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Weapons, cash, drugs, cars seized in raids

Taliban believed responsible for 12 murders, 30 violent felonies, officlals say

Numerous large-caliber assault rifles and handguns, 10 automobiles and about $200,000 in cash were seized in the massive FBI/police raid against the East Palo Alto-based "Taliban" street gang this morning (Saturday), officials reported this afternoon.

The raids also confiscated a "large quantity" of Ecstasy pills, cocaine base, codeine and other narcotics, plus "evidence related to the manufacturing of narcotics."

There were 20 arrests on Saturday, in addition to six related arrests of Taliban gang members on March 5 and 6, officials recounted in a detailed follow-up report to the 7 a.m. raids. Nine gang members had been in custody from earlier arrests, and two other "collateral arrests" were made.

All arrests were made without incident in raids conducted simultaneously in East Palo Alto and other Bay Area cities, the FBI reported.

Almost 500 FBI agents and police from 14 cities took part in the operation.

The Taliban gang -- no relation to the international religious/political organization -- is believed responsible for 12 homicides, 30 other violent felonies, and other crimes since 2002, according to police and FBI.

-- Don Kazak

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