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: Ansar al Sharia confirms the death of senior leader in Jaar airstrikes; the al Houthi rebels demand the end to U.S. intervention in Yemen, GPC reportedly strengthening ties with the al Houthis; jihadist comments on speech made to Saudi prisoners by AQAP official in March 2012
Horn of Africa: TFG captures Goobo village in Hiraan region; unknown gunmen assassinate Puntland Administration officials; bombs discovered in Dadaab refugee camp; EU to increase Somalia funding by 100 million Euros; foreign ministers of non-aligned countries discuss Somali issues at meeting in Egypt
Yemen Security Brief
- In a statement, Ansar al Sharia confirmed that the airstrikes on Jaar in Abyan governorate on May 10 killed senior leader, Khaldun al Sayed. A Yemeni security official reported that the airstrike that leveled a house in Jaar targeted militants who were planning terrorist acts. Furthermore, Yemeni security officials confirmed a second airstrike in the coastal town of Shaqra in Abyan governorate, which killed two militants. Yemeni news agency SABA added that Abu Hadhifa al Sana’ani, Abdul Aziz al Hujuri, and Bakil al Malki were also killed in the air raid.
- The al Houthi rebels released a statement demanding the end to U.S. intervention in Yemen on May 10. In the statement, the rebel group encouraged Yemeni authorities to explicitly note “U.S. violations” of Yemen’s sovereignty. Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh has reportedly been strengthening relations between the al Houthi rebels since he formally stepped down in February 2012. Spokesman for the General People’s Congress (GPC) Abdul Jani stated that the party needed to ally with the al Houthis after it lost regional and international support. The al Houthi-affiliated newspaper Al Hawiah reported that a relative of Saleh met with the Iranian ambassador to Sana’a. Additionally, Sa’ada locals stated that Republican Guard forces were in Sa’ada with the aim of training the al Houthi rebels.
- A jihadist posted the conclusions he drew from a speech given by Said Shihri Abu Sufyan al Azdi, the deputy leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), on a jihadist forum on May 6. The post has been “stickied,” meaning that it takes precedence over other posts on the forum board. The speech titled, “And Incline Not Toward Those Who Do Wrong,” was released in March 2012 and was directed at Saudi prisoners. The jihadist concluded that the speech highlights jihadist support for other jihadists imprisoned in Saudi Arabia and motivated them to take action. He also stated that the speech explains to the Saudi government that the detained jihadists remain steadfast and dedicated to jihadist leaders.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces captured Goobo village, about 12 kilometers northwest of Mahas in Hiraan region on May 10. A local armed militia withdrew its forces and the TFG moved in. A local TFG official stated that he expected to take Mahas within a few hours, from which al Shabaab fighters reportedly withdrew earlier the same day.
- Unknown gunmen killed two Puntland Administration officials in Boosaaso on May 10. Both officials served in the Puntland Security Force.
- Two bombs were discovered in a food store in the Hagadera camp, part of the Dadaab refugee camp complex in northeast Kenya, on May 10. The area was immediately cordoned off by Kenyan police and one bomb was detonated.
- The European Union pledged to increase its aid to Somalia by 100 million Euros. The money would go toward wages and salaries of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces.
- Foreign ministers from non-aligned countries convening in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt discussed Somalia. They stressed support for the TFG, the need for reconciliation among different parties in the country, and a resolution of current crises through dialogue.