MS-13 Gang Killings Linked to Immigrant Surge

WASHINGTON TIMES The notoriously violent MS-13 street gang, known for slashing victims to death with knives and machetes, is reviving its brutal brand of violence to reassert its dominance in the Washington metropolitan area — with authorities linking at least eight homicides in Virginia and Maryland over the past year to the gang.

The recent uptick in violence can be traced to a failed gang truce in El Salvador and, in part, to a surge of unaccompanied Central American children who entered the United States last year to flee violence at home, according to gang analysts.

There is concern over the degree to which MS-13, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, has exploited an immigration policy that over the past two years has allowed waves of migrant children to enter the United States.

In one of the eight recent killings with MS-13 ties, three young men were charged in connection with the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old in Loudoun County, Virginia. They were identified as having entered the United States illegally in 2013 as unaccompanied children who later skipped immigration hearings.

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