Eight suspects are currently awaiting trial for one of Canada's worst mass killings: in April 2006 eight Bandidos members, including the president of the Canadian chapter, were found shot dead on an isolated farm in Ontario; their deaths allegedly part of "an internal cleansing" of the motorcycle gang.
The Bandidos, reputedly the US's fastest growing gang, have 600 members worldwide, a fraction of the numbers in the Hells Angels. Both gangs call themselves motorcycle clubs, but the FBI calls them 'outlaw motorcycle gangs'.
Members are responsible for extensive drug trafficking and are linked to violent crimes across the country, often against each other, according to the bureau's most recent gang threat assessment report. The 4,000-strong Mongols are the most notorious of the motorcycle gangs with chapters in California, Nevada, Oklahoma, Colorado, Arizona and Montana.
In 2003, a Canadian court sentenced nine Hells Angels to up to 20 years in prison for their role in a war with a rival biker gang, the Rock Machine gang, which killed nearly 100 people in the 1990s. The violence in Quebec sparked further public outrage, when an 11-year old boy was killed by shrapnel from a car bomb, in 1995.
Known in Australia as "bikie gangs", groups such as the Nomads, Outlaws, Hell's Angels, Rebels, Comancheros and Bandidos have become heavily involved in organised crime. The Australian Crime Commission says there are 35 outlaw biker gangs throughout Australia, with around 3500 full members. Experts say Australia has the highest number of 'bikies' per capita in the world.
In Europe, three dominant groups, the Hell's Angels, the Bandidos and the Outlaws are involved in crimes ranging from traditional drug smuggling or vehicle crime to human trafficking and contract killings. They are increasingly active in new member-states but are particularly prominent in the Nordic countries, and in Germany and Belgium. They are also becoming more active in Britain.
In Sweden, a fierce conflict between the Hell's Angels and the Bandidos from 1994 to 1997, resulted in 11 people being killed, and about 100 wounded. A report from the police's National Criminal Investigation Department shows the increase in motorcycle gangs' criminal activity with the number of extortion cases reported to the police rising to 1,240 last year
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