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A key police informant within the Hells Angels organization might also have played a role in the Montreal car bombing that killed an 11-year-old boy, two reporters say in a new book.

The authors also say that the RCMP in British Columbia had two separate chances to recruit informants within the outlaw biker gang in the 1990s, but failed each time because unenthusiastic senior officers procrastinated.

The Road to Hell : How Biker Gangs Conquered Canada , the first book on the Hells Angels since a wealth of information about the gang was released after a police crackdown in Quebec in 2001, was written by Julian Sher, an investigative reporter and producer for the fifth estate and TV documentaries, and William Marsden, who has reported for the Montreal Gazette.

A major figure in their book is Dany Kane, a biker who became an RCMP informant in 1994, just as the Hells Angels began a bloody turf war to gain control of the Quebec drug trade.

The two authors were able to consult the RCMP intelligence reports that Mr. Kane's handlers compiled during the three years he reported to them.

The book says Mr. Kane gave the RCMP detailed information about his immediate superior in the gang, Scott Steinert, who led the Angels' bomb-making squad.

However, the RCMP didn't share all those findings with other police forces because, rather than seek immediate prosecution, they wanted to gather intelligence and wait for Mr. Kane to rise in the biker ranks, the book says.

The authors say they waited too long. "Lives could have been saved," Mr. Marsden said in an interview.

It turned out later that Mr. Kane was involved in at least 11 killings and three bombing incidents while he worked for the RCMP.

On Aug. 9, 1995, 11-year-old Daniel Desrochers was killed by a bomb meant for a pro-Angel pusher. The book says Mr. Kane likely played a part in the blast.

According to the book, Mr. Kane told his handlers that Mr. Steinert set off the bomb after Hells Angels kingpin Maurice (Mom) Boucher formed a cynical plan to unite his troops by killing one of his own supporters and blaming his foes.

The bomb makers were a crucial part of the gang's war machine, so anyone as intimate with them as Mr. Kane had to have blood on his hands, Mr. Marsden said. "The Angels didn't let anybody in that group of bomb makers unless he was involved."

No one was ever charged in the boy's death. Mr. Kane became a prized informant for the Montreal-provincial antibiker police squad, then committed suicide. Mr. Steinert was killed in an internal biker purge.

Mr. Boucher received a life sentence for ordering the murder of two jail guards.

The book contends that, in a stunning breach of security, a lawyer working for the Hells Angels managed to contact the main prosecution witness at Mr. Boucher's murder trial, informant Stéphane (Godasse) Gagné, to offer him $1-million so he wouldn't testify.

Mr. Gagné turned down the offer.

If the RCMP sat on Mr. Kane's information too long, in British Columbia the force is accused of dithering when it had a chance to recruit defectors.

The book says that in 1996, and again in 1998, full-fledged Hells Angels members offered their services, but RCMP higher-ups hedged for so long that the opportunities were lost.

"Two times HA members came knocking at the door. Two times! We lost both guys because of some idiots," one officer complains in the book.

The Hells Angels are the only crime syndicate with a sea-to-sea presence in Canada and they go through great efforts to share intelligence within the gang, Mr. Sher said.

He mentioned for example an incident where a biker took a digital picture of an antibiker investigator and bragged that he would e-mail it to other Angels chapters.

The police remain hobbled by departmental rivalries, jurisdictional problems and lack of funds and co-ordination.

The book notes that front-line investigators don't have money to meet and exchange their findings. Also, the criminal intelligence gathered by Canadian police is stored in three different computer systems that aren't compatible.

"People should be concerned," Mr. Sher said.