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: 17 killed and 15 more wounded in suicide car bomb in al Jawf governorate; landmine explosion in Abyan leaves one soldier dead, three injured; AQAP releases biography of 2002 suicide bomber; one soldier killed and three injured by unknown attackers in Abyan governorate

Horn of Africa: Somalia MP’s vow not to endorse PM Mohamed’s new cabinet; al Shabaab releases recruitment video for foreign fighters; Mogadishu ambulance service reports 2,100 civilians dead in Mogadishu this year; Mayor of Bandar Beyla organizes townspeople in fight against pirates; UN Security Council authorization for states to fight piracy; AMISOM commander apologizes for civilian deaths

Yemen Security Brief

  • 17 supporters of the Shiite al Houthi rebels were killed and 15 more wounded by a suicide car bomber on their way to a religious ceremony in al Jawf governorate.  Officials believe that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was behind the attack, although the group has not yet claimed responsibility.[1]
  • A landmine explosion in Lawder in Abyan governorate left one soldier dead and three others injured.  Sources believe that the mine may have been planted by al Qaeda.[2]
  • AQAP’s media arm al Malahem Foundation released a biography of Abu Khaithama al Hadrama (aka Nasser Awad Nasser Faraj al Kindi), the suicide bomber responsible for attacking the French oil tanker Limburg in October 2002 off the coast of Yemen.  This is the third part in a series of AQAP biographies called “Martyrs of the Peninsula.”[3]
  • One soldier was killed and three were injured by attackers on motorcycles in Lawder in Abyan governorate.  Officials blame al Qaeda for the attack, which took place outside of the security cordons established during the 20th Gulf Cup.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali MP’s are vowing not to endorse PM Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s new 18-member cabinet.  Mohamed’s opponents claim that he has eliminated too many ministerial positions, that he has selected politicians from outside of Somalia, and that his cabinet does not accurately represent the clan make-up of Somalia.  Lawmaker Mohamed Nurneni Bakar said, “The whole lineup lacks experience.  They have lived outside Somalia and know little about the country’s politics.  The Cabinet won’t get my vote of confidence.”[5]
  • Al Shabaab’s media network al Kata’ib Foundation released a 35-minute video entitled “And Inspire the Believers” focused on the recruitment of foreign fighters.  Foreign fighters from Britain, Sweden and Pakistan speak in the video, which has English and Swahili subtitles.  Ali Mohamed Rage opens the video by encouraging foreign fighters to come to Somalia, saying “We pledge to Allah to protect them with our blood and to carry them upon our shoulders and protect them from that which we protect ourselves and our families.”[6]
  • Lifeline Africa Ambulance Service, Mogadishu’s largest ambulance service, said 2,100 civilians have been killed this year in fighting between Islamists and TFG and AMISOM forces in Mogadishu.  Ali Muse, director of Lifeline Africa, said 80% of the dead were victims of AMISOM shelling in Bakara market.[7]
  • Mayor Said Adan Ali of Bandar Beyla in northern Somalia has mobilized the members of his small fishing town in the fight against piracy off the Somali coast.  Ali said, “We decided from the very beginning to fight these pirates because they are awfully terrible people.”  In a recent incident, 70 residents in nine boats thwarted an attempted hijacking of a fishing vessel.[8]
  • The United Nations Security Council renewed for the next 12 months its authorization for states and regional organizations to use “all necessary means” to fight piracy off the coast of Somalia.  The Security Council encouraged member-states to continue cooperating with the TFG in combating piracy.[9]
  • AMISOM Commander Gen. Nathan Mugisha apologized to the Somali people for an AMISOM attack in Mogadishu on Tuesday that left two civilians dead and seven wounded.  Mugisha reported that all troops involved in the incident were arrested and said, “We came here to help the Somali people to restore the peace and stability, but we did not come here to kill or wound any Somali.”[10]

[1] “Official: Yemen Suicide Bomber Kills 17 Shiites,” AP, November 24, 2010. Available:
[2] “Soldier Killed, Three Injured in Abyan Landmine Explosion,” Yemen Post, November 24, 2010. Available:
[3] “AQAP Releases Biography of Oil Tanker Suicide Bomber,” SITE Intel Group, November 23, 2010. Available at SITE.
[4] “Attackers on Bike Kill Soldiers, Wound Three in South Yemen,” AFP, November 23, 2010. Available:
[5] “Somali Cabinet Fight Exposes Political Paralysis,” AP, November 24, 2010. Available:
[6] "Shabaab Video Focuses on Recruitment of Foreign Fighters,” SITE Intel Group, November 23, 2010. Available at SITE.
[7] “Report: More Than 2,100 Somalis Killed this Year,” AP, November 24, 2010. Available:
[8] “Somali Mayor Leads Fight Against Pirates,” BBC News, November 24, 2010. Available:
[9] “Security Council Re-authorizes Action Against Piracy off Somali Coast,” UN News Centre, November 23, 2010. Available:
[10] “Somalia: AMISOM Takes its Apology for Civilian Deaths,” All Headline News, November 24, 2010. Available:
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