Memphis gang takes name of terrorist group - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

Memphis gang takes name of terrorist group

17 young men have been indicted for being members of a gang known as "The Taliban."

"We may think it's silly to put a towel around your head," says Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons. "But that's basically what they were doing to disguise themselves," he adds.

"Taliban" members are accused of committing a number of violent crimes. The majority of them aimed at the Hispanic community.

"I think this is a prime example of the violent gang activity that we have far too much of in this community," says Gibbons.

"Si, yes," says Jose Castro.

Authorities say people like Castro are among "The Taliban's" favorite targets. Castro tells Action News 5 about an encounter he had with an armed robber. Veronica Loredo helps with the translation.

"The only thing we have to do is thank the authorities that they're doing their job," she interprets.

"Taliban" members are accused of robbing at least 45 Hispanics at gunpoint over the last year alone.

"A lot of Hispanic workers, blue collar workers, operate in cash," says Gibbons. "Many are reluctant to report crimes," he adds.

That's something the D.A. says he hopes to get a handle on. Meantime, Castro and others come to grips with being easy marks.

The Safe Streets Task Force headed up the investigation which led to "The Taliban." The group is believed to be a branch of the better known Vice Lords gang.

Click here to email Jason Miles.

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