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 militant pledges to avenge Osama bin Laden’s death; Saleh postpones GCC transition talks “to an indefinite date”

Horn of Africa: Ethiopian National Security Affairs Advisor says bin Laden’s death “may weaken al Shabaab;” al Shabaab fighters ambush TFG troops in Gedo; TFG troops ready to rout al Shabaab in Jubba “within a week;” al Shabaab fighters arrest 16 farmers in Bal’ad; two soldiers killed in Afgoi corridor and Boosaaso; TFG president promises to reward military performance

Yemen Security Brief

  • An individual reported to be an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader in Abyan governorate pledged to avenge the death of Osama bin Laden: “We will take revenge for the death of our Sheikh Osama bin Laden and we will prove this to the enemies of God…They will see what they haven’t expected…We are preparing a plan to continue jihad in the coming period.” The militant added that “The martyrdom of Sheikh Osama does not mean that jihad (holy war) will end.”[1]
  • President Ali Abdullah Saleh postponed resuming GCC transition talks "to an indefinite date." Saleh asked GCC Secretary-General Abdul Latif al Zayani to delay his official visit to Sana'a to restart transition talks. Zayani said, “Yemen cannot endure more weeks of protests…It should end soon or else the country’s economy and security will crash.” Russian diplomats met with senior Yemeni officials and opposition leaders to try to help restart transition talks. [2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Ethiopian National Security Affairs Advisor Tsegay Berhe reportedly said that Osama bin Laden’s death “may weaken al Shabaab.” Berhe added that al Qaeda extends “financial and technical” aid to al Shabaab.[3]
  • Al Shabaab fighters ambushed a Transitional Federal Government (TFG) military convoy near Maykarebay in the Gedo region. At least eight people were reportedly killed. Mohammed Abdi Kalil, the TFG governor of Gedo, reported that TFG troops had killed at least ten al Shabaab militants, including top al Shabaab official Sheikh Fu'ad Mohammed Khalaf. Independent sources reported that Abdirashid Janan, the TFG commissioner for the Dolow district, was injured in the ambush.[4]
  • TFG troops are preparing to push al Shabaab out of the Jubba regions "within a week," said TFG military spokesman Mohamed Farah Dahir.[5]
  • Al Shabaab fighters arrested 16 farmers in the town of Bal'ad in the Middle Shabelle region. The farmers reportedly failed to make a mandatory 400,000 Somali shilling donation to al Shabaab's war coffers.[6]
  • Two explosions rocked the Afgoi corridor and Boosaaso, respectively. Two soldiers were injured in the Afgoi corridor explosion. A police officer in Puntland said that the explosion in Boosaaso targeted civilians and police personnel.[7]
  • TFG President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed promised TFG troops "prestigious and precious prizes" for excellence in combatant against al Shabaab forces. Ahmed added, "I would like fighting to be redoubled."[8]

[1] “Yemen’s Qaeda vows to avenge bin Laden,” AFP, May 4, 2011. Available:
[2] "GCC awaits Saleh signal to revive Yemen plan," AP, May 3, 2011. Available:
Ahmed al Haj, "Yemen ruler asks Gulf mediator to delay visit," AP, May 3, 2011. Available:
"Opposition to Meet Russian Delegation as Crisis Deepens in Yemen," Yemen Post, May 3, 2011. Available:
Donna Abu-Nasr, “Yemen in Danger of Collapse If Pact Not Signed, Eryani says,” Bloomberg, May 4, 2011. Available:
[3] William Davison, “Bin Laden’s Death Could Weaken al-Shabaab in Somalia, Walta Center Reports,” Bloomberg, May 4, 2011. Available:
[4] "8 slain as Al shabaab ambushes Somali military convoy," Shabelle Media Network, May 3, 2011. Available:
[5] "Somali govt threatens to capture Jubba regions in a week," Shabelle Media Network, May 3, 2011. Available:
[6] "Al shabaab arrests farmers in southern Somalia," Shabelle Media Network, May 3, 2011. Available:
[7] Malyun Ali, "SOMALIA: Explosions rock Mogadishu, Bosasso," RBC, May 3, 2011. Available:
"Somalia: Puntland police talks about heavy blast in Bosaso," Shabelle Media Networks, May 4, 2011. Available:
[8] "Somali president meets with officials from army, AMISOM," Shabelle Media Network, May 3, 2011. Available:
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