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: Al Qaeda video names new AQAP commander, confirms death of three militants; northern tribesmen bomb second pipeline, truce off

Horn of Africa: Standoff between Somali president, PM continues; TFG defense minister survives assassination attempt; mortars kill three in Mogadishu; Somali parliament elects new speaker; Hizb al Islam leader Aweys calls for Islamist unity against TFG; hostage British couple appeals to new PM for ransom; UN agency: 17,000 displaced in Mogadishu in May

Yemen Security Brief

  • An al Qaeda tape released Friday named a new AQAP commander, Saudi national and former Guantanamo Bay inmate, Uthman Ahmed al Ghamdi. Saudi Arabia added him to its most wanted list early last year. The tape also confirmed the deaths of Abdullah al Mihdhar, Mohammed Amir al Awlaki, and Mohammed Saleh al Kazimi.[1]
  • Ma’rib tribesmen bombed another oil pipeline in retaliation for the botched airstrike that killed one of their kinsmen earlier this week. They had agreed to a truce Thursday pending a government investigation of the incident.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke has not changed his position and will not resign his premiership despite reports that the president once again plans to replace him.[3]
  • TFG defense minister Indo Adde survived a second assassination attempt in Mogadishu when a roadside bomb targeted his vehicle. Three civilians died in the blast, but none of the government officials sustained injuries.[4]
  • Mortar shelling killed three civilians in Mogadishu’s Yaqshid district Thursday, but no group claimed responsibility for the attacks.[5]
  • The Somali parliament elected former finance minister Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan as its new speaker Friday.[6]
  • Hizb al Islam leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys called for unity among Islamist groups in opposition to their common enemy, the TFG.[7]
  • A British couple kidnapped by pirates and held in Somalia appealed to the new British government Thursday to pay their ransom and secure their release.[8]
  • The UN refugee agency reported that fighting in Mogadishu forced over 17,000 Somalis to flee their homes in May, but most are unable to leave the city.[9]

[1] “Yemen Al Qaeda video announces a new leader,” Reuters, May 28, 2010. Available:
[2] “Yemen armed tribesmen bomb another oil pipeline,” Xinhua, May 28, 2010. Available:
[3] “Somali leaders’ feud deepens as PM refuse to step down,” Garowe, May 26, 2010. Available:
[4] “Somalia: Minister survives second assassination attempt,” Mareeg, May 28, 2010. Available:
[5] “Somalia: Three civilians killed in Mogadishu killing,” Mareeg, May 27, 2010. Available:
[6] “Somalia: Former finance minister elected as speaker,” Mareeg, May 28, 2010.  Available:
[7] “Somalia: Islamist Leader Urges Unity,” Daily Nation, May 27, 2010. Available:
[8] “Somalia hostage couple appeal to government,” AFP, May 27, 2010. Available:
[9] “UN: over 17,000 Somalis uprooted in capital in May,” AP, May 28, 2010. Available:
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