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’s Rubaish praises Islamist fighters and gives advice; tribesmen ambush military convoy near Taiz; tribesmen in Abyan agree to fight al Qaeda; Yemeni government begins repairing oil pipeline in Ma’rib governorate
Horn of Africa: Somali government arrests four al Shabaab suspects; al Shabaab orders residents in Afgoi to vacate former government buildings; al Shabaab burns sacks of qat outside Mogadishu; man in United Kingdom accused of aiding al Shabaab; Kenyan Internal Security Minister says Somali refugee crisis poses national security risk; Kenyan government agrees to open new refugee camp
Yemen Security Brief
- Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released an audio statement entitled, “Words of One in Love,” on July 13 from Sheikh Ibrahim Suleiman al Rubaish, a former Guantanamo detainee (#192). Rubaish gave advice to Islamist fighters and praised their service to Islam. He stressed that fighters in jihad are rewarded with eternal paradise and should disregard personal gain in their efforts. Fighters should not expect immediate victory in their jihad, and that every action on the battlefront in service of Islam will be rewarded. One statement read, "I wonder about that, and I compare your state to that of a relaxed, soft person who is not good for anything that men are good for. They say not to go fight in the heat, but they don't know that the hellfire is hotter.” He asserts that the fighters’ “hearts are filled with devotion to Allah,” and that they will suffer hellfire if they refuse to carry out their duties. The speech includes numerous other admonitions and pieces of advice that should guide Islamist fighters in war against their enemies. Specifically, Rubaish urged fighters to be obedient to their leader because there is strength in unity.
- Armed tribesmen ambushed a military convoy near Sharab al Rona in Taiz governorate, killing a colonel and two of his assistants. Four armed tribesmen and three civilians were wounded in the ambush.
- Tribesmen in Abyan governorate have agreed to assist government forces in their war against al Qaeda in the region.
- Yemeni authorities began repairing a main oil pipeline in Ma’rib governorate on July 14. The al Shabwan tribe agreed to grant authorities access to the damaged areas of the pipeline. Technical teams have started work in Wadi Abeeda and Serwah districts.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Somali government forces arrested four al Shabaab suspects in Gedo region. Mohamed Abdi Kalil, governor of Gedo region, said “the aim of the security crackdown was to assure the entire peace and tranquility of Gedo.” Authorities are currently investigating the suspects alleged ties with al Shabaab.
- Al Shabaab ordered residents living in former Somali government buildings in Afgoi district to vacate within a week. Reports said residents had lived in those buildings for over two decades and do not know where to go.
- Al Shabaab militants intercepted two trucks carrying qat near the Elasha Biyaha internally displaced persons camp outside of Mogadishu. The militants proceeded to burn all of the sacks. Qat trader Mohamed Abdullahi expressed concern about al Shabaab’s ban on qat, saying that traders “earn their daily life from buying and selling it.”
- A man appeared in court in London for “providing money for terror training in Somalia.” Shabaaz Hussein was accused of “fundraising for terrorists between April and September 2010” and directly providing funds for terrorist operations between January 2009 and October 2010.
- Kenyan Internal Security Minister George Saitoti said the Somali refugee crisis poses a serious threats to Kenya’s national security. He said that al Shabaab may use the refugee crisis to execute “their evil acts within Kenyan territory.” He urged the United Nations and international donor groups to manage the crisis within Somalia’s borders and limit the number of refugees fleeing to Kenya.
- The Kenyan government agreed to open a new refugee camp, Ifo II, the fourth camp in Dadaab. The UNHCR has begun to deliver supplies for the new camp.