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: Yemen bombs home of suspected al Qaeda militant; al Houthi insurgency  more dangerous than al Qaeda; Yemen aims to increase daily oil production; al Houthis claim to have shot down Saudi plane

Horn of Africa: Government soldiers join al Shabaab; Puntland lawmaker gunned down in Bosasso; Kenya warns Somali MPs against hiding in Nairobi

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemen’s air force bombed the home of suspected al Qaeda leader, Ayed al Shabwani. The attack came a week after the Yemeni military stated he died in the January 15 attack. No casualties have been reported as of yet.[1]
  • The northern al-Houthi insurgency poses a more salient threat to Yemen than al Qaeda because its insurgency is more expansive, stated the chairman of the board of directors of the Yemen News Agency. The chairman further states the rebels are “fighting the national army and their schemes are even more dangerous.”[2]
  • Yemen is aiming to increase daily oil and refinery production from 285,000-295,000 to 300,000 barrels and 70,000-80,000 to 150,000-500,000 barrels, respectfully. Yemen has been struggling with its decline in oil production and improvement in non-oil sectors, which aim to compensate for the loss in oil revenue.[3]
  • Al Houthis claim to have shot down a Saudi fighter plane last Friday which occurred during an air raid in the northern governorate Sa’ada. Saudi Arabia has not confirmed any such attack. According to al Houthi rebels, this claim came along with 29 air raids by the Saudi army on Razeh, al Saha’af, Maran, al Mahathir, and Wada’a.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Transitional Federal Government (TFG) soldiers reportedly joined al Shabaab in Mogadishu. Al Shabaab representative, Sheik Ali Mohamed Hussein, stated the defected soldiers were two young teenagers who left because the government deceived them.[5]
  • Mohammed Abdi Gabriel, a Puntland lawmaker, was gunned down overnight by an unidentified man in Bosasso. The assailants managed to escape minutes before police arrived. This is the third Puntland lawmaker to be assassinated since the beginning of January 2010.[6]
  • Kenyan officials warned Somali MPs from using Nairobi as a safe haven. Officials also claimed they are close to forcing the MPs to register as refugees if they wish to stay. Local Kenyans are worried about the conflict in their neighboring country spilling over.[7]


[1] “Yemen ‘bombs house of suspected al-Qaeda militant’,” BBC News, January 20, 2010. Available:  
[2] “Rebellion more dangerous for Yemen than al Qaeda: Mustafa,” Yemen News Agency, January 20, 2010. Available:  
[3] “ Yemen seeks to increase daily oil production,” Yemen News Agency, January 19, 2010. Available:  
[4] “Houthis Claim To Have Shot Down Saudi Plane,” Yemen Times, January 17, 2010. Available:  
[5] “TFG Soldiers Join Harakat Al-Shabab Mujahideen,”, January 19, 2010. Available:  
[6] “Puntland lawmaker shot dead in Bosasso overnight,” Somaliweyn, January 20, 2010. Available: 
[7] “Stop hiding in Kenya, Somali MPs told,” BBC News, January 20, 2010. Available:
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