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: Southern Movement strikes in Dhaleh and Lahij governorates; armed men attack government building in Shabwah governorate; U.S. to review diverted military aid in Yemen; Saleh called on opposition parties to participate in elections

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab arrested health official in Galgudud region; Prime Minister changes travel policy for ministers; Finland tracking individuals with suspected links to al Shabaab

Yemen Security Brief

  • The Southern Movement called for civil disobedience throughout the south on the first Monday of every month.  Reports say that this order was followed throughout Dhaleh governorate and was partially followed throughout Lahij governorate, especially in Radfan and Habilain.[1]
  • Armed men, suspected to be al Qaeda militants, attacked the building of General Security and Central security in Ataq district in Shabwah governorate.  Witnesses report that the men fired heavy weapons at the building and wounded three soldiers at the building’s gate.[2]
  • U.S. Congressman Pete King, who will serve as the chairman for the House Committee on Homeland Security, spoke on reports of diverted U.S. military aid to Yemen.  He said that the arrangement through which private companies rent out servicemen and patrol boats, funded by U.S. military aid, raises “serious questions, which will be addressed by the Homeland Security Committee.”[3]
  • Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh called on opposition parties to participate in the April 27 parliamentary elections.  He warned, “Those wishing to participate are welcome, and those who want to boycott have the right to do so. But they will be committing political suicide.”[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants arrested Mohammed Ahmed Dhuhulow, a health official at Mother and Children Health Center, in Elbur district in the central Galgudud region.[5]
  • Somalia’s Prime Minister Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed, also known as Farmajo, told the newly formed cabinet that no minister will be permitted to travel abroad without giving a reason for the trip and the estimated amount of time he will be out of the country.  Mohammed also noted that the ministers need to better distinguish between private and public assets.[6]
  • The Finnish Security Police (Supo) has been tracking links to al Shabaab and individuals in Finland.  Lasse Antilla, the head of the anti-terrorism unit, confirmed that there are Finns who have maintained connections to al Shabaab.  He said that the Supo does not have any information that indicates that any Finnish resident has fought with al Shabaab.[7]


[1] “Civil Disobedience Paralyzes Life in Some Southern Cities,” Yemen Post, January 4, 2011.  Available:
[2] “Three Soldiers Wounded in Shabwa Province,” Yemen Pose, January 3, 2011.  Available:
[3] Margaret Coker, “U.S. Military Aid is Available for Hire in Yemen,” Wall Street Journal, January 4, 2011.  Available:
[4] “Saleh Warns Opponents Against Political Suicide,” AFP, January 4, 2011. Available:
[5] “Al Shabaab Seizes Health Official in Central Somalia,” Shabelle Media Network, January 4, 2011.  Available:
[6] “Somali PM Warns Cabinet Against Mismanaging National Properties,” Shabelle Media Network, January 4, 2011.  Available:
[7] “Police See Finnish Links to al-Shabaab,” YLE, January 4, 2011.  Available:
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