Elsewhere on this site you can read about the Hells Angels, the Pagans, the Bandidos and the Outlaws and these four are generally regarded as the biggest of the motorcycle gangs with the Pagans just squeaking in there despite being confined to the continental United States.
There are plenty of other smaller groups though and one of these is the Mongols motorcycle club, another of the organisations which takes pride in being known as one percenters, a group outside the 99% which are seen as law abiding motorcyclists.
Montebello, California, was the birth place of the Mongols and the interesting part here is that the first group was made up of those rejected from the Hells Angels because of their race. Hispanic Vietnam war veterans had attempted to join the Hells Angels but has been refused. What’s the next move then? Start up your own club obviously and in 1969 the Mongols were born with the first fifteen members. Not surprisingly the name is derived from Genghis Khan’s 12th century Central Asian Mongol hordes.
Comparisons with the Hells Angels are obvious to spot – this is a motorcycle gang which attempts to maintain a respectable appearance to outsiders, whatever may be going on internally. Even their motto is similar:
“When we do right, nobody remembers. When we do wrong, nobody forgets.”
By the early 1970s, five other Mongol motorcycle chapters had been established within California. It now has representation in a number of U.S. states and, like other motorcycle gangs, has spread to several other countries around the world. Countries which are familiar with biker groups such as Germany, Sweden and Australia have chapters but less likely venues such as Italy, Spain and Mexico also have them. The largely Hispanic make up of the Mongols may mean that countries with a Spanish influence are more likely to feature international chapters.
Any claim that the Mongols have that they are not a criminal organisation was largely blown out of the water in 1998 when an ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) agent named William Queen (using the alias Billy St. John) managed to infiltrate the club, passing the various initiations and eventually rising to be a treasurer. In this position he was in an ideal position to gather evidence regarding motorcycle theft, drug trafficking and conspiracy to commit murder. Fifty-three Mongol members were subsequently convicted.
A book about the subject written by Queen provided readers with the interesting insight that he eventually came to identify with the camaraderie and brotherhood of the Mongols. This is a pattern which has been noted previously when authorities have infiltrated football hooligan groups for example and Queen says it caused him some emotional difficulty to leave the group when the investigation began after more than two years.
German Mongols in the city of Bremen are are another prime example. According to a local police investigator, they are mostly Kurdish Muslims who have no motorcycle licenses and drive around in cars. The belief is that the Kurdish gangs have aligned themselves with international Mongol chapters to take advantage of established drug routes. Rivals? Not surprisingly the Hells Angels. Check out a promotional Mongol video below: