09/12/2002

Top loyalist targeted by pipe bombers

A high-ranking member of the UFF in south-east Antrim has escaped injury after he found a pipe bomb type device underneath his car yesterday.

Army technical officers were called to John Gregg's Nendrum Gardens home in the Rathcoole estate, Newtownabbey, yesterday morning where they defused the device. The device was said to be contained in a tin box and attached to the car.

Police have linked the bomb find to an internal dispute within loyalism.

John Gregg is well-known figure within loyalist circles. He was sentenced to 18 years in 1984 for his involvement in an assassination bid on Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams.

However, it is understood that Mr Gregg has recently fallen foul of the UFF command, a group linked to the largest loyalist paramilitary group, the UDA.

Last week Johnny Adair's close associate, and former UDP spokesperson, John White claimed that it was the south-east Antrim brigade which planted a firebomb at his Carrickfergus home.

Johnny Adair and John White were both expelled by the five remaining members of UDA's ruling council at a closed meeting last month – a council of which John Gregg is a member.

(GMcG)

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