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September 20, 2012 6

One-Time Domestic Terrorist Now Leads White Supremacist Biker Gang

A wise man once said, “Old extrem­ists never die. They just change uniforms.”

That seems to be the case for long-time Illi­nois white suprema­cist Den­nis Michael McGif­fen.  In the 1990s, McGif­fen and other white suprema­cists (most asso­ci­ated with a Klan group or Aryan Nations) formed a group they dubbed The New Order, after the 1980s ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion known as The Order.  In 1998, McGif­fen and five other mem­bers were arrested by the FBI on weapons and explo­sives charges in con­nec­tion with alleged plots to rob banks and armored cars, poi­son pub­lic water sup­plies, and to attack blacks, Jews, and civil rights orga­ni­za­tions.  Five of the defen­dants, includ­ing McGif­fen, pleaded guilty, while a sixth was con­victed in court.  McGif­fen received a seven-year prison sentence.

Now McGif­fen, 50 years old and liv­ing in Wood River, Illi­nois, has once again found a lead­er­ship role in the world of white supremacy. McGif­fen is pres­i­dent of the Sadis­tic Souls Motor­cy­cle Club (SS-MC), a white suprema­cist biker gang that started in 2010. In July 2012, the SS-MC for­mally merged with the neo-Nazi group Aryan Nations, with which McGif­fen has had past ties. 

The Sadis­tic Souls are a small Illinois-based gang with approx­i­mately two dozen mem­bers and asso­ciates.  The bulk of the mem­ber­ship comes from small towns out­side of East Saint Louis, such as Wood River, Edwardsville, Brighton, God­frey, Alton, and Jer­seyville.  The gang’s “col­ors” (i.e., the emblems they put on their vests and jack­ets) include a Totenkopf death’s head and SS light­ning bolts.  Most mem­bers have added an Aryan Nations patch to their colors. 

Since the merger, Aryan Nations has heav­ily pro­moted McGif­fen and the SS-MC, even “donat­ing” one of its reg­is­tered Web sites for the use of SS-MC. On that site, the SS-MC dubs the rela­tion­ship “a new begin­ning.”  The site sells SS-MC mer­chan­dise and also pro­motes the McGiffen-owned Peck­er­woods Gym and Fight Club.  Mor­ris Gulett, the cur­rent leader of Aryan Nations, is clearly stak­ing much on this rela­tion­ship, per­haps because of recent defections.

In April of this year, McGif­fen and fel­low Sadis­tic Soul Ryan R. Duck­ett were arrested by the Madi­son County Sheriff’s Depart­ment and charged with felony mob action for an alleged assault at a bar in God­frey, Illi­nois.  Both posted bond and were released.

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