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: Tariq al Fadhli accused of cooperating with al Qaeda leader and establishing terrorist camp; Yemeni army fought al Houthi rebels near border in al Malahaidh; security forces arrested wanted man in Abyan province; tribesmen kidnap Japanese engineer north of Sana’a; Iran deploys fleet to Gulf of Aden

Horn of Africa: TFG troops maneuver in Gedo region looking to regain control; fighting in Mogadishu between Islamists and African Union troops leaves at least seven dead; Ogaden National Liberation Front denies involvement in fighting in Lower Jubba region; meeting in Nairobi between Puntland’s president and TFG officials; reports of recruiting and training of Somalis in Kenya

Yemen Security Brief

  • Security forces in Abyan report that Tariq al Fadhli may be cooperating with AQAP leader Wahashi.  The government sources report that there are new recruits under al Fadhli and that Abyan governorate  may have turned into a terrorist camp.[1]

  • Yemeni armed forces fought al Houthi rebels near the Saudi border in al Malahaidh.  The army was able to gain control of Jebel Khazaen.[2]

  • Security authorities report the arrest of Harhara, accused of attacking the security building in Khanfer district, killing a guard, and kidnapping, in Abyan governorate.  Eight other suspects were also arrested during the operation.[3]

  • Yemeni tribesmen kidnapped a Japanese engineer twelve miles north of Sana’a, demanding that in exchange for his release, the government release an imprisoned tribe member.[4]

  • Iran has dispatched its fourth fleet to the Gulf of Aden to defend Iranian merchant vessels and oil tankers from Somali pirates.  The Commander of the Navy, Amir Qaderpanah, added that Iranian commandos had been deployed to the Gulf of Aden.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • On Sunday, the Transitional Federal Government troops in the Bakool region have started to maneuver in the Dolow district of Gedo region, just south of Bakool.  Sources report that the TFG soldiers were aiming to take over parts of the region under Islamist control.  Additional military maneuvers took place in Luq and Beled-Hawo towns in Gedo.[6]

  • Fighting broke out between Islamists and African Union troops in Mogadishu Saturday night near Kulliyadda Jale Si’ad, a large base for the Burundians.  Witnesses report that the area has been reopened Sunday morning and there are no reports of civilian casualties.  Fighting resumed Sunday night, killing at least seven people and injuring eleven others.  A spokesman for the Burundian forces stated that several mortars landed inside the AU base, wounding two soldiers.  Two al Shabaab militants died in the clashes.[7]

  • The Ogaden National Liberation Front denied accusations that its militants have been involved in fighting in the Jubba region in southern Somalia.  Al Shabaab officials had issued a statement saying that the ONLF partook in the ongoing fight in Hagar village in the Lower Jubba region.[8]

  •  In Nairobi, the president of Somalia’s Puntland State government met with Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke, Somali legislators, and foreign envoys.  The officials discussed an accord that would allow both the TFG and the Puntland government to operate together under a federal umbrella.[9]

  • Sources report that Somalis in Kenya are recruited to train in military camps for an offensive to help the Somali Transitional Federal Government regain control of southern Somalia.  Spokesmen from the Kenyan government and the Somali Chief of Military Staff deny that any fighters are recruited within Kenya.[10]


[1] “Yemeni Govt. Claims Alliance Between Al-Qaeda’s Wahashi and Al-Fadhli,” Yemen Post, November 16, 2009.  Available:
[2] “Yemen Army, Shiite Rebels Clash Near Saudi Border,” AFP, November 16, 2009.  Available:
[3] “Police Arrest Wanted Man,” Saba Net, November 15, 2009.  Available:
[4] “Japanese Engineer Kidnapped By Yemen Tribesman,” AP, November 16, 2009.  Available:
[5] “Iran Sends New Fleet of Warships to Gulf of Aden,” Fars News Agency, November 14, 2009.  Available:
[6] “TFG Starts Military Movement in Southern Region,” Shabelle Media Network, November 15, 2009.  Available:
[7] “Heavy Fighting Starts in Mogadishu, Calm Returns,” Shabelle Media Network, November 15, 2009.  Available:
“Mogadishu Violence Claims Seven,” Garowe Online, November 15, 2009.  Available:
[8] “ONLF Disproves Involving Fighting in Southern Region,” Mareeg Online, November 16, 2009.  Available:
[9] “Puntland Presidents Hold Talks with PM and Foreign Envoys,” Garowe Online, November 15, 2009.  Available:
[10] “Kenyans Recruited to Fight in Somalia,” AP, November 16, 2009.  Available:
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