DUP MP Gregory Campbell has called for an independent assessment of the IRA’s status after the PSNI confirmed Belfast murder victim, Kevin McGuigan, was shot dead in a Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) style execution.
“There could be no question of devolution continuing,” said Mr Campbell, after Detective Superintendent Kevin Geddes, who is in overall charge of the investigation into the Short Strand man’s murder was carried out by an alliance of criminals, dissident republicans and former Provos styling itself Action Against Drugs (AAD).
Mr Campbell and his party are to meet the Secretary of state Theresa Villiers to discuss the matter.
Detective Superintendent Geddes said: “On August 6, AAD stated that it intended to ‘execute’ the killer or killers of Jock Davison. Our assessment is that AAD is a group of individuals from a variety of backgrounds – some criminals, some violent dissident republicans and some former members of the Provisional IRA who have formed into a dangerous, possibly murderous, grouping in order to pursue their own criminal agenda. This criminal agenda includes extortion and violence against the nationalist and republican community.
“Our assessment is that AAD is an independent group which is not part of the Provisional IRA. But it is also our assessment that some members and associates of AAD are, or were, members of the Provisional IRA.
“One of our major lines of enquiry is that members of the Provisional IRA were involved in this murder. I have no information to say at this stage whether this was sanctioned at a command level or not and I am not prepared to speculate about that.
“I would appeal to anyone with information about this murder to come forward to police.”
AAD uses the same name and modus operandi as RAAD, an amalgam of dissidents and vigilantes widely believed to have included former Provos, that carried out dozens of shootings and bombings and claimed one murder in Londonderry between 2009 and 2012.
In 2012 a statement issued by a new grouping styling itself the ‘IRA’ announced a merger of RAAD, the so-called ‘Real IRA,’ and several republican splinter groups.
The Secretary of State at the time, Owne Paterson, said RAAD were “reckless, sickening, cowardly, criminals” but the authorities never made an assessment that members of the Provisional IRA were involved in its activities.