Sessions: MS-13 gang could be designated as terrorist organization

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsUnder pressure, Trump shifts blame for Russia intrusion Overnight Tech: Judge blocks AT&T request for DOJ communications | Facebook VP apologizes for tweets about Mueller probe | Tech wants Treasury to fight EU tax proposal Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand MORE says the MS-13 gang could be designated as a terrorist organization.

Asked by Fox News's Tucker Carlson on Tuesday whether he thinks the designation would be helpful, Sessions replied, “I think so, perhaps. I believe it could qualify for that."

"There are rules that I guess the State Department does to establish that," he added. El Salvador has already designated MS-13 a terrorist group.

Sessions called the gang "one of the most violent gangs in the history of our country."

“We can devastate this gang. We’re going after them," he said. "We’re not going to allow them to take over a block, a corner of our communities and terrorize people with this violence.”

Speaking to a meeting of the Organized Crime Council on Tuesday, Sessions blamed open borders and lax immigration enforcement for the growth of the crime gang, which was founded in Los Angeles in the 1980s by Central American immigrants mostly from El Salvador.
He said his Justice Department would have "zero tolerance" for the gang violence.

"We cannot allow this to continue. We will secure our border, expand immigration enforcement and choke off supply lines," said Sessions.

Members of MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, are known for their violent methods and fierce gang loyalty. According to the National Gang Intelligence Center, MS-13 has more than 10,000 members in the United States, and more than 30,000 worldwide.

Early Tuesday, President Trump blamed former President Obama's immigration policies for the formation of MS-13, a gang the FBI has been closely tracking since at least 2004.