16 October 2003 Edition

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Attempted UDA takeover coup

There are fears that a new loyalist feud could break out after an attempt to oust the UDA leadership in North Belfast on Monday 13 October.

It is understood that up to 40 UDA members loyal to former UDA commander in North Belfast 'Bacardi Brigadier' Jim Simpson attempted to seize control from the current leader, William Boreland.

A number of houses believed to belong to UDA members loyal to Simpson were set on fire and reports have suggested that a number of families in the loyalist Silverstream, Glenbryn and Tigers Bay areas have moved out of their homes after Monday's events.

A senior loyalist claimed that two men alleged to be involved in the failed coup have been ordered to leave the North.

Simpson is understood to have fled Belfast to Scotland.

In May, Simpson was ousted as UDA commander in North Belfast and replaced by Johnny Adair's one time associate, André Shoukri. However, within months Adair and Shoukri had become bitter enemies in an internal feud that erupted during the summer.

Shoukri's brother Ihab took over as brigadier from Andre after he was sentenced to six years in jail for possession of a pistol. Ihab Shoukri is currently on remand in prison charged with the murder of loyalist Alan McCullough and was replaced by Boreland.

Since Boreland became leader, he has been responsible for the upsurge in sectarian attacks against Catholics in the Deerpark are of North Belfast.

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