Hate group's presence found in Alabama - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Hate group's presence found in Alabama

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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

There are still no arrests in the murder of a Texas District Attorney and his wife. They were shot and killed over the weekend at their home, just two months after an assistant D.A. from the same county was murdered.

There's speculation that a white supremacist group might behind the killings. They called the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.

In Alabama this group exists, but on a much smaller scale. A few days ago in Alabama there was a tri-county drug raid that resulted in the arrests of 15 people, one of which is believed to be a Captain for the Aryan Brotherhood. They're not as organized here as they are Texas, but they do have a presence.

Heidi Bierich, Director of Intelligence Project for the Southern Poverty Law Center has been paying close attention to the group, particularly the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas. "There's no question the group is extremely violent, they've been involved in at least 100 murders since 2007, 10 kidnappings," said Bierich. "They kill members in their ranks if they think they're going to snitch."

The Aryan Brotherhood is a prison gang, who grasps reach far outside prison walls. They are white supremacists. Many of them are covered in tattoos that represent their beliefs. They deal drugs, commit murders, and use intimidation and violence to get what they want. "They are major drug runners and so that's a problem for everyone," said Bierich. "This group, Aryan Brotherhood of Texas sells methamphetamine, heroin, and sometimes cocaine, there's all kind of criminal violence involved with that. It affects members of not just gang, but members of the public."

And Bierich says they're building their numbers inside the prison walls. "If somebody is a white supremacist is involved in a hate crime, or something like that, and they go to prison for it. Chances are they are going to end up in a prison gang like this, which provides protection for them while they are inside. And they get hooked into these groups and then they become functionaries when they leave, spreading criminal violence and hate outside the prison walls."

The Alabama Department of Corrections says they are aware of these groups, but they have not had an issue with them.

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