What you need to know:
- Aboud Rogo was shot dead in a van as he drove a member of his family to hospital on the Mombasa-Malindi highway.
- Last week, he was awarded Sh670,000 in damages for unlawful detention of his property.
- A UN report on Somalia and Eritrea indicates that Sheikh Ali was central in the recruitment of non-Somalis in Nairobi to join Al-Shabaab.
Sheikh Abubakar Shariff joins a list of Kenyan Muslim preachers who led stormy lives to the end.
The man, also known as Makaburi because of his previous job as a grave digger, was felled by bullets he had predicted were to end his life.
His violent teachings not only earned him condemnation from the Kenya government but also the US government and the United Nations. Last year, the US blacklisted him over his alleged links to terrorism, froze his assets and prohibited Americans from dealing with him.
The UN accused him of being the lead facilitator and recruiter of young Kenyan Muslims into the Somalia terror group Al-Shabaab.
In this, his associates were sheikhs Aboud Rogo and Ibrahim Omar, who were also shot dead.
Omar was killed on October 2, 2013 when a vehicle in which he was travelling with five other people was sprayed with bullets in Mombasa, killing four.
He preached at Masjid Musa and inherited Sheikh Rogo’s mantle upon his killing the previous year.
Aboud Rogo was shot dead in a van as he drove a member of his family to hospital on the Mombasa-Malindi highway.
The murders remain unresolved.
Makaburi was also accused of providing financial support to extremist groups in East Africa.
In a recent interview with NTV, he said he wanted to die like a martyr and praised his spiritual allies Rogo and Omar.
Makaburi earned a living from managing his sister’s flats in Mombasa.
His troubles with security agencies started in 2010 when he was arrested alongside Sheikh Rogo, days after a Kampala Coach bus was bombed in Nairobi.
He had three different cases at the Mombasa High Court. In one of the cases, he was charged alongside Rogo for belonging to Al-Shabaab.
In the second case he was charged with incitement to violence in connection with chaos that erupted after the killing of Sheikh Rogo in Mombasa, and in the third case, he was charged with robbery with violence in connection with an incident at Majid Musa, where he allegedly violently grabbed surveillance equipment from a National Intelligence Service agent.
Police accused him of recruiting fighters for Al-Shabaab, which has been carrying out a campaign of terror against Kenya, killing dozens.
He has denied the claims, but has publicly said Al-Shabaab was justified in killing Kenyans, including the 70 at Westgate Mall since the Kenyan soldiers who are fighting the group in Somalia as part of the Africa Union stabilisation force are also killing civilians.
He said of the Westgate attack: “According to Islamic sharia, it is justified. In Islam we are given a right to avenge what has been done to us, an eye for an eye. We don’t turn another cheek... So if the same things have been done by KDF in Somalia are allowed, they (Al-Shabaab) are justified to do the same in Kenya. This is war.”
Last week, he was awarded Sh670,000 in damages for unlawful detention of his property.
Mombasa High Court judge Maureen Odero said the cleric should be paid after his property was seized by police during a raid at his house four years ago.
He leaves behind a number of other Kenyans said to be senior members of Al-Shabaab.
They include Sheikh Ahmed Iman Ali, the self-proclaimed de facto leader of the Kenyan Al-Shabaab fighters in Somalia.
Before fleeing to Somalia, he was the chairman of Muslim Youth Centre in Nairobi’s Majengo estate.
A UN report on Somalia and Eritrea indicates that Sheikh Ali was central in the recruitment of non-Somalis in Nairobi to join Al-Shabaab.
The other one is Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir aka Ikrima.
Ikrima is said to have plotted an attack on Kenya’s Parliament and the United Nations office in Nairobi in 2011 and 2012.
He escaped a raid by the US special forces in southern Somalia after the Westgate shopping mall attack. He is said to have been elevated to the head of Al-Qaeda and Al Shabaab operations in East Africa following the killing of Mohammed Fazul and Swaleh Nabhan in Somalia.