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Bikie war ends with threatening a witness charge after fire bombing

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An associate of the Hells Angels has been charged with fire bombing a car in a bid to stand over a witness giving evidence in a trial relating to a bikie war with rival gang the Nomads.

The man, 20, from Merrylands was charged on Thursday over the bombing that destroyed a Honda Integra parked in the driveway of the home, which was also damaged. Police alleged the man was one of three who set fire to the car at Quay Road, Ryde, at 11.20pm on Tuesday, February 4, this year.

He has been charged with malicious damage of property using fire and threatening a judge, witness or jury member and will appear in Parramatta Local Court on Friday.

Police will allege the man fire-bombed the car to silence a witness in a trial relating to the bikie feud that erupted in Sydney in 2012 and which sparked a series of drive-by shootings across the city.

''The shootings stemmed from a then-conflict between the Hells Angels and the Nomads outlaw motorcycle gangs,'' gangs squad commander Detective Superintendent Deb Wallace said. ''While the conflict has now abated, there are matters before the courts that relate to these shootings. We are exploring any relevant links.''

The feud between the Nomads and the Hells Angels simmered for more than a year before erupting in a series of tit-for-tat drive-by shootings of homes and businesses in April 2012.

Five homes and tattoo parlours were targeted in one night – at Merrylands, Baulkham Hills, Granville and Northmead – with a series of reprisals in the following days, including the Bella Vista home of Nomad and underworld figure Sam Ibrahim.

The origins of the feud were believed to relate to a recruitment drive by the Hells Angels during which former Nomads president Scott Orrock and other members moved to the rival gang.

In response, police established Strike Force Kinnarra and flooded the streets with 100 extra officers to prevent reprisal attacks.

In the time since, 43 people had been arrested and 146 charges laid.

Detective Superintendent Wallace said security footage from the home where the fire-bombing occurred indicated the accused had at least two male accomplices.

One appeared to have a shaved head and a stubbled beard. He was wearing a long-sleeved top and dark pants. The other appeared to have a dark beard. He was wearing a hooded jumper and tracksuit pants.

Detective Superintendent Wallace said police had strong leads but urged anyone with information to contact police.

Writer: Nick Ralston
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