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: At least two people killed in Hudaydah AQAP clash; at least one person killed in Aden demonstrations; clashes kill six people in Yafie district in Lahij
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab pledges to continue jihad in face of bin Laden’s death; at least ten people killed in Garbaharey fighting; TFG President welcomes bin Laden’s death; Kenyan forces on high alert following bin Laden’s death
Yemen Security Brief
- One police officer and one al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militant were reportedly killed in Hudaydah, according to Yemeni Defense Ministry website 26sep.net. The militant, Adel al Awlaki, was reportedly trying to throw a grenade at a police car when the grenade exploded, killing Awlaki and a nearby policeman. The Yemeni Defense Ministry site reports that al Awlaki is "an affiliate" of defected General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar's First Armored Brigade.
- Protests continued in Aden. Police trying to disperse crowds fired live rounds into the air and reportedly killed a man watching from his balcony. One other woman was injured.
- Clashes in Yafie in Lahij governorate killed at least four Yemeni soldiers and two tribesmen. Reuters reports that some houses were damaged in the firefight.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Al Shabaab spokesman Mohamed Osman Arus dismissed allegations that Osama bin Laden’s death will have a debilitating effect on al Shabaab or other al Qaeda affiliates: “The Americans have previously killed other Islamist leaders...Their students will continue the jihad.” Al Shabaab also promised to “retaliate against the Americans, Israel, Europe and Christians in Somalia.” Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, a senior al Shabaab leader, similarly pledged to avenge bin Laden’s death and said that the fight against the West will not end. Aweys called on al Shabaab and al Qaeda militants to continue to attack the West.
- Ahlu Sunna and Transitional Federal Government (TFG) troops continued to clash with al Shabaab in Garbaharey in the Gedo region. At least ten people were killed and some twenty others were injured on the second day of fighting.
- TFG President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed welcomed the death of Osama bin Laden. Ahmed named al Qaeda responsible for suicide attacks in Beled Hawo and Mogadishu, and for assassinating TFG ministers. Ahmed added that "With the help of the United States and international community, the Somali army will be able to crush and dismantle the diminishing military and financial capacity" of al Shabaab. TFG Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed also welcomed the death of bin Laden. He said, “Somalia is the real victim of [Osama’s] war ideology.”
- Kenya's security forces are on high alert following the death of Osama bin Laden. Kenyan military spokesman Bogita Ongeri said, "Security forces will remain vigilant in Nairobi, Mombasa and the border with Somalia...We will remain vigilant throughout; you remember they warned of attacks recently, and now their leader has been reported killed, we will continue to strengthen our security and the intelligence gathering networks." Kenyan security forces have reportedly increased patrols and security precautions at government buildings and shopping centers throughout the country. Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki welcomed bin Laden's death as "an act of justice to those Kenyans who lost their lives and the many more who suffered injuries."