Former Army officer suspected of joining Bandidos

A HIGHLY decorated former Army officer who led soldiers in Iraq is suspected by police of being a senior figure in one of Australia's most notorious bikie gangs.

Secret police intelligence reports state the retired senior officer is an office bearer and chapter leader of the Bandidos, a motorcycle club connected to drug running, extortion and violent turf wars with other bikie clubs.

He is believed to be the highest ranking former Defence Force officer to have joined an outlaw motorcycle gang.

The case has concerned police, who have told the ABC that bikie gangs have long tried to recruit former soldiers in a bid to utilise their unique skills and experiences.

"[Former soldiers have] a familiarity with weapons, technical expertise, they might be used to violent situations, may handle stress better than a normal person, the ability to follow orders and organisational abilities as well," said former police detective inspector Terry Goldsworthy, now a criminologist at Queensland's Bond University.

Read more at the ABC.