Members of the INLA masquerading as republicans in order to extort money and run criminal rackets have been behind a spate of shootings over the past two years.
That's according to Sinn Féin councillor, Paul Fleming, who told members of Derry City and Strabane District Council on Thursday, that he believed the group was behind a marked increased in paramilitary style shootings in the city.
Colr. Fleming was speaking after SDLP councillor, Brian Tierney, raised the issue and advised that, according to the PSNI, the number of such shootings trebled over the last two years.
Colr. Tierney's motion that the "council notes with concern the recent increase in shootings in Derry, condemns those responsible for such attacks and commits to meeting with those statutory partners including the PSNI to discuss a way forward to stop this criminality on our streets" was approved by the SDLP, Sinn Féin, DUP, UUP and Independent Maurice Devenney, with Independents Gary Donnelly and Warren Robinson voting against, and Sean Carr and Paul Gallagher abstaining from the vote.
Colr. Fleming, speaking in support of the motion, noted the significant increase in attacks over the past two and a half years and went on to specifically identify the INLA as the culprit.
"Communities aren't stupid. They know that recent shootings have been carried out by the INLA in pursuit of criminality and the extortion of local businesses," said Colr. Fleming.
More on this story later.