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: Alleged U.S. drone strike kills two AQAP militants; AQAP attack in Zinjibar kills at least nine people; wanted al Qaeda militant surrenders to Saudi security forces

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab executed two men in Baidoa on charges of espionage; al Shabaab’s Khalaf denies rumors of death; at least four killed in al Shabaab grenade attack; TFG declares state of emergency; Kenyan security officials strengthened security around Obama’s grandmother

Yemen Security Brief

  • Two reported al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants were killed in a strike on their car in Nissab in Shabwah governorate. Reports allege the strike came from a U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Local security and tribal sources report that a U.S. drone targeted an unidentified Saudi AQAP leader who was visiting two AQAP militants. The missile missed and killed the two militants, brothers Abdullah and Mubarak al Harad, as they attempted to escape in a car. The Yemeni Defense Ministry confirmed the death of the al Harad brothers but did not elaborate. Locals claim that the two brothers were not linked to al Qaeda. A third person was reported to have been injured.[1]
  • At least nine people were killed and over twenty others were wounded in an explosion in Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan governorate. AQAP militants attacked a Yemeni military vehicle passing a qat market. The explosion killed four soldiers and one policeman. The surviving soldiers responded by opening fire, killing four civilians and wounding more than twenty others.[2]
  • Khaled Hathal Abdullah al Atifi al Qahtani, one of the most wanted men in Saudi Arabia's terror list, reportedly turned himself over to Saudi authorities, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Major General Mansour al Turki. Al Qahtani's surrender "will be taken into consideration" by Saudi authorities in any legal action.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants executed two men in Baidoa in the Bay region on charges of espionage. An al Shabaab spokesman said, “The two men were here to spy for Ethiopians, Kenya and TFG against the Mujahidin movements as they confessed their guilty so the court sentences them for executions."[4]
  • Sheikh Fu’ad Mohamed Khalaf, a senior al Shabaab commander reportedly killed in a clash on May 4, dismissed rumors of his death: "I am not dead I will die only when Allah takes my soul."[5]
  • At least three soldiers were killed, and three others were injured when al Shabaab militants threw a grenade at a Transitional Federal Government (TFG) military base outside Mogadishu. TFG troops reportedly returned fire with heavy machine guns, killing one civilian.[6]
  • The TFG declared a "state of high alert across the country" after receiving "intelligence of possible revenge attack [sic] from al-Qaeda and their allied Al-Shabaab [sic]," according to spokesman Eng. Abdurrahman Omar Osman Yarisow.[7]
  • Kenyan security officials in Nairobi increased security around President Barack Obama's grandmother, Sarah Obama, after receiving intelligence that al Shabaab intends to assassinate her.[8]

[1] Ahmed al Haj, "Suspected US missile kills 2 militants in Yemen," AP, May 5, 2011. Available:
Fawaz al Haidari, "US drone 'kills two in attack on Saudi Qaeda chief'," AFP, May 5, 2011. Available:
[2] Ahmed al Haj, "Blast kills 9 in Yemen, including 5 soldiers," AP, May 4, 2011. Available:
"Six Soldiers Killed and Eight Wounded in Abyan Province," Yemen Post, May 4, 2011. Available:
Shuaib M. al-Mosawa, "Al-Qaeda in Yemen kills military, attacks headquarters," Yemen Observer, May 4, 2011. Available:
Fawaz al-Haidari, "US drone 'kills two in attack on Saudi Qaeda chief'," AFP, May 5, 2011. Available:
[4] Malyun Ali, "SOMALIA: Al-Shabab executes two men in southern town ‘for spying,’" RBC, May 4, 2011. Available:
[5] Malyun Ali, "SOMALIA: Senior Al-Shabab officer dismisses his death," RBC, May 4, 2011. Available:
[6] "Somalia: Bomb blast kills three government soldiers," Garowe Online, May 4, 2011. Available:
[7] Abdalle Ahmed, "SOMALIA: Transitional government declares state of high alert," RBC, May 5, 2011. Available:
[8] Abdalle Ahmed, "Somalia: Kenya says Al-Shabab will kill President Obama’s grandmother," RBC, May 5, 2011. Available:
View Citations
Arrow down red
Jun '11
May '11
Apr '11