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ADAIR BRIGADE; Men still loyal to Mad Dog on the run in Scotland.

Byline: EXCLUSIVE

THE gunman who killed terror chief John Gregg and sparked the most bitter Loyalist feud is hiding in Scotland.

The assassin - a key member of Johnny "Mad Dog" Adair's renegade UDA faction - has joined the band of thugs who were driven out of Ulster last week.

All the men behind the UDA commander's assassination are in Scotland and armed to the teeth.

They are the backbone of one of the most vicious groups of killers ever to stalk the streets of Belfast.

And they are bent on revenge against the men who ousted them from power.

Others are still joining them, swelling their numbers and potential firepower. Among those to arrive in the past 24 hours are identical twins in their twenties whose acts of violence are already legendary.

A source in the Adair's Shankill heartland said yesterday: "Most of them already have notches on their guns and they are not going to lie down and give up.

"Some of them have been the closest of friends since childhood. They were blooded together and they have gone out to kill together.

"They have been the backbone of the Ulster Freedom Fighters in the Shankill for more than 15 years and have killed dozens of Catholics.

"It would be inconceivable for them to walk around Scotland unarmed. They will either have brought weapons or picked some up from friendly Loyalists in Scotland.

"They will try to stick together in a group as they have always done and they will be looking to take revenge on the UDA leadership who drove them out.

"Cornered animals are at their most dangerous."

UDA chiefs are trying to persuade some of the men's families to remain in their homes, saying only the individuals are unwelcome.

But some of those on the run know they will be targets for as long as the current leadership lasts.

Top of the UDA hit list is said be a 21-year-old man from north Belfast who fired the Uzi sub- machine gun at point-blank range into Gregg's body.

The Record knows his name but we are prevented from publishing it for legal reasons.

He has no major criminal or terrorist convictions but has been under Adair's influence for four years.

A source said: "He hero- worshipped Johnny from the time Adair was freed from prison in 1999. He would have done anything Adair asked him to."

The killer is also thought to have been involved in the feud murder of Jonathan Stewart at Christmas.

Two teenagers - also in the group on the run - are thought to have been with him in the Gregg murder.

The source added: "The so-called hard men sent out the kids to do their dirty work for them.

"They knew Gregg would never have allowed any of them to get that close to him."

Jackie Thompson, Adair's replacement as C Company boss, is said to be the man who ordered the shooting but it was Adair who gave the go- ahead from prison.

Among others on the run is Alan McCullough, whose father "Bucky" - a top UDA/UFF man - was murdered by the INLA in 1981.

He is thought to have a clean record but is known as a long-time Adair supporter.

Ian Truesdale, of North Belfast, showed what side he was on when he was interviewed by the Press after attacks on his home and on his wife's shop early in the feud.

The Millar brothers, Sham and Herbie, are two of Adair's most notorious heavies.

Their mother founded the women's branch of the UDA and they were never far from his side.

One Shankill resident said: "If they had been allowed to follow him into prison to protect him, they would have gone." Adair's elder son, John junior, known as "Mad Pup", won't be allowed back.

His own father ordered that the tearaway be kneecapped last year.

But he is said to be following in his dad's footsteps and may well have already been "blooded".

William Woods from the Shankill is also with them but seems to have been less prominent.

For years, convicted double murderer John White has been the public voice of C Company.

He has taken on the main responsibility for looking after the fleeing flock.

White is said to be wealthy, driving a Jaguar and owning a large house on the outskirts of Belfast.

At one time he had a posh Co Down home, complete with stables and horses - but he has no visible source of income and denies that he is loaded.

White is the veteran, joining the UDA at the very start in 1969. A founder member of the UFF, he carried out the brutal 1973 double murder of Senator Paddy Wilson and his lady friend Irene Andrews.

He served a life sentence for that and educated himself in prison but, friends say, he has had enough.

One said: "John has stuck with Adair through loyalty and he genuinely believes that the UDA is going the wrong way.

"I think he will try to get the others settled and head off for a quiet life somewhere - people have been talking about him going to leafy Surrey."

C Company's chief enforcer, Donald Hodgen, and another of Adair's most devoted supporters, Paddy Paterson, have joined White in exile.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUS
Date:Feb 11, 2003
Words:880
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