UK & World News

  • 19 December 2013, 20:35

Woolwich Murder: Muslim Leader Warns Of 'War'

An influential Muslim leader in Kenya has told Sky News that Britain is "at war" with Islam and the attack against soldier Lee Rigby was justified.

Makaburi, whose real name is Abubaker Shariff Ahmed, also warned there will certainly be more attacks against British soldiers in the future.

"This is a war," he told me. "British people need to wake up to that."

Makaburi has been indicted by the United Nations, which has described him as a "leading facilitator and recruiter of young Kenyan Muslims for violent militant activity in Somalia".

In a number of interviews with me at his home in Mombasa, Makaburi has denied all the accusations.

However, he insists that Britain's military involvement in places like Iraq and Afghanistan means attacks on British soldiers are deserved.

He launched into a tough defence of Michael Adebolajo, saying: "Michael was a Muslim soldier and he was fighting a Christian soldier."

When I interjected, saying the knife attack against Lee Rigby had taken place on a street in south London and not a battlefield, Makaburisaid: "But Britain is a war zone. Britain is at war. It has started a war against Islam and Michael was being a good Muslim soldier."

He went on to say Adebolajo would be rewarded for his bravery in heaven.

His words almost exactly mirroredAdebolajo's own in court when explaining his actions in Woolwich, despite my latest interview with Makaburi having taken place beforeAdebolajo's statements in London.

Makaburi's interpretation of the Koran means he is firmly of the belief that decisions by the British Government dating back to Tony Blair's involvement in Iraq have made British soldiers legitimate targets, whether on home soil or abroad on duty.

He went on to suggest that the British public could also be targeted because of their "support" for the Government.

The cleric also claimed that MI6 agents had attempted to recruit Adebolajo, saying it was them who organised for the young man to be deported back to the UK rather than stand trial in Kenya.

Adebolajo was arrested in Kenya in 2010 trying to catch a boat to Somalia but despite appearing in court, he was released and allowed to return to Britain.

"It is MI6which is to blame for what happened to the soldier in London," Makaburisaid.

"They came and got him out of jail here and interfered with our rules here. They are to blame."

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