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: 30 al Qaeda suspects arrested in Yemen; government signs new agreement with al Houthi rebels; death of imprisoned Aden suspect triggers new clashes with authorities; U.S. to repatriate Guantanamo detainee to Yemen on judge’s orders; experts defuse Sana’a road explosive belt; France applauds Yemen counterterrorism efforts and pledges support; President Saleh attends Arab summit in Libya

Horn of Africa: International observers certify Somaliland’s elections as free and fair; election observer killed in Sool region; Puntland militia raids village in Sool region, kills four; Somali PM to submit new cabinet to president; TFG soldiers, police clash in Mogadishu; Islamist militants fire mortars at Somali parliament and kill two people; U.S. court indicts Israeli man for violating Somali arms embargo; pirates hijack Singaporean-flagged ship carrying poisonous chemicals; Somali pirates say half of Chandler ransom received; Somali MPs meet with U.S. senators in Washington; al Shabaab bans consumption of certain vegetables in Hiraan region; Somali president congratulates Somaliland on successful elections  

Yemen Security Brief  

  • Authorities arrested 30 al Qaeda suspects in Aden in recent days, according to reports.  Some of the detained militants are suspected of involvement in the June 19 attack against Aden’s intelligence headquarters.[1]
  • The government and al Houthi rebels renewed the ceasefire agreement last week, according to reports.  Deputy Prime Minister Rashad al Alimi said the deal was reached in order to implement the remainder of February’s ceasefire terms.  He also called for a five-year reconciliation effort among the tribes in the far north.[2]
  • Clashes erupted between armed militants and authorities in Aden after a suspect picked up in last week’s security crackdown died.  The prisoner, Ahmed al Darwish, was detained on Thursday during protests against authorities and was suspected of involvement in the Aden intelligence headquarters attack.[3]
  • The Obama administration has agreed to repatriate a Guantanamo detainee to Yemen, despite a general ban on transfers to the country.  The detainee, Mohammed Odaini, was ordered released by a federal judge who determined he had no connection to al Qaeda.[4]
  • Authorities have defused an explosive belt discovered on the highway in Khoulan, Sana’a.[5]
  • France applauded Yemen’s counterterrorism efforts Sunday after a bilateral meeting and pledged to continue efforts to strengthen the country’s security apparatus.[6]
  • President Saleh arrived in Libya yesterday for a summit aimed at establishing an Arab States Union and improving joint Arab action.[7]
  Horn of Africa Security Brief
  • International observers said Saturday’s presidential election in Somaliland was both free and fair. Several groups noted minor issues with voter fraud and misuse of government resources, but largely agreed the election was legitimate as vote counting began.[8]
  • An election observer died near Las Anod in Sool region as sporadic violence swept Somaliland while the independent state voted Saturday.[9]
  • A Puntland militia raided a village in the disputed Sool region where Somaliland election officials were handing out ballots Saturday, killing four people.[10]
  • Somali PM Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke is expected to submit new portfolio nominations to President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed amidst a cabinet reshuffle. His nominations include more posts for members of Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a and fewer for close allies of the president.[11]
  • TFG soldiers and Mogadishu police clashed for the second time in a week in the city’s Hamar Jajab district. The fighting killed one policeman and wounded two civilians.[12]
  • Islamist militants attacked the TFG parliament with mortars when it met Saturday in Mogadishu, killing two people and wounding seven others.[13]
  • A U.S. court indicted an Israeli man on charges of attempting to buy assault weapons and sell them to the TFG in violation an arms embargo on the country.[14]
  • Somali pirates hijacked a Singaporean-flagged ship in the Gulf of Aden and took its crew of 19 hostage. The ship’s cargo included a poisonous chemical used in anti-freeze.[15]
  • The Somali pirates holding British citizens Paul and Rachel Chandler announced they have received $430,000 of the $800,000 ransom demanded.[16]
  • A group of Somali MPs, led by Ibrahim Ishak Yarow, met with U.S. senators Saturday in Washington to discuss a range of issues concerning the country.[17]
  • Al Shabaab banned the consumption of various vegetables in Hiraan region, including garlic and potatoes.[18]
  • President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed congratulated Somaliland on successfully holding peaceful elections on the nation’s 50th anniversary of independence.[19]

[1] “30 al Qaeda Suspects Arrested in Yemen,” Yemen Observer, June 28, 2010.  Available:
[2] “Government Reveals New Deal with Houthi Group,” Yemen Post, June 28, 2010.  Available:
[3] “Prisoner Death Triggers Aden Crashes after Mass Arrests over Attack,” Yemen Post, June 26, 2010.  Available:
[4] “U.S. to Repatriate Guantanamo Detainee to Yemen after Judge Orders Him to be Released,” Washington Post, June 26, 2010.  Available:
[5] “Experts Defuse Sana’a Road Explosive Belt,” Yemen Post, June 28, 2010.  Available:
[6] “France Salutes Yemeni Efforts to Counter Terrorism,” Yemen News Agency, June 27, 2010.  Available:
[7] “President Heads to Libya,” Yemen News Agency.  June 27, 2010.  Available:
[8] “Somaliland election free and fair: observers,” AFP, June 28, 2010. Available:
[9] “Somaliland election observer killed; ballots being counted,” Somaliland Press, June 27, 2010. Available:
[10] “Somaliland: 4 killed in election-day skirmish,” Somaliland Press, June 27, 2010. Available:
[11] “Somali PM to reshuffle cabinet,” Garowe, June 27, 2010. Available:
[12] “Military and police forces of the TFG exchange fire in capital,” Mareeg, June 26, 2010. Available:
[13] “Lawmakers hold their second meeting in Mogadishu,” Mareeg, June 27, 2010. Available: 
[14] “U.S. court indicts Israeli suspected of arms trade with Somalia,” Haaretz, June 28, 2010. Available:
[15] “Pirates hijack ship carrying anti-freeze chemical,” AP, June 28, 2010. Available:
[16] “British couple’s family pays ransom to Somali gang,” Mareeg, June 26, 2010. Available:
[17] “MP: we met with US  senators Washington,” Mareeg, June 26, 2010. Available:
[18] “Somalia: Al-Shabab vetoed the consumption of some vegetables,” Somaliweyn, June 28, 2010. Available:
[19] “Somali president congratulates Somalis for the 50th anniversary 26th June,” Mareeg, June 26, 2010. Available:
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