The family of a murdered man believe a loyalist show of strength in east Belfast was aimed at them and "others who have been standing up to these people", friends have said.
The Belfast Telegraph understands that close relatives of Ian Ogle, who was murdered outside his Cluan Place home two years ago, are "traumatised" and "worried for their safety" after a masked gang was caught on camera patrolling the streets.
The incident, which is being investigated by the PSNI, is linked to an internal row within the UVF, and a police presence is believed to have prevented an attack on a home.
Video circulating on social media shows more than two dozen men with their faces covered walking through the Pitt Park area, off the Newtownards Road.
The footage also shows police officers dispersing the crowd while monitoring the gang as they leave the area.
The Ogles' friend said people in the area had been warned that they were in "potential danger" on Tuesday afternoon and had fled to a local community centre for safety.
"There were pregnant women and children under 13 who felt it necessary to go into the Ballymac Friendship Centre in Fraser Pass," the source said.
"Ian's daughter Toni Johnston, who has just found out that she is pregnant with twins, was one of them. Toni is so scared because she has regularly spoken out against paramilitaries following the murder of her daddy."
The Ballymac Centre, which regularly provides cooked meals for east Belfast residents, has confirmed it was forced to close following threats to staff.
A statement posted online read: "Due to threats made to members of staff and volunteers from the Ballymac, we will be closed until further notice.
"Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide our current service of assistance, food parcels and cooked meals to residents and pensioners during this time."
The Ogles' friend said: "This is an attempt to exert full control over the community again."
Mr Ogle was stabbed to death in front of his house in the loyalist Cluan Place area as he prayed with a local pastor.
Earlier that January 27 evening, he had been involved in an argument with UVF members on the nearby Beersbridge Road.
The gang responded by sending five men armed with knives and bats to his door.
One of them stabbed Mr Ogle 11 times in his back.
DUP leader Arlene Foster slammed Tuesday's display of paramilitary intimidation.
She said: "I absolutely condemn that show of strength, call it what you will. I think it is very alarming."
Local PUP councillor Dr John Kyle said it was "a matter of great concern".
The East Belfast ACT Initiative, a loyalist community group, said steps had been taken "to make clear that such intimidatory actions will not be acceptable".
"A mother and her three children narrowly escaped injury in the first attack, and shortly thereafter a pensioners' home was attacked by six thugs," it added.
"Our understanding is that members of the community reached out to loyalists as they were living in fear of further attacks. We have established via mediators that there are no threats to any person and, specifically, there is no threat whatsoever to the Ballymac Centre."