To defeat the Islamists of ISIS, everyone says, you need boots on the ground. How about motorcycle boots? Kurt Sutter from Sons of Anarchy has to be pissed he didn't think up this story line first.
Islamic State militants have a new adversary in the battle for control of Syria and Iraq: Crazy-ass bikers from "No Surrender," a Netherlands-based motorcycle club. And thus far, the Dutch government is cool with that, AFP reports:
The Dutch public prosecutor said on Tuesday that motorbike gang members who have reportedly joined Kurds battling the Islamic State group in Iraq are not necessarily committing any crime.
"Joining a foreign armed force was previously punishable, now it's no longer forbidden," public prosecutor spokesman Wim de Bruin told AFP.
"You just can't join a fight against the Netherlands," he told AFP after reports emerged that Dutch bikers from the No Surrender gang were fighting IS insurgents alongside Kurds in northern Iraq.
The fuss apparently started after pics like this one started showing up on pro-Kurdish social media:
Ron uit Nederland heeft zich bij de Koerden aangesloten om het IS ongedierte te bestrijden. Respect! pic.twitter.com/xES1nmJg8h
— Koerden in NL (@KoerdenNL) October 9, 2014
The rough translation (per Google) is "Ron from the Netherlands has joined the Kurds to fight [the Islamic State]. Respect!"
No Surrender titular head Klaas Otto confirmed to a Dutch TV station that "three members who travelled to near Mosul in northern Iraq were from Dutch cities Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Breda," AFP stated.
So far, English-language outlets have reported very little of No Surrender's background, but the MC appears to have been founded last year and is described by Dutch police as a "1 percenter" or outlaw gang, apparently on the basis of its three-piece back patch and little else.
No Surrender doesn't appear to have any overt racist or fascist connections; its chapters' photos suggest a diverse bunch of members, and many came over from another outlaw gang, Satudarah, that was reportedly founded by Dutch-Indonesians. Unfortunately for the gang, "No Surrender" is also an anti-Islamic motto of the English Defence League, a bunch of racist right-wing hooligans.
Just the same, Dutch motorcycle gangs—including chapters of the Hell's Angels—have been known to harbor violent criminals, and the Dutch prosecutor told AFP that the members could be on the hook back home for any war crimes, "such as torture or rape," that they committed in Iraq.
"But this is also happening a long way away," he added, "and so it'll be very difficult to prove."