innit," he says, licking his teeth. Is there any connection between your gang and al Qaeda? He glares at me. "That's a deep piece of info. I support Bin Laden. I wouldn't ask that question, bruv - it's rude, it's dangerous, it's ..."

Time to leave. There are moments when words do not come easily to Winston, when he prefers to let his hands do the talking, and right now, they are being frighteningly expressive.

http://www.militaryp...the-Muslim-Boys

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Apparently they target black youth's from South London to convert to Islam or they face death if they refuse it's funny they don't target anyone but blacks. If they targetted white youth's the police and white community would not have it at all, the thing is though what do you get out of forcing someone to convert when in their heart they don't really believe but only did outta fear?

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feds are getting slower i swer

:confused:

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I'm not a fed i listen to Road Rap lmao but this article claims they are PDC other articles claim they are SMS other articles claim they are OC.

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I'm not a fed i listen to Road Rap lmao but this article claims they are PDC other articles claim they are SMS other articles claim they are OC.

dscds

cd

cd

cdcd

d

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4

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I'm not a fed i listen to Road Rap lmao but this article claims they are PDC other articles claim they are SMS other articles claim they are OC.

dscds

cd

cd

cdcd

d

c/

:lol:

Truss!!!

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''The SMS gang were one of three south London gangs that the media often referred to as the “Muslim Boys”, a gang name perpetuated by Lee Jasper and the Metropolitan Police in the media. There are many articles written in the national media regarding the rise of the Muslim Boys, often exaggerated playing heavily on their Muslim identities. Much of the scaremongering regarding the existence of the Muslim Boys by the media came after the London bombings on July 7th 2005. The other gangs often written about in the media at that time being afforded the Muslim Boys label were Organised Crime and the Peel Dem Crew. Being Muslim is not a requirement to be part of the South Man Syndicate.''

http://sites.google.com/site/londonstreetgangs/gang-lists/south-london-gangs/south-man-syndicate

Here on this Website it says being Muslim is not a requirment to be in the SMS Gang yet in that article with that Winston guy in the gang an actual member of the so called 'Muslim Boy's he says you have to be Muslim or you get murdered.

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lol this guys like justin but instead of 2007 mans stuck in 2003

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they are PDCSMSOC.

real gs roun tan

SMS/OC are pretty much the same right but how can PD have anything to do with this when the so called Muslim Boys murdered someone from PDC in 2004 and even threatened to fire shot's at the bruddas funneral which is quite shocking.

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lol this guys like justin but instead of 2007 mans stuck in 2003

It's an old article but that's not the point. These guys sound ruthless they apparently have prison guards shook.

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I'm not a fed i listen to Road Rap lmao but this article claims they are PDC other articles claim they are SMS other articles claim they are OC.

dscds

cd

cd

cdcd

d

c/

0

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they are PDCSMSOC.

real gs roun tan

SMS/OC are pretty much the same right but how can PD have anything to do with this when the so called Muslim Boys murdered someone from PDC in 2004 and even threatened to fire shot's at the bruddas funneral which is quite shocking.

extremely shocking some might say

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More likely a journo/rporter than a fed, as like I've been told you feds that need to know, know everything.

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Swear this is the guy that was obsessed with north west and postcodes and strangely about people converting to islam, had about 10 different names.

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More likely a journo/rporter than a fed, as like I've been told you feds that need to know, know everything.

No loool i just listen to UK Rap and just am curious to why the media call these guys Muslim Boys when they them self don't use that term and secondly why the media put PDC as being this Gang when a member of PD was not only murdered by these so called Muslim Boys but they were planning to go to his funneral and shoot it up. That makes no sense

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lol at thinking road sh*t makes sense.

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lol at thinking road sh*t makes sense.

True that but i feel sorry for anyone that gets forced to convert to Islam. Once you Muslim you can't leave.

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The rise of the Muslim Boys

By David Cohen, Evening Standard

3 February 2005

Winston emerges menacingly from the kitchen, a meat cleaver in one hand and a kitchen knife with an eight-inch blade in the other. "I love knives," he says, his eyes gleaming as he begins to slash the air inches from my face.

"Guns make a f***ing noise, but knives go in," he pauses, " silentlike, easy." He begins stabbing the wall and hacking the plaster, and then, just as suddenly, stops, seemingly sated, like an addict who has had his fix.

He holds up his blades to inspect them. "F***ing quality," he says, and deposits them unceremoniously his trousers. Winston, 21, black and from south London, licks his teeth as he paces around the stripped-bare flat on a Peckham estate that serves as one of his gang's many secret hideouts. He speaks in his gang's uniquely coded lingo.

"Knives is f***-all. Later, my bruvs will be back from their robberies with our skengelengs [guns] and cream [money]. Later there be MACinside-10s [sub-machine guns] all over the floor, laid wall to wall. And moolah! We count it - 10 grand, 20 grand. Then, after midnight," he adds, matter-of-factly, "me and my bruvs go to mosque to pray."

Winston's casual depiction of a lifestyle of crime tightly bound up with religious observance would normally be regarded as paradoxical, but in his case it is what defines him. For Winston is a member of the Muslim Boys, a gang, the black community says, unlike any that has operated before in south London.

Until now, the Muslim Boys have never allowed any members to be interviewed. Ex-convicts and youth workers who know some of them personally warned us: "It's too dangerous. They'll shoot you on the spot."

But an Evening Standard investigation - involving dozens of interviews and finding go-betweens with underworld connections who would agree to take us into one of the many dens of the Muslim Boys - has for the first time thrown light on this street phenomenon.

They number in their hundreds, according to some estimates, with ages ranging from 15 to 30, and their hallmark is extreme violence, with automatic and semi-automatic machine guns their weapons of choice. But what makes them unique is that they are socalled "converts", whose perverted interpretation of Islam is central to their identity as killers and criminals. Their stamping grounds are the estates of south London, where they hole-up in safe houses, living ascetic lives in stark contrast to the " blingbling" lifestyle of other gangs.

D e t e c t i v e Chief Superintendent John Coles, in charge of the Met's Operation Trident team, which investigates black-onblack shootings, confirmed that " the Muslim Boys are responsible for at least two executionstyle murders in the past eight months", as well as scores of robberies and attempted murders. "We have taken out most of the hardcore," he says. "We arrested 20 of them. The majority were sentenced for crimes ranging from murder to shootings to possession of firearms and drugs."

The shooting of PC Liam Morrow, shot in the legs in Bromley in December, has also been linked to the gang. A 19-yearold youth has been charged with attempted murder.

Coles believes, nevertheless, that the Muslim Boys have been "over-hyped", that there are "less than a hundred", and that they are nothing more than "nasty, ordinary south London criminals who have adopted the Muslim Boys name to make them sound bigger and more fearsome than they really are".

But Lee Jasper, the Mayor of London's senior advisor on policing, vehemently disagrees. He says: "The Muslim Boys pose one of the most serious criminal threats the black community has ever faced. The police tell me they have never seen anything like this gang before. They speak in an almost impenetrable code, they use heavy firepower, are forensically aware, unbelievably violent and extraordinarily disciplined. They're as tough to crack as the IRA."

Our investigation reveals that Jasper's concerns are shared by many - including youth workers dealing with vulnerable teenagers in south London.

The Muslim Boys, they say, are notorious for intimidating imams into opening their mosques in the early hours of the morning so that they can pray, often right after committing crimes, and for their "forced conversions", carried out at gunpoint, of black youths to Islam. At least one local young man, Adrian Marriott, thought to have resisted such a conversion, is believed to have been murdered "as an example to others".

At greatest risk of being forcibly recruited are "feral kids", the kind identified by outgoing Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens as being left to fend for themselves without adult supervision, and who already operate on the fringes of criminality.

This is how gang member Winston describes "conversion". "You got to be Muslim to be in our group," he tells me. "If you not down [cool] with Muslim, we visit your home, maybe strip you naked in front of your f***ing mother, we put a gun in your mouth. We give you three days [to change your mind], then, if you not down with it, we f* * * ing blow

The existence of the gang is a cause of profound concern within the Muslim community. The precedent set by Richard Reid - the infamous " shoebomber" who prayed at Brixton mosque, and who was both a black convert and a criminal who became a terrorist - is one they don't want repeated.

Last month, the Brixton and Stockwell mosques moved to publicly distance themselves from the gang, saying - without actually naming the Muslim Boys - that there are "criminals masquerading as Muslims" who threaten the good name of their religion.

Abdul Haqq Baker, chairman of Brixton mosque, said: "What we are seeing is a new phenomenon that I have not seen in my 15 years as a Muslim." He added that TV scenes of militant uprisings in the Middle East are presenting a distorted view of Islam that appeals to criminals. "Keep away from our mosques," he pleaded.

Lee Jasper, speaking in his capacity as chair of the Lambeth police consultative group, says that "the story is potentially explosive", but that he is speaking out because he has become "increasingly frustrated" at the "lack of adequate police action".

"So far," he says tersely, meeting me face-to-face in central London, "police arrests have not made a dent in this lot. There is barely a major estate in Lambeth or Southwark - and increasingly in Lewisham - not dominated by the Muslim Boys. The problem is that the police treat them like an ordinary criminal gang, which they are not. I've asked them to increase their level of policing to a level appropriate for serious organised crime. But the Met has refused to raise its game."

Jasper's deepest worry - that "the leaders of the Muslim Boys could be a criminalised front for terrorist extremists" - is voiced by many with links to the south London underworld.

Trident's John Coles acknowledges these concerns, but says, "we have found no evidence whatsoever of a link to terrorism". Nevertheless, questions remain: if their crime spree is not funding a lavish lifestyle, what are the Muslim Boys doing with their illgotten gains?

The story of the rise of the Muslim Boys started 15 months ago, when a hardcore of Afro-Caribbean "Muslim converts" began violently "taxing" the south London criminal community. Dressed in long, flowing black leather coats, as in the film The Matrix, and initially dubbed "the Taliban Terrorists", these were exconvicts who had been turned on to Islam in prison, and who began to use the austere discipline of Islam to fashion a criminal network with a "higher" purpose.

Their first targets were other criminals - especially local drug dealers and pimps - who were ordered to pay "protection money". If the dealers refused, they were held at gunpoint, often facing the muzzle of a MAC-10.

In the early days, there were about 25 hardcore members, plus 40 " footsoldiers". They had come out of a gang called the SMS, the South Man Syndicate, and now began to rope in other crews, such as The Brotherhood and the Stockwell Crew, evolving into an umbrella crew called the PDC, Poverty Driven Children. To this day, gang members refer to themselves as PDC, regarding the Muslim Boys as a term used by outsiders.

By January 2004, the gang had managed the unique feat of uniting the bitterly divided south-east black criminal-fraternity against them. City officials became aware of a war brewing, says Jasper. "The police were warned: either you take them out, or we do. If you don't move on these guys, all hell will break loose."

Police arrests, it is claimed, have failed to break the gang. Instead, the Muslim Boys are believed to have prospered, recruiting inside Feltham, Brixton and Wandsworth prisons, as well as on the outside, and their numbers have leapfrogged from dozens to hundreds. It has helped that the Yardies, once the most feared gangsters in London, have become marginalised, and the Muslim Boys are said to have stepped into the breach.

Wayne Rowe, 39, an ex-prisoner working as a Brixton community liaison officer, explains their appeal. "For many poverty-stricken kids growing up alienated on estates, often without fathers, the Muslim Boys have become a seductive, alternative family."

One who was nearly seduced was Michael, 31, a youth worker for a south London charity, who thought of joining the gang after growing up alongside many of their older brothers. He says they have jumped on the al Qaeda bandwagon. "Since 9/11, Muslims have become demonised as the number one enemy and alienated black kids feel a kinship with this. The war in Iraq has taught them that those with the biggest guns rule, and so they have the biggest guns."

The trend of black youths converting to Islam has gathered pace in the past three years. Omar Urquhart, 34, imam of the Brixton mosque and himself a black convert to Islam, says: "Sixty per cent of their 500-strong community are black converts."

Unlike religions that have lengthy, formal conversions, the process in Islam can be instant. You neither have to convert in a mosque, nor in front of an imam, says the Muslim Council of Britain. All that is needed is that, in the presence of two other Muslims, you voluntarily make a declaration of faith "that none is worthy of worship except Allah" and that "Muhammad is the messenger of Allah".

But the conversions administered forcibly by the Muslim Boys are, says Imam Omar, totally anti-Islamic, as is their violent, criminal lifestyle.

Last June, the imam had to step in personally after Adrian Marriott - having been hounded by the gang to convert with bullying visits to his home - was found shot several times in the head, in parkland off Barrington Road, Brixton.

"I had to approach the family of the murdered boy and assure them that these criminals have nothing to do with real Islam, or with our mosque," he says. Three men in their early twenties have been charged with Adrian Marriott's murder.

The Standard's attempts to reach a member of the Muslim Boys initially came to nothing, with warnings that contact was "not possible". But suddenly, one afternoon, I am told: "A middle-ranking member will see you." I am driven down the Old Kent Road to a poverty-stricken estate - whose name I am obliged to keep secret - and led upstairs to a dingy-looking flat.

There, lithe and athletic, and fiddling incessantly with his knives, Winston speaks to me, often lapsing into his strange "lingwo", as he calls it, for over an hour. When the time feels right, I ask him about Adrian Marriott. "Yeah, I went to school with him, grew up with him." he says, spitting out each word with venom.

Why was he shot? I ask. "His name came up, innit. He was involved in this Muslim Boys t'ing. He did something that doubled back on his people. So they killed him. Shot in his mouth and his throat."

HAVE you killed anyone? I press him. "I've stabbed people," he says. "Everyone I know has." Ever shot anyone? "Not at close range. My other bruvs have, obviously. But I ain ' t, " he half- smiles, " 'cos I got a little bit of heart. I don't mind f***ing someone up, but I won't blow them in the mouth. I turn my head when I see them things happen, bruv. It happens."

Winston, who has done time in Feltham and Bullingdon prisons for burglary, armed robbery, GBH and affray, says his life of crime started when he left home and school at 14.

"My father, f*** him, he was a low-life drug addict. He held up banks and went to prison when I was 12. I never knew the lovely life - you know, nine-to-five, kids, settle down. My life is the grime. Look at this s***-hole. I'm on the run. This year I've lived in 15 places just like this."

Winston invites me to look around the flat, which he calls "the slumberdrop" and resembles a bolt-hole in a war zone. In the bedroom, there is a bed with a cardboard box stuffed full of clothes; the second bedroom, piled top to bottom with rubbish, cannot even be entered; and the living room has no carpet, just a foam-rubber sofa without upholstery and a small television.

"This is where we do everything - count the money, sell the drugs, hide our guns," he boasts. The picture Winston paints is of an affiliation of gangs - all "converted Muslims" - holding up banks and post offices, trading guns and "taxing" drug dealers, then returning days later to share the booty with affiliates. According to Winston, gang members fan out beyond London to towns such as Reading and Bristol.

If this is true, then Winston and his fellow Muslim Boys are responsible for a national crime wave whose significance extends way beyond south London.

Aren't you worried about the police catching up with you? "The police are f***-all - they don't bother me," he shoots back. "The people I worry about is the gangs. This t'ing of being a Muslim is a new t'ing. It used to be that being in a gang was an individual t'ing. You could come in and leave the next day. But this Muslim t'ing is for life. The only way I can get out of this is if I done a certain amount of murders, then I can get out at the last one."

When I ask Winston whether he believes in Islam, he prevaricates. "Sort of," he says. "I converted when I was in prison. I found it relaxing, we got better food. Now we all go to mosque together. If I refuse, they blow [shoot] me, innit. I pray twice a day: before I do crime, and after. I ask Allah for a blessing when I'm out on the street. Afterwards, I apologise to Allah for what I done."

Winston becomes angry when I show him the Brixton mosque's denunciation of his crew as "bogus Muslims", crushing their statement in his fist. "F***ing cheek!" he says. "Mocking us. There be retribution for this!"

Winston is now agitated again and he begins playing with his knives, laying them in patterns at his feet. "You lucky the other bruvs not here yet," he says. "They pick you up and throw you straight off the f***ing balcony."

One final question, I say. Where does your money go? "To the f***ing laundry, innit," he says, licking his teeth. Is there any connection between your gang and al Qaeda? He glares at me. "That's a deep piece of info. I support Bin Laden. I wouldn't ask that question, bruv - it's rude, it's dangerous, it's ..."

Time to leave. There are moments when words do not come easily to Winston, when he prefers to let his hands do the talking, and right now, they are being frighteningly expressive.

http://www.militaryp...the-Muslim-Boys

Do the math.

Worst article ever.

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most of my fam used to be muslim

ahamdillah they bussed case

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