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March 24, 2011
POLICE have simultanously raided properties across Perth this morning, as tensions between rival bikie gangs the Rebels and the Rock Machine escalate
The early morning raids,
which extended to the plush riverfront suburbs of Attadale and Bicton to
Thornlie and Waikiki, come as police confirmed they had charged a Rock Machine member with attempted murder over the shooting of Rebels leader Nick Martin outside his Balcatta home on Friday night, which injured his arm.
Today, heavily armed officers forced their way into homes just after 6.30am.
Sniffer dogs were also called in to assist police investigations at several properties.
Police have not revealed whether the raids uncovered anything of significance. A media conference will be held this afternoon.
The Rock Machine member has also been charged with possessing an unlicensed firearm and wilfully destroying evidence.
He appeared in Perth Magistrates Court today and has been remanded in
custody to next appear on April 6.
The dawn raids are the latest flashpoint in an ongoing feud between the two gangs in which the Rebels bikie boss was shot at, a tattoo shop has been firebombed, bikies assaulted and a massive stash of explosives seized in recent
While police say the feud relates to a turf war over drug distribution networks, those close to the Rebels say the issue is not drug-related but merely a ``clash of personalities'' between members.
Hostilities flared in July last year, when a former member of the Rebels helped establish the local chapter of the Rock Machine.
At the weekend, Assistant Commissioner Nick Anticich told The Sunday Times police would investigate the Balcatta shooting and were gravely concerned about the escalating conflict between the two gangs.
The Rebels, which has about
50 members and four clubhouses in WA, is Australia's biggest bikie gang.
The Rock Machine, a Canadian-based gang, has about 20 known members and a new clubhouse in Myaree.
The Rock Machine, which has links to the Bandidos, is notorious for a violent turf war with the Hells Angels in Canada between 1994 and 2001, which left 162 people dead, including an 11-year-old boy who was killed by a car bomb.