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: AQAP deputy leader urges Saudi soldiers to overthrow government, attack Israel; sources say Yemeni intelligence recruiting females

Horn of Africa: UN to boost civilian staff in Somalia, may send people to Puntland, Somaliland; al Shabaab militants seize compounds of Christian aid organizations; Somali president calls for peace during Ramadan, al Shabaab says it will continue waging jihad; Puntland bans VOA correspondent from reporting in the region; shelling of Bakara Market kills five people

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s media arm, the al Malahem Foundation, released a speech, entitled, “Together to Overthrow al Saud,” by Said al Shihri, also known as Abu Sufyan al Azdi, the group’s deputy leader, on jihadist forums.  Shihri called on Saudi soldiers to overthrow their government and attack Israel. “How sweet it is to obtain martyrdom in the Cause of Allah in Land of the Holy Shrines in defense of the two holy mosques which are oppressed by the apostate rulers and the polytheist Rafidah. Do as Khalid al-Islambouli and his cell did in the assassination of the tyrant, Anwar Sadat,” he commanded. On Israel, Shihri said, “There is between you and it (Israel) only a few kilometers.  You see its lights from the Haql area in the north of the Peninsula.  So whoever among you is a pilot, let him seek martyrdom over the sky of Palestine.  Whoever among you works in the navy, let him direct his weapon towards the Jews there and obtain the honor of martyrdom in the cause of Allah.”  He also warned Saudis against an attack by Iran, which could render it defenseless to fight an Iranian takeover of the region.[1]
  • Sources revealed that Yemen’s National Security Council and the Yemen Intelligence Agency are recruiting female spies, particularly minorities who speak English, Arabic and Farsi. They said most of those recruited are in their early 20s and provide significant information gathering advantages over their male counterparts.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The United Nations said it would boost its civilian staff in Somalia, following its decision over the weekend to return its Somali mission to Mogadishu after 17 years in absentia. The UN envoy to Somalia, Augustine Mahiga, said he expects some of that staff to deploy to Puntland and Somaliland.[3]
  • Al Shabaab militants seized the compounds of three Christian aid agencies in Mogadishu Middle Jubba region, and the Bay and Bakool regions in southern Somalia after demanding the organizations cease operations and leave the country. The group accused World Vision, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency and Diakonia of propagating Christian beliefs.[4]
  • Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed called for all Somalis to work for peace and stability in Somalia in honor of the holy month of Ramadan. However, al Shabaab said it will continue to wage its jihad against the government during the month.[5]
  • Puntland banned Voice of America correspondent Nuh Muse Birjeb from reporting in the region. He told local reporters about the ban, but said Information Minister Yassin Adan Roble did not inform him of a reason for it.[6]
  • Shelling in Bakara Market in Mogadishu killed at least five people and wounded over ten others.  Reportedly, the shelling followed rounds of gunfire between TFG and Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a troops and al Shabaab militants.[7]


[1] “AQAP Deputy Leader Calls Saudi Soldiers to Action,” SITE Intel Group, August 10, 2010.
[2] “Yemen Spy Agency Recruits Female Spies,” Yemen Post, August 10, 2010. Available:
[3] “UN to boost presence in Somalia to further peace,” AFP, August 10, 2010. Available:
[4] “Somalia: Al-Shabaab seize aid agencies compound,” Garowe, August 10, 2010. Available:
[5] “Somalia: President Calls Peace, Al-Shabab Declares War,” Shabelle Media Network, August 11, 2010. Available:
[6] “Somalia: Puntland suspends VOA reporter,” Somaliland Press, August 11, 2010. Available:
[7] “Shelling Kills 5, Injuries About 10 in Mogadishu,” Mareeg Online, August 10, 2010.  Available:,-injuries-about-10-in-Mogadishu&sid=16932&tirsan=3
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