Articles, Sweden

The Gangs of Stockholm

In 1927, Herbert Asbury published The Gangs of New York, a non-fictional book detailing the history of several gangs active in the New York area from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century. 

Martin Scorsese made a film out of that, but the film is mostly a fictional interpretation (and probably not one of Scorsese’s best, although it does have a memorable performance of Daniel Day-Lewis as Bill the Butcher). 

The book, is, at least supposedly, more factual. Many gangs were Irish, but there were also nativist anti-Irish gangs, Dutch gangs and Jewish gangs. There were also a few Italians, but Asbury’s book is mostly about an earlier period, before the Italian mob basically took control of organized crime during the prohibition era. 

Many gangs had funny names, such as the Dead Rabbits, the Bowery Boys, the Plug Uglies, the Gas House Gang, the Daybreak Boys. 

There was also the Mandelbaum Gang, led by Federicka Mandelbaum, which had the interesting and unusual characteristic of consisting of only female criminals — pickpockets, con artists and shoplifters, mostly of Jewish and Irish origin. 

Well, I was thinking that perhaps it is time to write a new book called Gangs of Stockholm, so we can better understand what is going on there. 

This is an article from today, from the BBC news. 

Sweden gangs: PM summons army chief after surge in killings

Sweden’s prime minister has summoned the head of the armed forces to help curb a surge in gang killings.

It comes after a bloody 12 hours that saw two men shot dead in Stockholm and a 25-year-old woman killed in a blast at home in a town north of the capital.

“We will hunt the gangs down and we will defeat them,” PM Ulf Kristersson promised in a rare televised address.

The article mentions something about immigration at the bottom, but they are not very clear about it. 

Who are those gangs? Are they vikings? Is it Olaf versus Harald? 

Well, digging a bit more in other sources, we find that one of the main gangs is the so called Foxtrot network, which is led by some guy called Majid, also known as the Kurdish Fox. The media calls him “Swedish”, because he was born in Sweden, and sometimes they call him Turkish, because he appears to be now living in Turkey. But both his parents are Iraqi Kurds. 

Then you have the Varby network, led by a Moroccan guy, the Naserliga, which is Albanian, the Falangen which seems to be a Bosniak gang, the Black Cobra, which is Iraqi, the Werewolf Legion, formed by Africans and South Americans, then there are some motorcycle gangs such as the Bandidos or the Brotherhood, which seem to be mostly of ethnic swedes, and then you also have the Chosen Ones, which, despite the name, according to Wikipedia, is a “multicultural crime organization” led by a Gambian. 

As they say, diversity is our strength.