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 spiritual leader warns Saudi Arabia; President Saleh commits to elections; protests continue throughout country

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab holds murder trial in Harardhere; al Shabaab administration in Elasha Biyaha orders Arabic language on signs; al Shabaab arrests three men in Hiraan region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Sheikh Ibrahim al Rubaish, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s spiritual leader and a former Guantanamo detainee, stated that the government should: 1) Expel polytheists from the Arabian Peninsula; 2) Repeal secular laws, made by man, that have replaced shari’a; 3) Return the shari’a courts to their former standing; 4) Extend the authority of the Commission of Promoting Virtue and Forbidding Vice; 5) Permit Islamic scholars to speak freely, without fear of reprimand from the government; 6) Release all religious prisoners from jail; and 7) Facilitate the travel of those wishing to fight in Palestine, Iraq, and other Muslim lands. Rubaish warns that these steps are necessary in order for the survival of the Saudi government and warns that the government will be targeted if it does not make the suggested reforms.[1]
  • Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said, “We have committed to the previous initiatives including the Gulf initiative and the efforts and statement of the (United Nations) Security Council and to moving toward achieving ... as soon as possible arrangements to hold general and free and direct elections for the new president of the republic.”[2]
  • Yemeni protestors declared that they would continue to protest against the government through the Eid al Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Protests are occurring throughout the country.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab issued a statement over the trial of a man convicted of murder, who has been ordered to pay a compensation of 100 camels to the victim’s family. The trial was held in Harardhere in Mudug region. Al Shabaab also announced the results of a Quran competition, attended by al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamed Rage and Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Ali, also known as Abu Mansur.[4]
  • Al Shabaab in Elasha Biyaha ordered local traders to change their Somali-language signs to Arabic. The traders were given three days to comply with the order. Al Shabaab has also ordered that all Eid prayers be said in an open field, where al Shabaab members will lead the prayer.[5]
  • Al Shabaab militants arrested three men accused of leading attacks against the group. The men were taken from Garbo village, about 25 km north of Beledweyne, the capital of Hiraan region.[6]


[1] “AQAP Officials Urges Saudi Officials to Accept Reforms,” SITE Intelligence Group, August 29, 2011. Available at SITE.
[2] “Yemen’s Saleh Commits to Presidential Elections: Agency,” Reuters, August 29, 2011. Available:
[3] “Millions Protest in Yemen on First Day of Eid,” Yemen Post, August 30, 2011. Available:
[4] “Shabaab Concludes Qur’an Competition, Decides Murder Case,” SITE Intelligence Group, August 29, 2011. Available at SITE.
[5] “Militia Bans Native Language,” Radio Bar-Kulan, August 30, 2011. Available:
“Al-Shabaab Bans Locals in Elasha From Conducting Eid Prayers in Mosques,” Radio Bar-Kulan, August 30, 2011. Available:
[6] “Al-Shabaab Arrests Three in Beledweyne Town, Hiran Region,” Radio Bar-Kulan, August 30, 2011. Available:
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