World
Slain Kenyan Muslim cleric an avowed Al-Qaeda sympathiser
Publish Date: Apr 02, 2014
Slain Kenyan Muslim cleric an avowed Al-Qaeda sympathiser
Radical Kenyan Muslim cleric Abubaker Shariff Ahmed predicted his own violent death. PHOTO/Reuters
  • mail
  • img
newvision

MOMBASA - Radical Kenyan Muslim cleric Abubaker Shariff Ahmed, better known as Makaburi, predicted his own violent death barely a month before being gunned down on the streets of Mombasa.

A firebrand preacher who was outspoken in his admiration for the late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, Afghanistan's Taliban and Somalia's Shebab rebels, Makaburi had come to be seen by Kenyan authorities as a key instigator of home-grown Islamist terrorism.

Makaburi, who was in his 50s, was also subject to UN sanctions -- a travel ban, asset freeze and targeted arms embargo -- for being a "leading facilitator and recruiter of young Kenyan Muslims for violent militant activity in Somalia", and for having "strong ties with senior Al-Shebab members".

The cleric was gunned down on Wednesday evening in the port city of Mombasa, the third prominent Kenyan radical Islamist to be shot dead in such circumstances in as many years.

In August 2012, the Mombasa Musa mosque's radical preacher, Aboud Rogo Mohammed, was shot dead, and in October last year his successor, Sheikh Ibrahim Ismail, met the same fate on a road near Mombasa. The killings remain unsolved.

Many believe the Kenyan authorities were behind the killings, and suspicion is again likely to be directed at counter-terrorism operatives who are widely believed to be operating a shoot-to-kill, targeted assassination policy to deal with the threat of radical Islam in the Muslim-majority coastal region.

"My life is in danger. They will eventually kill me. They do that," Makaburi told AFP in an interview last month in his austere Mombasa office, in which he voiced his support for Al-Qaeda but denied being a recruiter.

"I do not support Al-Shebab, I do not know Al-Shebab. I support the implementation of sharia law anywhere in the world," Makaburi said. "These are just accusations. Where is the proof that I have recruited anybody? Who have I recruited? When, how, where? These are just accusations."

Instead, he presented himself as a defender of "true Islam" and disaffected Muslim youth -- many of whom may turn to rioting in the wake of the latest killing.

"The highest motivator for the youth to go into Somalia to fight jihad is the Kenyan government doing injustice to the Muslim youth here in Kenya. How do you think the youth feel after they were sitting peacefully in a mosque and they were invaded, shot at, killed, meant to disappear?"

'Westgate 100-percent justified'

His overt support for last year's Westgate shopping mall attack, which was claimed by Shebab, was also likely to have raised his controversial profile.

"It's our innocents for your innocents. It was justified. As per the Koran, as per the religion of Islam, Westgate was 100-percent justified," Makaburi said of the attack that left at least 67 dead, among them women and children cut down by machine-gun fire or grenades.

"Are the ones being killed and raped in Somalia not innocent?" Makaburi said, seizing on Shebab's justification for the mall attack -- Kenya's military presence in southern Somalia.

"The KDF (Kenyan army) is doing the same thing and worse in Somalia than what happened at Westgate. So as per the Islamic religion, they had every right to avenge whatever the KDF is doing in Somalia."

The real "terrorists", Makaburi had argued, were the military personnel operating drones.

"How come the pilots of the drones are not labelled as terrorists? How come when we Muslims are being killed by the Americans using drones, by the British, by whoever, by the West, it's nothing, but when you have a single non-Muslim killed by a Muslim, it's terrorism?"

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Germanwings co-pilot suffered depression: report
The Germanwings co-pilot said to have deliberately crashed his Airbus with 149 others aboard into the French Alps suffered serious depression six years ago, German daily Bild reported Friday....
Singapore mourns Lee with buns, dolls and exercise routines
The death of Singapore''s founding leader on Monday has spawned unusual tributes and business ideas, ranging from the reverent to the ridiculous....
Indian village bans kissing in public
An Indian village in a western coastal state has imposed a ban on couples kissing in public....
Co-pilot
THE co-pilot of the doomed Germanwings flight appears to have "deliberately" crashed the plane after locking his captain out of the cockpit...
Kenya detective gunned down in troubled Mombasa
A senior Kenyan detective has been gunned down in the port city of Mombasa, the scene of mounting concerns over radical Islamist recruitment,...
US sees
A nuclear deal with Iran capping over a decade of talks is in sight by a March 31 deadline, US officials say....
Will the ban of food vendors help eliminate typhoid?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter