Article from NRK (Norwegian media channel) 29thof March 2018:
You look for those who are vulnerable.
We call them “brothers” in the beginning, but we hold back the reality, Mikael Ali says when talking about recruiting youth to criminal environments.
Mikael Ali was part of the criminal gang Young Guns for several years. This was one of Oslo’s biggest and most infamous gangs. Today he is engaged in preventative work. Mikael says that the first thing you have to do is to notice who is drawn towards those groups. It’s young people searching for acknowledgement and belonging.
As a gang leader Mikael Ali was recruiting youth himself. You are very cynical upon doing this. You look for those who are vulnerable, need somewhere to belong and are searching for an identity. They are invited into the group to be taken advantage of and nobody tells them that there is a hell waiting for them. We are saying “come join us, we have a brotherhood.” In the beginning we spend money on them so they feel valued.
This is why it is so important to make youth more robust.
This is one of the reasons why MOTs mission is to develop robust youth, who include all.