Radical cleric and terror suspect Sheikh Abubakar Shariff alias Makaburi was shot dead on Tuesday evening outside the Shanzu Law Courts. Here is a list things you probably didn’t know about him:
1. Sheikh Abubakar Shariff aka ‘ Makaburi was not a Muslim cleric. “I have never preached at a mosque,” he told the writer during an exclusive interview in 2012. The name Sheikh is a title of respect.
2. Sheikh Abubakar Shariff did not know the origin of his nickname Makaburi. He was not sure how the name came up but thought that it was as a result of him staying near a cemetery where he was a vocal resident in the neighbourhood.
3. The US government designated Makaburi as a terrorist. He was one of the three Kenyans on the US government Sanctions List for alleged involvement in terror activities. The others are the late Sheikh Rogo and Omar Awadh Omar, who is currently in a Ugandan jail, accused of involvement in the 2010 world Cup bombings in Kampala.
4. The Kenyan government never won a court case against Makaburi. Makaburi was first arrested on December 21, 2010 alongside Sheikh Rogo, days after bombing of a Kampala Coach bus in Nairobi. The case has never been finalised. In the most recent incidence, the courts awarded him Sh670, 000 in damages for unlawful detention of his property after a police raid in his house four years ago.
5.Makaburi met Rogo in late 2002 and the two were close friends for almost a decade. Makaburi said that he was touched by Rogo’s preaching on Jihad. 6. Makaburi did not have a job. He earned a living through managing two flats owned by his sister.
6. Makaburi was an avid reader who had a room in his home designated as a library. The library was full of books with his favourite subjects being history and Islam. He said that if there was something he wanted to do was to be a history teacher.
7. Makaburi was a hard-line Muslim who propagated what he called as “true Islam.” He said that the best examples of Islam were found in parts of Fallujah in Iraq, Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and parts of Somalia under the leadership of radical Al-Shabaab militants.
8. Makaburi was banned from using flights as a mean of transport. As a designated terrorist, and a target of sanctions by both the UN Security Council and the US, he was not to be allowed on a plane.
9. Makaburi was not allowed to leave his home area in Mombasa without notifying the police. Since December 2010, he was ordered to report to the police every Tuesday.
10. Makaburi spoke fiercely about death and said that he was very ready to die. However, he is a man who feared for his life and lived in hideouts for a large part of his life after the killing of Rogo. In one of the instances, he ran to hide in a police station claiming that Anti-Terrorism Police (ATPU) officers were about to kill him.
-Adapted from The Standard