The widow of slain Muslim cleric Aboud Rogo has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Haniya Saggar was found guilty of aiding terrorism.
She was convicted after senior principal magistrate Diana Mochache found her guilty of three counts of terrorism, including being in communication with a terror group and aiding its activities.
Saggar was also accused of failing to give information which would have stopped a terror attack at a Mombasa police station in 2016.
In her judgment, Mochache said Saggar had been in constant communication with the three slain suspected terrorists who carried out an attack at the Central police station on September 11, 2016.
The magistrate said the police had proven she hosted  Tasmin Farah, Ramla Abdirahman and Maimuna Abdirahman at her house for two days. Saggar had communicated to the suspects five days before the attack at the station where they were later gunned down. During the attack in September, the slain suspects stabbed an officer and threw a petrol bomb into the station.
Mochache said the court has a duty to protect Kenyans, who include the police. She said if the police had not responded to the attackers, more lives would have been lost. “The prosecution has proven its case beyond reasonable doubt. I found you guilty to the charges levied against you,”Mochache said. But Saggar’s troubles did not start yesterday. In 2012 she spent her days in and out of courts while defending Rogo against terror charges.
The extremist preacher was in the same year shot dead in Mombasa as he was driving his wife to hospital.
Rogo was shot more than 17 times in the head and died instantly, while Saggar was shot in the leg. Before his death, Rogo had been listed by the US government for funding terror activities.
Some of those who have written about this famous Muslim cleric, who has now become a Muslim martyr – and a religious leader assassinated in broad daylight always ends up as a martyr – have argued that it was the offer of money, about Sh80,000 for each recruit, that led many young Kenyans, at the Coast as much as upcountry, to register within the ranks of al Shabaab.
What gave potency to Aboud Rogo’s campaign to encourage more and more young Muslim men to turn their backs on secular success, and seek the grim path of the martyr, was not the promise of a sum which – at the end of the day – amounts to just about Sh100,000. Rather it was his easy charisma; his encyclopaedic knowledge of the Koran; and his gifts as a public speaker. Whatever else may be untrue or even mythical about Sheikh Rogo, what was established beyond doubt, is that he preached a message of martyrdom to young Muslims. And that such preaching was useful to al Shabaab.
This Article was Published in The Star