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: AQAP leader pledges “greater and worse” attacks against the U.S.; at least three protestors killed in protest violence in Taiz, opposition promises escalation; at least one soldier killed by unidentified gunmen in Dhamar; at least four tribesmen wounded in bombing north of Sana’a; GCC urges all parties to sign transition plan agreement
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab captures Galgala, kills 14 people; at least three people killed in Ras Kamboni-al Shabaab clash; roadside bombings in Mogadishu kill at least one person; Lower Shabelle al Shabaab spokesman pledges exact revenge for bin Laden’s death; U.S. embassy condemns TFG decision
Yemen Security Brief
- Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader Nasser al Wahayshi released a eulogy on Osama bin Laden's death: "Let the Americans know that the ember of jihad is glowing brighter than it was during the life of the Sheikh...do not think of the battle with this superficiality and trick your fool that if you kill Usama the matter will be over. What is coming is greater and worse, and what is awaiting you is more intense and harmful. At that time you will bite the fingers of regret and pray mercy for the days of the Sheikh."
- Nationwide protests and general strikes continued. At least three protestors were killed and five others were wounded in Taiz when security forces and snipers fired on demonstrators. Two protestors were wounded by live rounds in Aden. Opposition youth leaders and the Joint Meeting Parties, Yemen's opposition bloc, released a statement detailing plans to march on the President Ali Abdullah Saleh's palace on May 17.
- Unidentified gunmen attacked central security headquarters in Dhamar. At least one soldier was killed and two others were wounded in the attack. Official sources named a sheikh connected to the JMP as responsible for the attacks.
- At least four tribal militants were wounded north of Sana'a when Yemeni fighter jets bombed the area. The tribesmen were trying to prevent a Republican Guard convoy from reaching Hadramawt governorate. Hours after the bombing, Republican Guard troops agreed not to travel to Hadramawt.
- The GCC released a statement urging "all parties in Yemen to sign the [transition plan] agreement, which is the best way out of the crisis, and spare the country further political division and deterioration of security."
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Militants under the command of Sheikh Mohamed Said Atom, who is connected to al Shabaab, launched a surprise attack on Galgala in Puntland, forty kilometers away from Boosaaso. Atom’s forces captured Galgala. A Puntland official reported that at least 14 people were killed and twenty others were injured.
- Ras Kamboni troops clashed with al Shabaab militants near Dhobley in the Lower Jubba region. At least three people were reportedly killed and dozens more people were injured. A Ras Kamboni spokesman claimed that they had repulsed the al Shabaab attack.
- Two roadside bombings in Mogadishu killed at least one person and injured seven others. Transitional Federal Government (TFG) Dharkenley district commissioner Moallim Abdulle was wounded in the attack. Abdulle named al Shabaab responsible for the bombings.
- Sheikh Mohammed Abu Abdalla, the leader of al Shabaab in the Lower Shabelle Region, pledged to exact revenge for Osama bin Laden's death. Abdalla distributed more than a hundred assault rifles to militants and said that al Shabaab will target TFG and AMISOM troops in Mogadishu and across Somalia.
- The U.S. embassy in Nairobi, Kenya released a statement condemning the TFG's decision to bar over forty parliamentarians from travelling to Nairobi: "The United States expresses its concern about the Transitional Federal Government’s (TFG) decision to prevent more than 40 Somali parliamentarians, including MPs who are American citizens, from leaving Mogadishu on May 9, 2011...The United States reminds the TFG of the commitment it made to the United Nations Security Council to enhance reconciliation and complete the transitional tasks which include completing the constitutional process that will end the transitional period." The TFG has since given the parliamentarians permission to depart for Nairobi.