‘West Belfast threats are about extortion’ – Maskey
Threats issued in West Belfast by so-called dissident groups are about extorting cash from criminals and drug dealers, not protecting communities, Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey has said.
The West Belfast representative was speaking after a shot was fired at a house in the St James’ area and a list was circulated warning a number of people that they would be targeted by dissidents.
“These threats should be lifted immediately,” Paul Maskey commented.
“The organisations issuing them have a long history of extorting cash from drug dealers and other criminal elements in return for allowing them to continue inflicting misery on this community.
“These people aren't interested in protecting communities, they're only interested in extorting cash.
“The reckless shooting in St James is yet another example of their callous disregard for the people of this area.
"I called with the victims of last night's attack and they are badly shaken up.
“All the indications are that this was a case of mistaken identity as the house they targeted was close to the home of one of the individuals named on the list.
“The groups carrying out this kind of activity are not republicans. They are extortionists and criminal gangs who should get off the backs of this community, once and for all.
“Anyone with any information on this reckless attack or on the activities of drug dealers should bring it forward to the police.”