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: Gulf Cooperation Council nations met to discuss al Qaeda operatives relocating in Yemen; three people dead and 21 injured in grenade attack in Amran governorate; Yemeni intelligence agent knifed outside U.S. embassy in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: 19 year-old man sentenced to death by al Shabaab; PM Mohamed tours troop bases in Mogadishu; ex-governor says PM’s new cabinet will not be able to restore peace; Somali pirates demand $1 million ransom for Georgian sailors

Yemen Security Brief

  • Representatives of the member-states of the Gulf Cooperation Council met to discuss reports that top al Qaeda officials had relocated from Iran and Afghanistan to Yemen.  Officials worry that these highly experienced operatives, such as Saida al Adel, could establish stronger links between AQAP, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and al Shabaab.  Saudi Interior Minister Nayef bin Abdul Aziz claimed that AQAP had been recruiting suicide bombers for missions in Morocco.  Kuwait presented a draft agreement that would make cooperation in the fight against al Qaeda obligatory and binding.”[1]
  • Three people are dead and 21 injured after Ali Hassan Said detonated a hand grenade in the home of a sheikh in Amran governorate during a qat chewing session.  Sources indicate that the attacker had links with the al Houthi rebels.[2]
  • Colonel Ibrahim Abbas, a Yemeni intelligence agent, was seriously injured in a knife attack outside the U.S. embassy in Sana’a.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab sentenced 19 year-old Yahia Mire Mohammed was sentenced to death by firing squad for allegedly raping a 6 year-old girl.  Residents of Gal Hareeri district in Galgudud region were invited to watch the execution.[4]
  • Newly elected Prime Minister of the TFG Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed toured AMISOM and TFG troop bases in Mogadishu on Friday.  Mohamed promised that troops would be receiving their salaries on a regular monthly basis and pledged to end corruption during his time in office.  He promised “that from now henceforth you will be paid on time and no more dishonesty, the quality of the Somali armed forces will be immediately upgraded and it is you people with the mighty of Allah that can make Somalia a peaceful place.”[5]
  • Ex-governor of the Banadir region for the TFG Mohamed Omar Habeb publically denounced Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s new cabinet, saying that it would not be able to achieve peace in Somalia.[6]
  • Somali pirates are demanding a $1 million ransom be paid for the 13 Georgian sailors captured on September 7, 2010.  According to the pirates the sailors, who have not received sufficient food or water for 23 days, will be shot if the ransom is not paid.[7] 

[1] “Gulf States Hatch Plans to Fight al Qaeda,”, November 18, 2010. Available:
[2] “3 Killed, 21 Wounded as Houthi Staunch Fan Bombs Qat Session in Yemen,” Yemen Post, November 18, 2010. Available:
[3] “Yemen Intelligence Agent ‘Knifed Near US Embassy,” AFP, November 19, 2010. Available:
[4] “Al Shabaab Militants Execute Teenager for Rape,” All Headline News, November 19, 2010. Available:
[5] “Somalia: PM Framajo of Somalia Tours on Military Bases,” Somaliweyn, November 19, 2010. Available:
[6] “Ex-Governor- The New Cabinet Ministries Can Not Restore Peace, Stability of Somalia,” Mareeg Online, November 19, 2010. Available:
[7] “Somali Pirates Demand Ransom From Georgian Sailors’ Relatives,” Mareeg Online, November 19, 2010. Available:
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