Nairobi — CONTROVERSIAL Muslim cleric Sheikh Abubakar Sharif alias Makaburi was killed in controversial circumstances last evening, days after reiterating public support for al Shabaab and defending the Westgate terror attack.
Makaburi was an ally of the Sheikh Aboud Rogo who was killed in August 2012 by unknown assassins. Makaburi was in a group of five men who were on foot when they were shot outside the Shanzu law courts.
He and Afid Bahero died on the spot, while the other three were in critical condition. Police say an unidentified vehicle was waiting for them outside the Shanzu law courts and opened fire killing them.
By the time of going to press police and youths allied to the cleric were fighting over the body. The youths wanted to bury him immediately as per the Muslim rites. Riots were reported at Majengo, Makaburi’s base. Makaburi had been on the UN Security Council watch-list of alleged terror supporters since 2012. He was banned from travelling outside Kenya and his assets frozen.
The UN Council indictment described him as “a leading facilitator and recruiter of young Kenyan Muslims for violent militant activity in Somalia,” one who has preached that “young men should travel to Somalia, commit extremist acts, fight for al Qaeda, and kill US citizens.”
Last week, Makaburi shocked the nation when he appeared in a TV investigative documentary supporting terror attacks within Kenya saying they were avenging the Kenya Defence Forces attack of Somalia.
“I support the Westgate attackers. We as Muslims cannot sit back and do nothing about it while our brothers and sisters get slaughtered worldwide, the Westgate attack was well deserved,” Makaburi told the BBC last year.
He was in the news again late last week when the court awarded him damages for illegal arrest and attachment of his properties.
He has previously complained his life was in danger but claimed he was ready to die as a martyr. His death comes only a day after the government promised tough action to fight terror and crime in the country.
Deputy President William Ruto who was visiting Mombasa in the last two days said the government would deal terrorists a decisive blow.