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: Police arrest suspected al Qaeda member in al Bayda province; foreign minister says Yemen may alter counterterrorism tactics after botched airstrike; PM: Yemen not al Qaeda safe haven, U.S. attack on al Awlaki unacceptable; southern separatists attack two convoys, kill three soldiers; opposition party appeals for international help to end “siege” on southern provinces; al Houthi rebels, tribesmen clash, kill three; official says Yemen hunting for 60 suspected kidnappers; Yemeni navy captures Somali pirates with stolen fishing boat; Meshaal meets with Saleh

Horn of Africa: Government forces backed by Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a recapture Beledweyne; Shabaab militants, Ethiopian army clash in Elberde; mortars kill two, wound ten others in Mogadishu; Kenyan security officials investigating al Shabaab raid; radio station moves from Bakara Market; al Shabaab cuts ties with UK-based Somali TV station; Seychelles coast guard, Australian navy capture pirate ships in Gulf of Aden; Somali president asks new parliament speaker to call confidence vote on PM; Hizb al Islam permits NGOs to resume operations in Hiraan region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Police arrested a suspected al Qaeda member in al Bayda province who had in his possession hundreds of propaganda tapes and other documents, including information on unmanned aircraft and photos of old houses from Google earth.[1]
  • Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al Qirbi said his country may alter its tactics against al Qaeda following last week’s botched airstrike.  There is a government investigation of the incident underway.[2]
  • Prime Minister Ali Mujawar rejected criticism that Yemen is a safe haven for al Qaeda militants, and said he would not accept American attempts to kill cleric Anwar al Awlaki on Yemeni soil.[3]
  • Southern militants attacked two convoys in separate attacks in Lahij province, killing three soldiers Friday. One incident occurred in Raha province, and the other in Jebeil Shams. [4]
  • The Yemeni government agreed to a truce with Ma’arib tribesmen where they will give weaponry and a modest cash payment as compensation for accidentally killing one of their leaders.[5]
  • The Yemeni Socialist Party, an opposition party with southern roots, appealed to the international community to pressure Yemen to “lift its siege” on southern provinces Dhale and Lahij.[6]
  • Clashes between Houthi rebels and tribesman in Sa’ada province killed three people and wounded several others. The tribesmen ambushed Houthi militants after they captured a village and attempted to establish a camp in it.[7]
  • Yemen’s interior minister said the government is hunting for 60 suspected kidnappers who are responsible for abducting foreigners over a span of 10 years.[8]
  • The Yemeni navy captured 13 Somali pirates and recovered a stolen fishing boat with its crew in a raid Saturday.[9]
  • Hamas leader Khalid Meshaal visited Yemen Monday to discuss with President Saleh the situation of Palestinians in Gaza.[10]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Government forces backed by Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a fighters attacked and captured strategic positions surrounding Beledweyne Monday from Hizb al Islam. As a result, the rebel militants withdrew from the town.  Al Shabaab vowed to defend the western portion of town, which is still under its control.[11]
  • Al Shabaab militants and Ethiopian troops clashed in the border town of Elberde in Bakool region after the militants raided government bases Monday.[12]
  • Fresh shelling in Mogadishu’s Bondere and Wardigley districts killed two civilians and wounded ten others Monday.[13]
  • Kenyan security officials are investigating the motives behind al Shabaab’s cross-border raid last week that wounded seven Kenyan villagers before the militants retreated back in Somalia.[14]
  • The Shabelle Media Network moved its headquarters from Bakara Market in Mogadishu to a building near the city’s international airport to avoid harassment from al Shabaab.[15]
  • Al Shabaab formally cut its ties with UK-based Somali station Universal TV after accusing the network of deliberately broadcasting insulting material, including cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.[16]
  • The Seychelles coast guard, with help from EU naval forces, attacked and disarmed a pirate mother ship Saturday. Also, an Australian ship caught a pirate skiff and captured its crew Sunday. Both pirate ships were in the Gulf of Aden at the time of their capture.[17]
  • Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed called on the new parliament speaker Sharif Sheikh Hassan Aden to hold a confidence vote.  Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed is seeking to replace the Prime Minister.[18]
  • Hizb al Islam announced it was allowing NGOs to resume activities in Hiraan region.[19]

[1] “Man Arrested in Central Yemen on al-Qaeda Links,” Saba Net, May 30, 2010.  Available:
[2] “INTERVIEW- Yemen may review methods in al Qaeda fight—formin,” Reuters, May 31, 2010. Available: 
[3] “Premier: Yemen Never Accepts U.S. Attempt to Kill Al-Awlaki on Its Soil,” Yemen Post, May 31, 2010. Available:
[4] “Yemen separatists kill 3 soldiers,” Reuters, May 28, 2010. Available:
[5] “Yemen separatists kill 3 soldiers,” Reuters, May 28, 2010. Available:
[6] “Yemeni Party Appeals to International Community to Pressure Yemen over South,” Yemen Post, May 31, 2010. Available:
[7] “Deaths, Injuries as Houthis and Tribesmen Fight in Saada,” Yemen Post, June 1, 2010. Available:
[8] “Yemen hunts 60 suspected of kidnapping foreigners,” AFP, May 29, 2010. Available:
[9] “Yemeni navy frees boat, crew captured by pirates,” AFP, May 29, 2010. Available: 
[10] “Hamas Meshal in Yemen,” Yemen News Agency (SABA), May 31, 2010. Available:
[11] “Somalia: Fresh Battle Erupts in South and Central Somalia,” Daily Nation, May 31, 2010. Available:
“Somalia: Insurgents Deny Government Troops Seize Strategic Central Town,” Garowe Online, June 1, 2010.  Available:
“Somalia: Islamists vacate central town,” Mareeg, May 31, 2010. Available:
[12] “Somalia: Deadly battle between Al-Shabaab and Ethiopian troops,” Somaliweyn, May 31, 2010. Available:
[13] “Shelling kills two injuries 10 others in Mogadishu,” Mareeg, June 1, 2010. Available:
[14] “Kenya Security Officials Probe al-Shabaab Attack Motives,” VOA, May 28, 2010. Available:
[15] “Somalia: Famous radio station moved from insurgent area in Mogadishu,” Mareeg, June 1, 2010. Available:
[16] “Somalia: Al Shabaab cuts ties with Universal TV,” Garowe, May 31, 2010. Available:
[17] “Two suspected pirate attacks thwarted off Somalia,” CNN, May 31, 2010. Available:
[18] “Somalia: President urges new Speaker to hold parliament confidence-vote for PM,” Garowe, May 30, 2010. Available:
[19] “Somalia: Islamist in Hiran region says NGOs resume Humanitarian activities,” Somaliweyn, May 30, 2010. Available:
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