The international media went beserk, when it emerged that two LA gang members somehow made their way into Syria and are now fighting on the side of President Bashar al-Assad. But a new video that has surfaced online shows there might be a total of at least four LA gang members fighting for Assad.
The first video that appeared online recently had two men boasting that they are on the forefront and fire their guns in the direction of what they call "the enemigos". One of the men, who identifies himself as Creeper from the Sur-13 or Surenos, shares loose affiliation with southern California gangs with Mexican links. In the video, he rolls up his sleeves to show his gang tattoos and greets fellow gang members Capone-E and Crazy Loco. His partner calls himself Wino, a member of Westside Armenian Power.
But in the most recent video posted online, it has become clear that four persons share affiliation with the street gangs - Westside Armenian Power and Surenos.
In the new video, Creeper can be seen along with the others. But in none of the videos, the LA gangsters reveal much about what they are doing or why they are fighting for Assad.
It was impossible to independently verify the authenticity of the video or determine where or when it was filmed. However, both FBI Director James Comey and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper have made statements that several Americans have fought in Syria and are now under investigation or surveillance, for fear they learned terrorism tradecraft from the dominant jihadi groups there, which are ideologically aligned with al-Qaeda.
The US counter-terrorism officials have told ABC News that more than 50 have returned to the country with combat experience in Syria. However, the instance of foreign nationals joining Assad is rare. It is but rumoured that Assad has the support of some staunch Armenian Christians, who have links in Westside Armenian Power and Surenos gangs.