Sheikh Abubakar Shariff Ahmed
Sheikh Abubakar Shariff Ahmed a.k.a. Makaburi Laban Wolloga

Cleric Sheikh Abubakar Shariff Ahmed, alias Makaburi (which means "graveyard" in Swahili), has been shot dead by unknown gunmen outside the Shanzu Law Courts in Mombasa, Kenya.

A supporter of terrorist attacks and firm believer in Sharia law, Makaburi was one of the most controversial men in East Africa.

Throughout his life, Makaburi was known for his eager support of the Islamic militant group al-Shabaab's onslaught on Kenyans (although he denied being a member of the group) and the radicalisation of youths in Mombasa.

He was believed to be the spiritual leader of al-Shabaab-affiliated Muslim Youth Centre (MYC).

Makaburi, who supported the application of Sharia in Kenyan national law, sparked controversy at international level when he declared that the Westgate Mall attacks, during which 67 people died, were justified.

According to reports leaked after the Westgate siege, Makaburi was planning to launch attacks nationwide.

The sheikh, who was on the watch-lists of both the US and UN, was also linked to the recent attack on the Joy Repentance and Holiness Church in Likoni, Mombasa.

According to a report by Standard Digital, Makaburi aided the attackers of the church in procuring weapons for the deadly siege.

In 2012, a Mombasa court charged Makaburi with incitement to violence related to street protests that followed the August 2012 drive-by shooting death of fellow Islamist cleric Aboud Rogo Mohammed. Makaburi was released on bail in September 2012.

Makaburi very often appeared on national and international media, with many journalists travelling to Kenya to listen to his straight-forward answers on terror and Islam issues.

Makaburi was described by a BBC reporter as a charming man, whose beliefs were uncompromising.

An army of Allah will rise up out of the desert. It will come bearing a black flag and establish a global Islamic caliphate.

"The time is near", Makaburi told the BBC reporter. "An army of Allah will rise up out of the desert. It will come bearing a black flag and establish a global Islamic caliphate."

Claiming that Islam was constantly undermined, Makaburi justified attacks on Christians by saying that: "It's our innocents for your innocents".

The cleric was killed less than a week after he won Sh670,000 (£4,658) in damages from the state for an illegal search of his home two years ago.