Gulf of Aden Security Review
A regularly updated review of both Yemen and the Horn of Africa covering topics related to security, governance, and militant activity.
Yemen: Yemeni official: Yemeni forces searching for al Awlaki; car bomb kills former army officer in Aden; JMP organizes protests in Sana’a and other cities; thousands rally in Yemen against political, economic policies; AQAP denies relocating to Somalia; two protestors wounded by police in Dhale
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab using monetary bonuses to sign up new recruits; al Shabaab bans school bells in Jowhar; explosion in Boosaaso wounds four; Yemeni arms dealers accused by UN of supplying weapons to Somalia; UN worried by rising civilian casualties in Mogadishu
Yemen Security Brief
- Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al Qirbi clarified his previous remarks regarding Anwar al Awlaki, and said the cleric was in fact being pursued by Yemeni security forces. Al Qirbi said last week that al Awlaki was only a religious figure who was not being targeted. 
- A car bomb killed a former Army officer in the southern Yemeni port town of Aden. Southern separatist sentiment is very strong in Aden, where protests against the government have occurred in recent weeks.
- The Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) organized rallies throughout southern Yemen on Thursday. Thousands gathered in Sana’a, as well as Taiz and al Jouf to protest the government and demand the release of all political prisoners detained during demonstrations in the southern governorates.
- Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has reportedly denied relocating to Somalia. A source close AQAP said the group would issue a response to the claim shortly. The group also claimed that Yemeni authorities have release Arif Mogali, an al Qaeda militant who was jailed for his role in the bombing of a French oil tanker in 2002.
- Two protestors were wounded when police fired into a crowd of demonstrators on Thursday in Dhale. The protestors were participating in a weekly demonstration to demand the release of political protestors arrested in separatist demonstrations.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- The Somali militant group al Shabaab has begun luring new recruits with the promise of a $400 bonus. The bonus suggests many are fighting for al Shabaab for monetary, rather than ideological, reasons.
- In the al Shabaab-controlled town of Jowhar, teachers have been instructed to stop ringing school bells at the end of class because they resemble the sound of Christian church bells. According to teachers at the school, al Shabaab has also said it would begin instructing students on the importance of Islamic Jihad.
- An explosion in the port town of Boosaaso in Puntland has wounded four people. Authorities believe the bomb was targeted at the house of Puntland’s former deputy minister of interior affairs. It is unclear who was responsible for the blast.
- A Yemeni arms dealer has been added to a UN list of traffickers trying to supply weapons to Somalia. The Security Council committee on Somalia and Eritrea found that Fares Mohammed Mana’a had violated UN Resolution 1844 by violating the arms embargo to Somalia. The committee believes that Mana’a has been shipping arms to Somalia since 2004.
- A UN official has expressed concern over the civilian casualties as a result of the fighting between TFG and militant forces in Mogadishu. Mark Bowden, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, said that hospital reports indicate over 900 casualties in the past month from fighting in the capital. The majority of those killed were women and children.