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: Three alleged al Qaeda suspects arrested in Aden; three al Houthi rebels killed in shootout with Yemeni security forces; Yemeni government warns al Houthis over call to arms; Yemeni police wound two in Dhaleh; opposition alleges mafia is dumping Saudi and Egyptian waste in Yemen

Horn of Africa: Somali pirates threaten to blow up supertanker; EU naval vessels capture six pirates; five suspects captured in bombing assassination plot


Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni police have arrested three alleged members of al Qaeda in the southern city of Aden. The three men are accused of killing two policemen and blowing up the car of a government official. Under interrogation, the men admitted that they were subordinates of Khaled Abdulnabi, a member of al Qaeda in Abyan governorate.[1]
  • Three al Houthi rebels were killed in a gunfight in northern Yemen, threatening the two month old truce between the rebels and the government. A group of al Houthi rebels reportedly opened fire on Yemeni security forces. The security forces returned fire and killed several of the militants. In a statement following the violence, the al Houthis said that the three dead were civilians.[2]
  • The Yemeni government has warned the al Houthi rebels to not violate the truce between them after leaflets were distributed by a group calling for jihad against the government. Leaders from the al Houthi group allegedly distributed the leaflets following a meeting in the small town of Bart al Anan in al Jawf governorate.[3]
  • Police opened fire on a crowd of protestors attempting to force their way into a hospital in Dhaleh to recover the body of an activist killed earlier this month. Two demonstrators were wounded in the gunfire as they tried to remove the body of Abdulalim Ali Saleh from al Nasr hospital.[4]
  • A source within the Yemeni Islah opposition party said that an organized crime syndicate is arranging for waste from Egypt and Saudi Arabia to be dumped in Yemen. Waste is allegedly shipped in containers into Yemen through Hudaydah port, where it often sits in warehouses for months. The materials are then later dumped in Hudaydah governorate.[5]


Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali pirates have threatened to blow up a supertanker captured earlier this month unless the ransom of $20 million is paid. The South Korean supertanker was transporting oil from Iraq to the United States when it was hijacked. South Korea has reportedly sent warships to try to recover the vessel.[6]
  • The EU naval force has captured six pirates 400 miles off the coast of Somalia. The pirates mistook the French naval vessel for a merchant ship, and fired at it. The French ship then tracked down one of the two pirate skiffs that had attacked it, and captured the four pirates aboard. The French warship then found the pirate mother ship, and captured an additional two pirates aboard that vessel.[7]
  • Five men have been arrested in the autonomous Puntland region of Somalia in conjunction with a series of assassination plots against transitional government officials. The Deputy Police Commissioner of Puntland, Omar Salah Mahammed Anjeh said the five men were involved in the 2006 suicide attack in Baidoa that targeted at former Somali President Abullahi Yussuf Ahmed.[8]

[1] “Yemen Police Arrest Three Alleged Qaeda Members, AFP, April 22, 2010. Available:
[2] “Gunfight Kills 3 In Yemen, Violence Threatens Truce,” Reuters, April 22, 2010. Available:
[3] “Yemen Warns Rebels Over Call For Renewed Fighting,” AFP, April 22, 2010. Available:
[4] “Police Wound Two in South Yemen,” Middle East Online, April 22, 2010. Available:
[5] “Mafia Smuggles Waste Into Yemen Across Egypt and KSA: Opposition Source,” Yemen Post, April 21, 2010. Available:
[6] “Somalia Pirates Threaten to Blow Up Oil Supertanker,” Reuters, April 21, 2010. Available:
[7] “EU Naval Forces Capture Six Pirates Off Coast Of Somalia,” People’s Daily Online, April 22, 2010. Available:
[8] “Somalia: Puntland Forces Nab Five Suspects Over Blasts,” Garowe Online, April 21, 2010. Available:
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