Execution of criminals ‘imminent’ says new armed group in chilling threat

Members of the new group with weapons – one of the flags on the table is the Starry Plough as it’s believed the gang has ties to the INLA Members of the new group with weapons – one of the flags on the table is the Starry Plough as it’s believed the gang has ties to the INLA
By Francesca Ryan

A NEW armed group has vowed to “execute” criminals in West and North Belfast.

In a chilling statement released exclusively to the Andersonstown News, the as-yet unnamed gang – believed to have close ties to the feared INLA – says it is ready to execute those involved in criminality, including drug-dealing, burglaries and assaults.

And in words that will send a shiver down the spines of criminals across the city, the group states that their words are not a warning “but a declaration of intent”.

As the supplied photo shows, the new group has the weaponry to carry out the threat. The four masked men are behind a Starry Plough and a Tricolour on a table containing a revolver, an automatic pistol and an assault rifle, which they say they are ready and willing to use in “imminent” attacks.

The development comes after two drug gangs – one in the Divis area and one in St James’ – teamed up in a bid to monopolise the mid and lower Falls drugs trade in which heroin is an increas-ingly lucrative factor. It is our understanding members of this new drugs gang could be high on the list of targets.

The group says it is acting in response to community demands and has carried out “an extensive but carefully constructed plan of military action” and has already drawn up a list of individuals it intends to target.

“In response to the demands of working class communities throughout Belfast, particularly in the north and west of the city, we have concluded an extensive but carefully constructed plan of military action,” reads the statement. “There exists no justification for the violent activities of criminals and self-styled criminal gangs involved in a wide range of criminality including, but not limited to, muggings, burglaries, vicious assaults, drug dealing and the distribution of heroin with no consideration for the endless suffering endured by those we represent.”

“All those that engage in activities that negatively impact upon working class families are in our sights.

“This is not a warning but a declaration of intent. Executions are imminent.”

While the group does not identify itself, it does say it has operated in the community for many years and has “demonstrated our capabilities throughout decades of armed struggle”.

The statement from a group thought to be close to the INLA – who were involved in some of the most sensational killings of the Troubles, including the assassination of Thatcher confidant Airey Neave and leading loyalist Billy Wright – is likely to cause deep unease within Action Against Drugs, the criminal gang who, as we recently reported, are pocketing a fortune from ‘taxing’ drug dealers.

AAD and three other armed groups are currently vying for supremacy in the lucrative business of drugs taxation in the city and are responsible for a number of recent shootings which they claim were aimed at stemming the trade. But, as we revealed last month, the shootings were the result of failed extortion attempts.

The statement in full…

In response to the demands of working class communities throughout Belfast, particularly in the north and west of the city, we have concluded an extensive but carefully constructed plan of military action. There exists no justification for the violent activities of criminals and self-styled criminal gangs involved in a wide range of criminality, including but not limited to muggings, burglaries, vicious assaults, drug dealing and the distribution of heroin, with no consideration for the endless suffering endured by those we represent.

We advise drug abuse victims to seek professional care because we note addiction to a variety of drugs as a common motivating factor in users participating in anti-community activities. All those that engage in activities that negatively impact upon working class families are in our sights. We are not a vigilante group nor do we advocate a policy of policing communities but we have pledged to defend the working class and that pledge we will fulfill. We are providing for no level of interference and therefore we warn against harbouring, associating with or facilitating those involved in the criminality that we have referenced. Any individual that foolishly ignores this warning does so at their own peril.

We as an organisation are not strangers to the communities from which we come and in which we operate. We are long established and have demonstrated our capabilities throughout decades of armed struggle. At present, we are not willing to publicly reveal our identity as we see no merit in doing so. We possess a list of targets that we have identified as part of a lengthy and continuing intelligence gathering operation.

This is not a warning but a declaration of intent. Executions are imminent.

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