A BRUTAL gangland figure linked to a spate of depraved murders has been enlisted to kidnap a young man after he allegedly assaulted a well-known criminal.
Sources have said the notorious killer, who is part of the 'Taliban' mob, has been hunting for the young man after being offered a five-figure sum by a 33-year-old drug dealer who was beaten up twice following two altercations in a north Dublin estate last week.
The man subject to the kidnap threat, who is from north Dublin and has no links to crime, has gone into hiding following the initial row over a car.
"This started as a fist fight but has now escalated into a very serious situation," a source said.
"The drug dealer has brought his Taliban associate into the matter, and the main concern is that this will lead to murder.
"He's offering crazy money for someone to kidnap the fella who beat him so that he can be brought to him. This can only mean one thing, and everything is very tense now."
The dealer is a career criminal who is currently serving a suspended jail term for a bizarre crime and has almost 50 previous convictions, including for gang-related crimes.
He is a long-time associate of the notorious Taliban brothers and formed an alliance with the murder mob after he began feuding with a close associate of slain gangster John 'BJ' Clarke, who was shot dead in 2009.
In May, the Herald revealed that the Taliban brothers had returned to Dublin after spending years on the run in Europe and Northern Ireland.
The brothers, aged 32 and 30, are wanted for questioning in relation to a spate of killings, including two double murders.
These include the slayings of Ballybough men Joseph Redmond (25) and Anthony Burnett (31), who were shot before their bodies were burned in a car in a forest near Dundalk, Co Louth, in March 2012.
The murders of north inner city Dublin cousins Glen Murphy (19) and Mark Noonan (23), who were shot dead in Finglas in November 2010, are also strongly linked to the mobsters, and it is the older Taliban brother who is linked to this week's kidnap plot.