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: Fighting between separatists and Yemeni security forces kills three in Dhaleh; United States grants Yemen additional development aid; UN makes cut to aid program in Yemen

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab leader releases video in support of al Qaeda in Iraq; Somali pirates seize Yemeni cargo ship; pirates move captured ships from Harardhere; Hizb al Islam pledges end to piracy in Somalia; rival militants both claim victory in fight over neighborhoods in Mogadishu; TFG and Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a sign another agreement


Yemen Security Brief

  • Three people were killed in Dhaleh in fighting between security forces and separatists. One of the dead men was a southern separatist while the other two are believed to be bystanders. Rioters in the city were protesting the government’s decision to raise fuel prices.[1]
  • The US Embassy in Sana’a signed an agreement to provide $4.66 million for development projects in Yemen. The measure is aimed at boosting Yemen’s food security in a country plagued by unrest due to famine.[2]
  • The UN’s World Food Program was finally forced to cut food aid to Yemen as funding has dwindled. The WFP has cut rations in half for Yemenis receiving aid, and officials say that the program could run out of food entirely by August.[3]


Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Mukhtar Abu Zubair, the emir of al Shabaab, released an audio statement on jihadist web forums on May 2, 2010, eulogizing two al Qaeda in Iraq leaders killed April 18, 2010 by Iraqi and US forces.  The statement called on Sunni Muslims in Iraq to avenge the deaths of Abu Omar al Baghdadi and Abu Hamza al Muhajir.  He also said that the Muslim Ummah would “never be devoid of qualified leaders who will continue the path and be your support and backup.”[4]
  • Somali pirates have hijacked a Yemeni cargo ship en route from the port of Mukalla in Hadramawt to Aden. The Yemeni coast guard indicated that the pirates are holding the ship, along with nine Yemeni sailors, hostage at a northern Somali port.[5]
  • The Hizb al Islam militants that captured Harardhere on Sunday vowed to rid Somalia of piracy completely. A leader from the group, Sheikh Mohamed Abdi Aros, said they would free any hostages or ship found. He said Hizb al Islam had not found any hostages so far.[6]
  • Following Hizb al Islam’s capture of Harardhere, pirates have moved three hijacked ships from the port to prevent them from falling into the militants’ hands. The ships are believed to be headed for Hobyo, another pirate haven north of Harardhere.[7]
  • Both al Shabaab and Ahlu Sunnu wa al Jama’a have claimed victory following intense fighting in Mogadishu. The two groups were fighting over the Hodan and Hawl-wadag neighborhoods in the capital.[8]
  • The TFG and Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a agreed to share their troops in an attempt to exert control over Somalia. The two sides struck a peace treaty last month, and have fiercely fought Islamist militants in Mogadishu and the surrounding areas.[9]





[1] “Three Dead in South Yemen Clashes, Fuel Prices Raised,” Reuters, May 3, 2010. Available:  
[2] “US Grants Yemen $4.66 Million For Development Projects,” News Yemen, May 3, 2010. Available:  
[3] “UN Food Agency Cuts Yemen Aid As Funds Dry Up,” AFP, May 4, 2010. Available:  
[4] “Leader of Shabaab Releases Audio in Support of Islamic State of Iraq,” SITE, May 4, 2010. Available:  
[5] “Somali Pirates Hijack Yemeni Cargo Ship,” Reuters, May 4, 2010. Available:  
[6] “Somali Islamists Vow to Stop Piracy, Free Hostages,” AP, May 3, 2010. Available:
[7] “Somali Pirates Move Hijacked Ships After Insurgents Seize Town,” VOA, May 3, 2010. Available:
[8] “Somalia: al Shabaab and Ahlu Sunna Claim Victory Over Fighting in Mogadishu,” Shabelle Media Network, May 4, 2010. Available:
[9] “Somalia: TFG and Ahlu Sunna Wraps Up Second Round Deal in Mogadishu,” Shabelle Media Network, May 3, 2010. Available:  


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