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: Citizens cooperate in Yemeni counter-terrorism efforts; Salafists reject accusations of terrorism; Al Houthi rebels claim leader is in good health

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab denies threat to attack Nairobi; al Shabaab amputates man’s hand in public; Hizb al Islam takes over Beledweyn; U.S. sends Somali terror suspect to halfway house

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni citizens are reportedly beginning to cooperate with counterterrorism efforts against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in the governorates of Ma’rib, al Jawf, Shabwa, Abyan, and Sana’a. Results haves proven to be successful thus far.[1]
  • Salafists in Yemen reject German terrorism accusations. A Salafist sheikh rejected the claim that the Dar al Hadeeth Center for Islamic Studies in Sa’ada promotes terrorism. While students at the Islamic center are being trained in the use of light weaponry, the training has been labeled as self-defense as a response to threats posed by the al Houthis.[2]
  • According to a statement and video clip made on the al Houthi website, their leader, Abdul Malik al Houthi, has not been seriously wounded and is in good health. Yemeni officials claimed al Houthi was seriously wounded and had one of his legs amputated; however, the video displayed him with both of his legs and visibly healthy.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab denied threats of attacking Nairobi were made. The denial follows Kenya’s crackdowns on Somalis and violent protests in Nairobi. The assumption of a threat being made stemmed from a posting on an Islamist web forum expressing anger over Kenya’s deportation of a Jamaican Islamic cleric and subsequent violent protests by some of his followers in Kenya.[4]
  • Al Shabaab publically amputated a man’s hand who was accused of stealing cell phones. The amputation took place in the southern port town of Merka, where shair‘a law is strongly enforced. An al Shabaab official stated the punishment was part of a larger effort to impose shari‘a law in Somalia.[5]
  • After heavy fighting with Ahlu Sunna Waljaama’s clerics, Hizb al Islam takes control of the Somali town of Beledweyn. Fighting began early Friday morning with troops forming days in advance. No casualties have been reported yet, nor comments from either side about the fight.[6]
  •  A Somali man, who plead guilty to terror-related charges in Minnesota, is being released to a halfway house. Abdifatah Yusuf Isse has been in U.S. custody since his February 2009 arrest and pled guilty to “providing material support to terrorists” in April 2009.[7]


[1] “Cooperation of citizens with security forces appreciated,” Yemen News Agency (SABA), January 21, 2010. Available: 
[2] “Yemeni Salafis Reject Terrorism Accusations,” Yemen Times, January 21, 2010. Available: 
[3] “Yemen Shi'ite rebels say leader in good health,” Reuters, January 22, 2010. Available: 
[4] “Al-Shabaab deny threatening to attack Nairobi,” Inside Somalia, January 22, 2010. Available: 
[5] “Al-Shabaab amputate man’s hand for allegedly stealing a mobile phone | Human Rights | News -,” Inside Somalia, January 22, 2010. Available: 
[6] “Hizbul Islam Takes Over Control of Beledweyn Town,”, January 22, 2010. Available:      
[7] “Somalia: Somali terror suspect being sent to halfway house,” Somaliweyn Media Center, January 22, 2010. Available:     
View Citations


Arrow down red
Feb '10
Jan '10
Dec '09