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: Yemen arrests mastermind of jailbreak in Aden that killed at least 11people and freed AQAP militants; al Qaeda suspect in Zinjibar explosion, no casualties reported; leader of Bakil tribe calls for tribal coalition against AQAP; southern separatists attack military convoy, five people killed; government and Southern Movement reach agreement to end siege in Dhaleh; U.S. considers ending suspension of Guantanamo Bay detainees’ transfer to Yemen; security forces thwart attack on Ma’rib oil pipeline; Saudi Arabia announces $1.6 billion project to house displaced Yemenis; EU NAVFOR trains Yemeni coastguards

Horn of Africa: TFG soldiers briefly besiege Villa Somalia over unpaid wages; Mogadishu clashes kill three people, injure ten; TFG Mogadishu official announces planned al Shabaab attacks; Aweys confirms defection of Hizb al Islam officials to al Shabaab in Beledweyne, says group withdrew to avoid conflict; Somali minister says TFG negotiating with Hizb al Islam; al Shabaab surrounds Afgoi, Hizb al Islam reinforces town; Hizb al Islam decrees men must grow beards in Mogadishu; al Shabaab Galgudud official says group will drive Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a from Galgudud region; al Shabaab spokesman says group will fight until Somalia has true Islamic government; al Shabaab will inspect all food and medicine sold in Beledweyne; Puntland minister warns Somaliland about holding elections in Sool and Sanaag; GBC Radio resumes broadcasting in Mogadishu; Dutch naval vessel intercepts skiff, arrests pirates; residents of Adado in Galgudug region protest holding of British hostages near town

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemen announced the arrest of the mastermind who orchestrated Saturday’s attack on an intelligence headquarters in Aden. Four suspected al Qaeda gunmen dressed in women’s clothing attacked the compound and freed several suspected al Qaeda militants.  At least 11 people were killed during the attack.[1]
  • An explosion at 4:30 am at the military region leadership building in Zinjibar, the capital city of Abyan province, resulted in no reported casualties. Police accused al Qaeda of executing the attack.[2]
  • The leader of the Bakil tribe, Yemen’s largest, announced his intention to form a tribal coalition against AQAP.[3]
  • Southern separatist militants attacked a Yemeni military patrol at al Azariq crossroads in Jahaf district of Dhaleh province on Sunday.  Two soldiers died in the ambush and another was injured.  Thre militants were killed.[4]
  • The Yemeni government reached an agreement with the Southern Movement in Jehaf to lift its siege in Dhaleh province in exchange for the closure of military checkpoints in Thalaif and the withdrawal of troops from the Dar al Haid fortress.[5]
  • The Obama Administration is considering partially lifting a suspension on all transfers of Guantanamo Bay detainees to Yemen following a Supreme Court ruling.[6]
  • Yemeni security forces thwarted an attack by Abeida tribesman on an oil pipeline in Ma’rib province Friday.[7]
  • The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced that it has allocated $1.6 billion for the construction of 6,000 houses for citizens displaced from the border region in Jazan province after a two-month conflict with the al Houthi rebels.[8]
  • EU NAVFOR forces conducted an anti-piracy training exercise with 50 Yemeni coastguards.[9]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • TFG soldiers surrounded the Villa Somalia and held over 20 parliament members and President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed hostage Saturday to protest their unpaid wages. The soldiers exchanged light gunfire with AMISOM guards, wounding two, before the president promised to pay them.[10]
  • Clashes in Mogadishu between AMISOM troops and al Shabaab killed at least three people and injured ten others.  Al Shabaab fighters attacked an AMISOM base at Jalle Siyad Academy and also fought in Daynile.[11]
  • The District Commissioner of Derkenley district in Mogadishu, Ahmed Hassan Adow, announced that the TFG had learned of al Shabaab’s plans to attack military bases in the capital.[12]
  • Hizb al Islam leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys confirmed that some of his officials in Beledweyne defected to al Shabaab and said his group decided to withdraw from the Hiraan region in order to avert a conflict with al Shabaab.[13]
  • Somali Deputy PM Abdirahman Hajji Aden Ibbi said the TFG has been in negotiations with Hizb al Islam’s Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys for the surrender of Hizb al Islam controlled regions to the government.[14]
  • Hizb al Islam officials have expressed concern over reports that heavily armed al Shabaab militants have deployed to the Afgoi district. Hizb al Islam has sent additional fighters to reinforce its troops in the district, which it has traditionally controlled.[15]
  • Hizb al Islam issued a decree in Mogadishu requiring all men to grow beards and shave their moustaches.[16]
  • Sheikh Yusuf Kaba Kudukade, al Shabaab’s commissioner in Galgudud region, announced that his group intends to drive Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a from Galgudud and assert control over the entire region within two months.[17]
  • Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Dheere said the militant group will continue fighting until Somalia has a truly Islamic government.[18]
  • Al Shabaab’s Hiraan authority announced it will inspect all food and medicines sold in Beledweyne to ensure those items have not expired.[19]
  • A Puntland minister warned Somaliland against extending its elections into the Sanaag and Sool regions, which are disputed territories between the two semi-autonomous states.[20]
  • The GBC radio station resumed broadcasting in Mogadishu after two months of ceased operations due to a ban by Hizb al Islam.[21]
  • A Dutch naval vessel intercepted a suspected pirate skiff Friday and arrested several men onboard.[22]
  • Hundreds of people in Adado in Galgudud region demanded the release of Paul and Rachel Chandler, two Brits held hostage since late October.[23]

[1] “Yemen Arrests Suspect in Gun Attack,” New York Times, June 20, 2010. Available:
“Al-Qaeda Militant Attack Political Security Prison in Aden,” Yemen Observer, June 19, 2010.  Available:
[2] “Huge Explosion Shakes Zunjbar in South Yemen; Qaeda Blamed,” Yemen Post, June 21, 2010. Available:
[3] “Major Leader of Yemeni Tribes Seeks to Form Tribal Coalition to Fight Al-Qaeda,” Yemen Post, June 21, 2010. Available:
[4]5 Killed in South Yemen Patrol Ambush,” Yemen Post, June 20, 2010.  Available:
“5 Killed in South Yemen Patrol Ambush,” Yemen Post, June 20, 2010. Available:
[5] “Yemeni authorities end siege of Dhala’a,” June 19, 2010. Available:
[6] “U.S. considers partially lifting ban on transfers of detainees to Yemen,” Washington Post, June 19, 2010. Available:
[7] “Attemped attack on main oil pipeline in Marib thwarted,” Yemen News Agency (SABA), June 18, 2010. Available:
[8] “Saudi Spends $1.6 Billion to House Displaced Near Yemen,” Reuters, June 20, 2010.  Available:
[9] “Somalia: EU NAVFOR Conducts Regional Training with the Yemeni Coastguard,” European Union Naval Force Somalia (Northwood), June 18, 2010.  Available:
[10] “Furious Soldiers storm Villa Somalia,” Garowe, June 18, 2010. Available:
[11] “Furious Soldiers storm Villa Somalia,” Garowe, June 18, 2010. Available:
[12] “Government Officials Says They Got Secret Information of Planned Attacks,” Mareeg, June 20, 2010.  Available:
[13] “Somalia: Aweys defends decision to abandon central town,” Garowe, June 20, 2010. Available:
[14] “Hizbul Islam in talks with Somali TFG,” Garowe, June 20, 2010. Available:
[15] “Somalia: Tension between Islamists mounts in southern town,” Mareeg, June 19, 2010. Available:
“Somalia: Al-Shabaab Planes to Take Over Afgooye District in Lower Shabelle Region,” Raxanreeb, June 20, 2010.  Available:
[16] “Somalia: Islamist group orders Mogadishu men to grow beard,” Mareeg, June 21, 2010. Available:
[17] “Somalia: Al shabab announces plans of seizing whole Galgdud region in central Somalia,” Raxanreeb, June 20, 2010. Available: 
[18] “Somalia: Al Shabab tells will not stop its fighting in Somalia,” June 20, 2010. Available:
[19] “Somalia: Alshabab administration of Hiran region announces it will examine the medicine and food sold in Beledweyne district,” Raxanreeb, June 21, 2010. Available:
[20] “somalia: Puntland state warns Somaliland’s election to be held in Sool and Sanag regions,” Raxanreeb, June 20, 2010. Available:
[21] “Somalia: GBC radio resumes its operations,” Mareeg, June 21, 2010. Available:
[22] “Dutch Navy captures,” BNO News, June 18, 2010. Available:
[23] “Somalia: Demonstration against British hostages occurs in central Town,” Mareeg, June 19, 2010. Available:
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