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Kurds are latest competition for drug trade. News Teams

Nashville took in Kurdish refugees from Iraq in the 1970’s, only to see new competitors for Nashvilles’s black, Asian, and Hispanic street gangs.

From New York Times…

Police officials say that Kurdish Pride members have grown increasingly vicious and brazen. Investigators believe that the gang has committed about 10 home burglaries since January, including two involving rapes, said Mark Anderson, a Nashville police detective who works in a gang unit.

In a case involving the rape of a pregnant victim, a 17-year-old suspect, Zana Noroly, hanged himself in his jail cell in April. Messages in his memory are ubiquitous on the Web pages of Kurdish youth.

There was an assault in which a student was dragged from a high school classroom and beaten, and another during the school graduation that left the victim hospitalized. Kurdish Pride members have been accused of shooting at a rival gang, injuring three, and also beating a man to death in January at a motel, Mr. Anderson said.

Earlier this month, a grand jury indicted four members of the gang for conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in a case in which a gang leader, Ako Nejad, is accused of shooting at a park policeman who interrupted a drug deal last year. The members have adopted older gangs’ symbols, adorning their MySpace pages with photos of the rapper Tupac Shakur and slogans like “Live and Die 4 Kurdish Pride.” They sport tattoos and gang colors, and flash hand signals.