Rogue UDA members want to install a double killer and extortionist as the group's leader in north Belfast, it's been claimed.
Serious rifts have been developing within the paramilitary organisation in recent weeks, sparking fears of another loyalist feud.
Among those under threat is north Belfast 'brigadier' John Bunting.
Threatening graffiti telling Bunting to get out of north Belfast was daubed on the walls of his office a fortnight ago.
Then around 40 people gathered at the home of John Howcroft, a close associate of Bunting.
Expelled members are said to be intent on ousting Bunting and installing Robert Molyneaux (46) as leader.
Molyneaux was once a close friend of Howcroft's.
Sources within the UDA say Bunting is despised by maverick loyalists because of his tough stance on drug dealing.