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(The Root)– From keeping crack cocaine off Chicago’s streets in the mid-1980s to becoming the first Americans convicted of domestic terrorism, the El Rukns have had one of the most fascinating gang stories with global reach.  They sold synthetic heroin. They prayed in a mosque. They held community meetings. They got arrested for murder. In the 1970s and ’80s, the El Rukns teetered among contradictions. Leader Jeff Fort, aka Chief Malik, sat on a throne at the South Side headquarters. Law enforcement and federal prosecutors zealously pursued them.  But their real legacy is a federal conviction that tied them to Muammar Qaddafi. Twenty-five years ago, the U.S. government indicted members of the El Rukns for plotting domestic terrorist acts on behalf of Libya for $2.5 million.  Lance Williams and I explore the domestic terrorism trial in our new book, The Almighty Black P Stone Nation: The Rise, Fall and Resurgence of an American Gang. Our purpose is to tell a story that looks at the social and political underpinnings of the notorious street organization.

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