The new dissident Republican group identified themselves as the IRM – the Irish Republican Movement – and issued their enemies with a “death sentence”.
In a statement issued yesterday the group said they would “target Crown forces” and execute drug dealers in nationalist neighbourhoods.
The group also released a photo showing five members, complete with camouflage jackets, balaclavas, guns, bullets and what appears to be a pipe bomb.
In a statement seen by Irish News, the group said drug dealers or burglars in nationalists communities in the north should be “under no illusion” they would be dealt with.
And they warned they would “actively target Crown forces” – referring to British soldiers in Northern Ireland, as well as Police Service of Northern Ireland officers tasked with policing Republican commemorative events.
The group are believed to be based in Belfast and West Tyrone and formed following a split within Oglaigh na hEireann – another paramilitary group who recently declared a ceasefire.
The new group’s foundation has been slated by North Belfast MSL and SDLP deputy leader Nichola Mallon.
She said: “”Paramilitaries are not interested in providing solutions to the growing drug problems in our community.
“They’re only interested in exploiting this issue to further their own agenda. Hooded vigilantes are as much a scourge on our society as drug dealers.”
The group has also been mocked online for the “low budget” nature of their set-up and the “matching lilac gloves” worn by each of the five members in the photo.
One twitter user said: “So much to laugh at here. And I really think laughter is the appropriate response. The grimy box room in their ma’s house. The flag which is clearly just out of the packet. The broken trestle table. That cheeky jeans and camouflage ensemble. And most of all…those lilac gloves.”
Another said: “Lilac gloves, fancy painted wall and a gun man who doesn’t know how to hold a gun – priceless.”
Last month MI5 raised the terror threat level in Northern Ireland to SEVERE – meaning an attack is highly likely.
A Northern Ireland-related attack in mainland Britain is MODERATE – meaning an attack is possible but not likely.