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: AQAP releases audio recording criticizing Saleh’s pledge to apply shari’a law in Yemen; Interior Ministry advises Abyan governorate’s security office to heighten alerts; 19 suspects arrested in connection with Aden bombings; France advises nationals to leave Yemen; Italian ambassador meets with Yemeni Interior Minister to discuss security cooperation

Horn of Africa: AMISOM denies that they are distributing HIV-infected medicine; al Shabaab militants arrest five elders in Bakool region; 12 killed in Mogadishu, AU will discuss changing AMISOM’s mandate

Yemen Security Brief

  • A shari’a official for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Abu al Zubeir Adil al Abab, criticized Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s promise to implement shari’a in Yemen in speech released by AQAP’s media arm, al Malahem Foundation.  He said, “we still emphasize that [Saleh’s] claim is a farce” intended to “absorb the anger of the march of millions by placing Shariah as the only source in form and not truth.”  He added that “our jihad will continue until the faith of Allah is applied and the law in effect is that of Allah, not the law of Ali Salih.”[1]
  • The Yemeni Interior Ministry decreed that Abyan governorate’s security office should raise the security alert and to move quickly against anyone attempting to execute attacks.[2]
  • Yemeni security forces arrested 19 suspects, most of whom are believed to have al Qaeda connections, Tuesday for alleged involvement  in the bombing of a sports club in Aden that killed three people.  Officials reported that this attack will not affect plans to hold the 20th Gulf Football Championship in the area.[3]
  • A day after Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh met with French President Nicholas Sarkozy in Paris to discuss security matters, France told all partners and children of its nationals in Yemen to leave the country due to security concerns.  Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said, “This is a temporary precautionary measure taken in coordination with the main French companies present.”  There are around 840 French nationals living in Yemen.[4]
  • Yemeni Interior Minister Mutahar al Masri and Italian Ambassador to Yemen Alessandro Fallavollita met on Wednesday in Sana’a to discuss continued security cooperation and coordination between the two countries, focusing on the coastguard, illegal migration and training of security forces.  Fallavollita confirmed Italy’s willingness to assist Yemen’s security agencies.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • AMISOM spokesman Major Barigye Bahuko denied al Shabaab’s allegations that AMISOM distributed HIV-infected medicine to civilians in Somalia.[6]
  • Al Shabaab militants arrested five elders in Hudur in Bakool region for alleged links with TFG forces.  Locals have called on the extremists to release the elders unconditionally, claiming that they have no link to the government.[7]
  • Twelve people, mostly civilians, were killed in fighting between TFG and insurgent forces in Mogadishu near the Bakara market.  Ministers of foreign affairs and the members of the AU Peace and Security Commission have decided to consider extending AMISOM’s mandate to include offensive action.  They will meet on October 15 in Addis Ababa.[8]


[1] “AQAP Shariah Official Criticizes Yemeni President’s Shariah Pledge,” SITE Intelligence Group, October 12, 2010. Available:

[2] “Yemen to Tighten Security in Abyan,” Saba Net, October 13, 2010. Available:
[3] “Yemen Blast Raises Fear Ahead of Tournament,” Al Arabiya News, October 12, 2010. Available:
[4] “France Tells Nationals to Evacuate Families from Yemen,” AFP, October 13, 2010. Available:
[5] “Yemen, Italy Discuss Security Cooperation,” Saba Net, October 13, 2010. Available:
[6] “AMISOM Disproves Accusations that they Provide Infected Medicine to Somalis,” Mareeg Online, October 13, 2010. Available:
[7] “Al Shabaab Apprehends Local Elders in Somalia,” All Headline News, October 12, 2010. Available:
[8] “Somalia: Fighting in Mogadishu, Talks to Change AMISOM Mandate,” Reliefweb, October 12, 2010. Available:
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