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: Yemeni security forces arrest al Qaeda suspect disguised in women’s clothing; ten wounded in demonstrations after security forces open fire in Dhaleh

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab releases video of French captive; militants attack presidential palace, kill five; Ethiopia sends two planes with arms and ammunition to Ahlu Sunna in Dhusa Mareb; EU NAVFOR likely to continue mission off coast of Somalia through 2011; former minister denies he resigned because of cabinet reshuffle; UN Secretary General Ban appoints new Somali envoy

Yemen Security Brief

  • An al Qaeda suspect disguised in women’s clothing was reportedly arrested by Yemeni security forces Thursday in Sana’a.  The suspect, who has yet to be identified, was wearing a full hijab to avoid detection.[1]
  • Ten protestors were wounded Thursday when security forces opened fire at demonstrations in the south Yemen town of Dhaleh.  Participants were reportedly protesting the deaths of five civilians earlier in the week, a result of skirmishes that broke out after security forces attempted to remove the flag of the former independent South that had been raised over the town’s main street.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab released a video of its French prisoner, Dennis Allex, who has been in captivity for nearly 11 months. In the video, Allex reads from a script that reiterates al Shabaab’s demands that France end all involvement in the country in order to secure his release.[3]
  • Islamist militants attacked government positions near the presidential palace Wednesday, resulting in violence that killed five civilians and wounded at least twenty others.[4]
  •  Two planes from Ethiopia loaded with weapons and ammunition landed in Dhusa Mareb Wednesday to reinforce Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a.[5]
  •  The outgoing commander of EU NAVFOR said Wednesday that the European Union will likely extend its mission against piracy off the coast of Somalia through 2011.[6]
  •  Former Higher Education Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Omaar denied reports that he resigned in preparation for a planned cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke. He instead repeated the motive given by former Defense Minister Indho Adde that he quit because the government was not fulfilling its promises.[7]
  •  UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed a new Special Representative to Somalia, former Tanzania Ambassador to the UN Augustine Mahiga.[8]

[1] “Yemeni Security Forces Arrest al-Qaeda Suspect Disguis[ed] in Women[s] Clothes in Sana’a,” Yemen Observer, June 10, 2010.  Available:
[2] “Ten Wounded in South Yemen Demo,” AFP, June 10, 2010.  Available:
[3] “Shabaab Releases Video of French Captive, Dennis Allex,” SITE Intel Group, June 9, 2010.
[4] “Somalia: Fresh Mogadishu violence claim dozens,” Garowe, June 9, 2010. Available:
[5] “Somalia: Ahlu Sunnah receives weapon-loaded planes,” Garowe, June 9, 2010. Available:
[6] “EU May Extend Somali Counterpiracy Effort,” Defense News, June 9, 2010. Available:
[7] “Former education minister explains resigning grounds,” Mareeg, June 9, 2010. Available:
[8] “Somalia: Secretary-General Names New UN Envoy for Somalia,” UN News, June 9, 2010. Available:
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