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: Saudi physician and his family released after tribal negotiations

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab details execution of two teenagers in Mogadishu; 10 dead and 20 wounded after fighting in Mogadishu; Ugandan AMISOM commander says al Shabaab is losing ground in Mogadishu; al Shabaab responsible for killing Puntland attorney; UN Security Council renewed aid exemption to arms embargo; pirate pleads guilty of attacking U.S. naval ship, receives 30 years

Yemen Security Brief

  • A day after Dhafer Shahrani and his family were kidnapped by the al Ubada tribe in northern Yemen, elders from the Waela tribe were able to negotiate their release.  Al Ubada tribesmen kidnapped Shahrani in order to pressure the government to release Abdullah Hussein Ubada, who is currently being held for alleged links to al Qaeda.  Waela tribesmen promised to speak with the government on the issue of releasing Ubada from custody.[1]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab issued a statement on jihadist forums on November 26, 2010 detailing the public execution of two teenage boys by firing squad in northern Mogadishu, one for spying and one for committing rape.  Al Shabaab spokesmen claim that both men confessed to the crimes.  The executions took place on November 22, 2010.[2]
  • Fighting between al Shabaab and TFG and AMISOM troops in Mogadishu killed at least 10 people and wounded at least 20 others.  The fighting occurred in Hodan, Hawl Wadag, Bondhere, Abdul Aziz and Shibis districts.[3]
  • Commander of the Ugandan contingent of the AMISOM force Col. Michael Ondoga says that AMISOM and the TFG are increasing their control of Mogadishu, currently holding 50% of the territory.  Ondoga says, “This is the largest share ever enjoyed by the government since AMISOM came to Mogadishu three years ago.”  Ondoga says their next goal is to capture Bakara market, but in order to do this AMISOM will need many more troops.[4]
  • Al Shabaab militants are responsible for killing Puntland attorney Lt. Col. Abdullahi Jama Shirwac, according to Mohamed Hassan, attorney general of Boosaaso in Bari region.  Puntland security officials are currently searching for the men responsible for the murder.[5]
  • The UN Security Council renewed the exemption of humanitarian aid from the arms embargo currently applied to Somalia.  The exemption, enacted on March 19, 2010, makes it easier for aid organizations to deliver supplies and assistance to the Somali people.[6]
  • Jama Idle Ibrahim, one of the six men being charged with attacking a U.S. navy ship this April, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.[7]

[1] “Elders Release Saudi Family in Northern Yemen,” Yemen Post, November 30, 2010. Available:
[2] “Shabaab Publically Executes Accused Rapist, Spy,” SITE Intel Group, November 29, 2010. Available at SITE.
[3] “Fighting Leaves About 10, Injuries More than 20 in Mogadishu,” Mareeg Online, November 30, 2010. Available:
[4] “Somali Militants Lose More Territory,” New Vision, November 29, 2010. Available:
[5] “Attorney General: Al-Shabab had Killed the Court Representative of Bosaso Town,” Mareeg Online, November 30, 2010. Available:
[6] “Somalia: Security Council Maintains Exemption of Aid Delivery from Embargo Monitoring,” UN News Centre, November 29, 2010. Available:
[7] “Somali Sentenced to 30 Years for U.S. Warship Attack,” Reuters, November 29, 2010. Available:
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