News / Africa

Q&A: Kenyan Cleric, Recently Shot, Predicted Death

Radical Kenyan cleric Sheikh Abubakar Shariff, also known as Makaburi, right, with his lawyer, at the High Court, Mombasa, October, 2013. (Mohammed Yusuf/VOA)
Radical Kenyan cleric Sheikh Abubakar Shariff, also known as Makaburi, right, with his lawyer, at the High Court, Mombasa, October, 2013. (Mohammed Yusuf/VOA)
The radical Kenyan cleric Sheikh Abubakar Shariff, also known as Makaburi, was killed by unknown gunmen Tuesday evening outside Mombasa's Shanzu Law Courts.

Accused by U.S. and U.N. officials of supporting Somalia-based al-Shabab militants, Makaburi was connected with Mombasa's controversial Masjid Musa Mosque, where Kenyan security forces recently carried out a series of deadly raids, leaving the city's Muslim community shaken.

News reports indicate Mombasa's top police officer Robert Kitur recently defended the raids, telling Justice Edward Mureithi of Mombasa's High Court that the facility was stormed only after "intelligence that some extremists were there radicalizing youth," and that the situation posed a threat to national security.

Makaburi's killing comes just days after he publicly expressed support for al Shabaab and the group's 2013 Westgate Shopping Mall terror attack in Nairobi.

What follows are key excerpts from a 2013 VOA interview in which Makaburi talks about another slain cleric Sheikh Aboud Rogo and also predicts his own death.

Yusuf: You are accused of being an al-Shabab supporter and also the group's recruiter in Mombasa.

Makaburi: I have never seen a recruitment booth in Mombasa or any specific place where a youth can go and be recruited. That is a lie. What is being done in Mombasa is [that] people are taught their religion and, in Islam, we do not have borders.

Yusuf: Why do you think some youths are joining al-Shabab?

Makaburi: Its oppression. We Muslims know that we are getting killed. Our government is killing us. ... Now, when you get killed, there is nowhere to go for help, like the case against Sheikh Aboud Rogo: a year has passed [since his 2012 killing] and... nothing. Nothing will be gotten from the government. No justice. That's what make the youth angry.

Yusuf: Police have repeatedly said people are not coming forward to give information that can lead to the arrests of the gunmen or killers of your friends.

Makaburi: Who will come out to tell the police that you killed (sic)? They are afraid for their lives. If they are true to their word, [the people] are accusing the police of killing Muslims in Mombasa; if [the police] are true to their words, there should be a non-partial investigation. They should not be involved in that investigation. How can a killer investigate himself?

Yusuf: Some of your friends, like Aboud Rogo, have been killed. What has life been like without your friends around you?

Makaburi: Very lonely. All my friends are dead. I know the killers. I cannot do anything about it. I cannot get justice for my friends' killers. It's very lonely.

Yusuf: Do you fear for your life?

Makaburi: I don't fear for my life, because I am a devoted Muslim. I believe in Qadr [destiny]. I believe I will not die except the day [it is] written that I will die, on the second that has been written."

Yusuf: Do you think you will be done with these terror cases in court whether you are found guilty or not?

Makaburi: I don't think I will finish the case. They will kill me before that.

Yusuf: And why is that?

Makaburi: Because I believe in Islam and am ready to die for it. And because I will not keep quiet and let my religion being stomped upon.
 
Radical Kenyan cleric Sheikh Abubakar Shariff, also known as Makaburi, at home, October 2013. (Mohammed Yusuf/VOA)Radical Kenyan cleric Sheikh Abubakar Shariff, also known as Makaburi, at home, October 2013. (Mohammed Yusuf/VOA)
x
Radical Kenyan cleric Sheikh Abubakar Shariff, also known as Makaburi, at home, October 2013. (Mohammed Yusuf/VOA)
Radical Kenyan cleric Sheikh Abubakar Shariff, also known as Makaburi, at home, October 2013. (Mohammed Yusuf/VOA)
Yusuf: Where is your family? It looks like there is no one here except you?

Makaburi: My family cannot stay with me. They are afraid they will be killed. I am staying by myself.

Yusuf: How often do you see your family?

Makaburi: I see them regularly but they cannot stay with me. Nobody from my family comes and visits me, because they do not know at what time the government squad killers will come for me.

Yusuf: I understand you have a boy, age nine, how will your son view your death?

Makaburi: My son will know that his father was the one who was wronged, because, as you have seen today, I was in court. I am obeying the law. It's the government which is breaking the law. It's the government which is killing the people extra-judicially.

Peter Cobus contributed to this report from Washington.

You May Like

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous from: Kenya
April 04, 2014 4:22 PM
Good riddance!! I am glad the Kenyan Govt' got rid of this fellow. Next is Samntha fckin Lewthwaite. To hell with all these scumbags who kill in the name of religion. And it is time Kenyan troops leave Somalia, these lot are not worth it! Kenya has no business in Somalia and Somali's have no business in Kenya - case closed.

by: bilal from: nairobi
April 03, 2014 5:55 AM
they r killing muslims who r not moderate and they dem radical.there's no moderate muslim in dis world as our martyr said.

by: Christopher from: Kenya
April 02, 2014 1:54 PM
God pays what you saw

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More