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: Al Qaeda releases letter on jihadist websites urging leaders of Awalik tribe to join them in their fight against the government; oil pipeline bombing in Shabwah may have been the result of a fire; President Obama speaks with President Saleh concerning air cargo security; British Home Secretary confirms that an AQAP member was arrested in Britain earlier this year

Horn of Africa: Three San Diego men arrested for giving financial support to al Shabaab; fighting among TFG troops in Mogadishu leaves three soldiers dead, six wounded; 1,000 Somali troops set to begin training in Kenya in January; Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a orders closure of transferring and telecommunications companies in Dhusamareb; Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a publically welcomes new PM; UNHCR urges Kenyan authorities to reconsider orders to refuges to return to Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

  • In response to Yemeni President Saleh’s recent attempts to get local tribal leaders to ally with the government in the fight against al Qaeda, the terrorist organization has taken a similar step to undermine the President’s efforts.  Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a letter on jihadist websites urging the leaders of the Awalik tribe to join with them in fighting against the government.  The letter warns the tribal leaders saying, “Whoever decides to stand with them [the Crusaders] and be subservient to their demands should be wary of God’s punishment.”[1]
  • Tuesday’s pipeline bombing in Shabwah governorate has caused the loss of at least 5,000 barrels of oil.  The cause of the explosion is still under investigation, although the media attributed the attack to al Qaeda yesterday.  The South Korean foreign ministry says the explosion may have been the result of a fire started by a leak in the pipeline.[2]
  • U.S. President Obama spoke with Yemeni President Saleh on the phone, urging him to increase air cargo security in Yemen.  Obama and Saleh discussed, “the global community coming together to assist Yemen in building these capabilities.”  Saleh asked Obama to press European countries to repeal decisions restricting air cargo shipments from Yemen.[3]
  • Theresa May, British Home Secretary, confirmed that an AQAP member who attempted to stage an attack in Britain was arrested earlier this year.  “An AQAP associate was arrested here earlier this year.  He is alleged to have been planning a terrorist attack in this country.  Threats such as these are likely to continue.”  May also added that al Shabaab “has aspirations beyond Somali borders” with links to al Qaeda central and AQAP.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Three men arrested earlier this week in San Diego are being charged with conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, al Shabaab, to kill in a foreign country, and other related charges.  The men, Basaaly Saeed Moalin, Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud, and Issa Doreh, coordinated fund-raising efforts in 2007 and 2008 to raise money to send to the group in Somalia.  The indictment indicated that the men had contact with Moalim Aden Hashi Ayro, the late leader of al Shabaab.  One of the men, Saeed Moalin, is accused of providing a house for al Shabaab in Somalia.[5]
  • A disagreement among TFG troops in Mogadishu concerning extortion money collected at a checkpoint in Ma’ruf neighborhood in Wadajir district left three soldiers dead and six others wounded.[6]
  • Beginning in January of 2011, 1,000 Somalis are set to undergo a nine month training program at the Bihanga Military Training School in Ibanda district in Kenya.  The recruits will be trained by the European Union and the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) in marksmanship, drills and political education.  UPDF spokesman Lt. Col. Felix Kulayigye added that at least 3,000 Somali soldiers will have been trained in Uganda by December this year.[7]
  • Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a has ordered most of the transferring and telecommunications companies in Dhusamareb to close, claiming that the owners of the businesses have withheld money that they owe Ahlu Sunna.[8]
  • Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a publically welcomed new TFG Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.  Sheikh Mahad Khalif Roble, an Ahlu Sunna security chief in Abudwaq district, said, “We believe you will succeed your mission of bringing peace to the country.”[9]
  • The UNHCR has issued a statement following orders given to the 8,000 Somali refugees in the Border Point 1 Camp in northeastern Somalia to return back to Somalia urging Kenyan authorities to repeal their demands, claiming that the situation in Somalia is too dangerous for returning refugees.  The population of the Border Point 1 Camp is made up of mostly women, children, and elderly Somalis who fled the violence in Beled Hawo in Gedo region.[10]

[1] “Yemen’s al Qaeda Warned Tribe Against Collaborating,” Reuters, November 2, 2010. Available:
“Awlak Tribesmen in AQAP Urge Support from Fellow Tribesmen,” SITE Intel Group, November 2, 2010. Available at SITE.
[2] “S. Korea Says Fire May Have Caused Yemen Oil Pipeline Explosion,” Yemen Post, November 3, 2010. Available:
[3] “Obama Calls Yemeni President Saleh to Urge Better Screening of Air Cargo,” Bloomberg, November 2, 2010. Available:
[4] “British Official Announces Arrest of al Qaeda Member This Year,” CNN, November 3, 2010. Available:
[5] “3 In Calif. Accused of Helping Somali Militants,” AP, November 2, 2010. Available:
“Three In California Charged With Aiding Somalia’s Shebab,” AFP, November 1, 2010.  Available:
[6] “Fighting Kills 3 Soldiers, Wounds 6 Others in Mogadishu,” Mareeg Online, November 3, 2010. Available:
[7] “Uganda to Train 1,000 Somalis,” The Daily Monitor, November 3, 2010. Available:
[8] “Transferring, Telecommunications Companies Closed,” Mareeg Online, November 3, 2010. Available:
[9] “Pro-Govt Ahlu Sunna Militia Welcome New PM of Somalia,” Garowe Online, November 2, 2010. Available:
[10] “UNHCR Issues Urgent Appeal to Kenya to Halt Refoulement of Somali Refugees,” UNHCR, November 3, 2010. Available:
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