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: Report: high risk of insurgency in southern Yemen; another journalist freed from Yemeni prison; Eritrean forces seize more Yemeni boats

Horn of Africa: Kenya arrests American terror suspect and two associates; Mogadishu shelling kills 5 civilians and injures 7; Shabelle reporter jailed by Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a; Mogadishu prepares for TFG offensive; hundreds of Somali families evicted from homes near airport

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemen is now at its highest risk of an insurgency in the south since the Yemeni civil war ended in 1994, say some political analysts. Unless the Yemeni government is able to move swiftly to address the grievances of southerners, violent incidents are expected to continue to escalate.[1]
  • A day after Yemeni authorities freed the editor of an independent newspaper from prison, another journalist was also released. Mohamed al Maqaleh, the editor in chief of Yemen’s Socialist Party website, was let out of his jail sentence early due to “health and humanitarian reasons.” Journalist rights groups had accused the Yemeni government of torturing Mr. al Maqaleh while he was in jail. Mr. al Maqaleh had been held since September.[2]
  • Eritrean marine forces detained 10 Yemeni boats that strayed too close to the Eritrean coastline. The incident is the latest in a string of events involving Eritrean forces holding Yemeni fishing boats and their crews. On Wednesday, Eritrean forces returned 98 Yemeni fishermen to al Hudaydah governorate.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Chief of Kenya's anti-terrorism police arm, Nicholas Kamwende, has confirmed the arrest of terror suspect Suleman Essa, an American of Somali origin, and two associates, Canadian Ahmed Ali Hassan and Kenyan Muhammed Hussein Hash, as they attempted to fly to Somalia.[4]
  • At least 5 civilians have been killed and 7 injured as a result of recent shelling in Mogadishu. The shelling took place in the northern districts of Karan, Yaqshid, and Abdi Aziz, and in the southern Hodan district. No one has claimed responsibility for the shelling as of yet, and no fighting has resulted thus far.[5]
  • Abdikarin Ahmed Bulhan, a reporter for Shabelle, was put in prison by the Somali Islamist group Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a in the Abudaq district in the Galgudud region. Mohamud Ahmed Bulhan, the reporter’s brother, was also detained by the group. The reason for Bulhan’s arrest and his brother’s detainment have not yet been confirmed by the Islamist group.[6]
  • Mogadishu prepares as the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia is preparing to launch an offensive against Islamist insurgent forces and regain complete control of the 10 districts in Mogadishu. A high-ranking official, who requested anonymity, stated "The war will start within weeks and the plans are that way unless it’s changed,” and American warplanes will take part with neighboring countries, Kenya and Eritrea, tightening their Somali borders.[7]
  • Hundreds of Somali families are being forcibly evicted from their homes located near the Mogadishu airport. Abdulahi Hassan Barise, a Somali police spokesman, said evictions will continue until threats against Mogadishu’s main airport are eliminated. The area being targeted for eviction is a former air force base located 100 yards from the airport.[8]

[1] “Analysis: Yemen at Risk of Secessionist Insurgency in South,” Reuters, March 26, 2010. Available:
[2] “Yemen Socialist Party Editor Freed: Official,” AFP, March 25, 2010. Available:
[3] “Eritrean Marine Forces Seize 10 Yemeni Boats,” Yemen News Agency (Saba), March 26, 2010. Available:
[4] “Kenyan Police Arrest American on Terror Watch List,”, March 26, 2010. Available:
[5] “Five Killed in Fresh Shelling in Mogadishu,” Mareeg Online, March 25, 2010. Available:
[6] “Shabelle's Reporter in Central Somalia Jailed,” Shabelle Media Network, March 25, 2010. Available:
[7] “Somalia: Mogadishu Braces for Govt's Military Offensive,” Garowe Online, March 25, 2010. Available:
[8] “Hundreds of Somali Families Evicted Near Airport,” The Washington Post, March 26, 2010. Available:
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