President Donald Trump has long spoken of the dangers posed by the transnational gang known as MS-13, and this week, his administration scored a major victory against that threat with the arrest and indictment of some of the organization’s key members, as the Washington Free Beacon reported.
On Wednesday, the Department of Justice announced that charges had been filed against multiple figures within MS-13, with one of the accused now facing federal terrorism charges.
“In 2017, the President directed the Department of Justice to go to war against MS-13, and we did just that,” Attorney General Bill Barr said in a press release on Wednesday, declaring:
In coordination with our partners at the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department’s law enforcement components have successfully investigated, charged, and arrested command and control elements of MS-13 responsible for murder.
Barr then went on to tout the results of Joint Task Force Vulcan, an initiative targeting MS-13 that has “significantly degraded” the gang’s capabilities.
“While there is still work to be done, the Department of Justice remains committed to protecting Americans threatened by MS-13, and we will not rest until we have successfully defeated this transnational criminal organization.”
Joint Task Force Vulcan Director John Durham summarized his approach to the organization, saying, “The only way to defeat MS-13 is by targeting the organization as a whole, focusing on the leadership structure, and deploying a whole-of-government approach against a common enemy.”
That brand of brutality is nothing new, as MS-13 is known for committing particularly gruesome attacks. In February of 2019, MS-13 members savagely slaughtered a man in broad daylight on a New York City subway platform, as The New York Times reported.
MS-13 gang members also made headlines in recent years for the horrific killings of Long Island students Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens, which, according to police, left the victims’ bodies “unrecognizable.”
Horrors like these have led President Trump to describe members of MS-13 in especially harsh terms, referring to them as “animals” during a White House roundtable meeting in 2018.
Trump’s remarks provoked outrage from Democrats at the time, including then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), whom The Daily Caller quoted as asking, “You have to wonder: does he not believe in the spark of divinity? The dignity and worth of every person?”
Fortunately, most Americans agree with the president in finding it extremely hard to find “dignity” or “divinity” in the sort of barbarous conduct the members of this group are accused.