The armed group referred to as the ‘new IRA’ has threatened to target civilian security staff unless the firm they work for stops fitting electronic tags to republican prisoners. They said the tags are being applied as part of a British criminalisation effort against republicans.
The organisation made the threat as it claimed responsibility for firing shots into a car being used by two employees of security firm G45 in north Belfast on Thursday.
Five shots were fired into the vehicle at Oceanic Avenue in the late evening after G4S staff members went to the house of a man who had recently been released from custody on bail.
The said claims the security workers were in the area to enforce a Crown order to electronically tag and monitor the man as a condition of his bail.
“G4S currently enforce those orders via a contract with the British government,” the group said.
In the past some republican prisoners have turned down bail because they refuse to wear the electronic tags because they view it as an attempt to criminalise them.
Using a recognised codeword, the ‘new IRA’ claimed responsibility for Thursday’s gun attack.
“This should be taken by G45 as a warning from the IRA that we will no longer tolerate their prof it making as part of a British led criminalisation agenda against republicans,” it said.
“Had the intention of the IRA been to execute staff we could have and would have done so.”
The organisation, which announced its formation in July 2012 following a merger among breakaway IRA groups, said that unless G4S cancels a contract to fit and monitor electronic tags its workers will be considered “legitimate targets”.
“Should G4S continue in the electronic tagging and or monitoring from the 27 of June, staff and management at all levels within G4S shall be found guilty of collaborating with the enemy and therefore be legitimate targets for the IRA,” the group said.
“Any other security firms willing to undertake such activities in the future shall face the same fate.”