Sunday Life

Ihab Shoukri sets up home in Bangor

05 September 2004

A PARAMILITARY-plagued Ulster town has a new top loyalist in residence.

Ihab Shoukri, who is facing a UFF membership charge, has moved down by the sea to Bangor.

Shoukri - whose bail conditions prevent him from staying in his north Belfast stomping ground - has been living in the town, while he awaits trial on the terror charge.

But, loyalist sources have dismissed local rumours that Shoukri is planning to settle in the town, and has been eyeing a house in an area popular with senior police officers.

Sources say the senior loyalist, who had his charge for the murder of UDA feud victim, Alan McCullough, dropped last month, regularly drinks in seafront bars in the Co Down town with his henchmen.

His brother Andre, who is the north Belfast UDA boss, has also been spotted visiting his brother in Bangor.

Said one source: "Ihab isn't allowed to go anywhere near north Belfast at the minute, and that's why he's been spending most of his time in Bangor and north Down.

"He has the cash to move to an area like Bangor, but he's only staying there temporarily, then he'll move back to his patch."

A security source said: "The last thing Bangor needs is another top loyalist in town."

There is a strong UVF presence in Bangor, and nearby villages, and the rival LVF has become a scourge in nearby Holywood.

Paramilitary crime is rife, and in May, 2003, millionaire UVF/Red Hand Commando godfather, Jim Johnston, was shot dead by paramilitaries, at his luxury Crawfordsburn home.

The previous September, Holywood-based LVF drug dealer, Stephen Warnock, was murdered by loyalists in nearby Newtownards.

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