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: Yemeni government to work with local tribes to fight al Qaeda; 15 men with alleged AQAP links turn themselves in to Yemeni authorities; Interior Ministry declares all gun permits invalid; government claims Shabwah offensive a success; unidentified suicide bomber blows himself up in Taiz governorate; clashes between tribesman and government forces over employment at South Korean company

Horn of Africa: Somalia found to be world’s most corrupt country in report; two dead and three others wounded after shelling in Mogadishu; Supreme Court says PM confirmation vote to be an open vote; Somali Youth Advocacy Organization meet in Nairobi to discuss corruption in schools leading to extremist recruitment; Somaliland increases security after reports that Atom is hiding in Burao; EU NAVFOR denies involvement in altercation between helicopter and pirates; 60,000 people have been displaced due to fighting in Beled Hawo; one person killed and three injured in fighting between pirates and foreign warships

Yemen Security Brief

  • The Yemeni government has begun a new strategy of working with local tribes to track down al Qaeda operatives by paying them and providing them with weapons.  The strategy is similar to that of the “Awakening Councils” in Iraq, but some argue it could be dangerous in Yemen where tribal loyalties often shift and many tribes have strong connections with al Qaeda.  The Awlaki tribe in Shabwah governorate has been working with the government to search for al Qaeda in the surrounding mountains; tribal participants receive 100 rifle bullets and $50 a day.[1]
  • Fifteen men with suspected links to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula turned themselves in to Abyan governor Ahmed al Maisari.[2]
  • In an effort to tighten gun control, the Interior Ministry announced that all gun carry permits are invalid except for those signed personally by the minister.  Security controls and checkpoints are also being asked to increase the strictness of their gun control measures.[3]
  • After a three-day government-run campaign in the Awalik mountain chain in Shabwah governorate, the area has been declared al Qaeda free.[4]
  • An unidentified suicide bomber detonated an explosive belt in al Noor city in Taiz governorate on Monday.  The bomber was the only casualty resulting from the incident, and investigations are underway as to the identity of the bomber.[5]
  • Clashes erupted between al Dhabab and al Sari’a tribesmen and government troops in Jardan district in Shabwah governorate over employment at a South Korean petroleum company.  Tribesmen demanded that jobs at the KNOC company be given to them and proceeded to force the stoppage of operations at the site when their requests were ignored.  Although heavy weapons were employed in the clashes, there have been no reported casualties.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Transparency International’s annual political corruption report found Somalia to be the world’s most corrupt country.[7]
  • AMISOM shelling in Hawl Wadag and Wardhigley districts in Mogadishu overnight left two people dead and three others wounded.[8]
  • In response to the recent dispute over the constitutional procedure for the confirmation vote for the new PM of Somalia, the Somali Supreme Court clarified that the process is to take place in an open vote.  Parliament will convene on Wednesday to confirm the appointment of Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.[9]
  • The Somali Youth Advocacy Organization (SYAO) organized a meeting in Nairobi which was attended by 200 youth, parents, clerics and politicians to discuss how parents could prevent their children from joining al Shabaab.  SYAO places blames on the school system for inundating children with militant Islamist rhetoric and beliefs.[10]
  • A day after reports surfaced that Mohamed Said Atom is hiding in Burao in Somaliland security forces have increased the intensity of their operations.  The Burao police chief reported that they have increased searches on houses with links to al Shabaab and have arrested several suspects.[11]
  • The EU’s anti-piracy mission claims its helicopters were not involved in Sunday night’s clash with Somali pirates in which four people were killed.  A helicopter returned fire off the coast of northern Somalia after pirates shot at it.  According to the head of EU NAVFOR, he had heard no news of the U.S. or NATO being involved in the altercation.[12]
  • The UNHCR reports that 60,000 Somalis have been displaced due to recent clashes between al Shabaab and Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a in Beled Hawo.  Around 40,000 have been displaced within Somalia and 20,000 have fled across the border into Kenya.[13]
  • One person was killed and three others injured in clashes between pirates and foreign warships off the coast of Hobyo district in Mudug region.  A resident of Hobyo district said, “One pirate was killed and three fishermen were wounded during the fire exchange between the pirates and forces of the warships who attacked the pirates.”[14]

[1] “Yemen Recruits Tribesman to Hunt al-Qaida,” AP, October 25, 2010. Available:
[2] “15 Al-Qaeda Fundamentals Surrender in Abyan Province,” Yemen Post, October 26, 2010. Available:
[3] “Ministry Says All Gun Permits Invalid Expect Ones Signed by Minister,” Yemen Post, October 25, 2010. Available:
[4] “Yemen Says Shabwa’s Awalik Mountain Free from al-Qaida Militants,” Xinhua News, October 26, 2010. Available:
[5] “Anonymous Bomber Blows Self Up in Western Yemen, No Casualties,” Yemen Post, October 26, 2010. Available:
[6] “Shabwa Tribesman Fight Army Demanding Jobs in S. Korean Company,” Yemen Post, October 25, 2010. Available:
[7] “Report: Iraq, Afghanistan Among Most Corrupt,” AP, October 26, 2010. Available:
[8] “Shelling Kills Two, Injures 3 in Mogadishu,” Mareeg Online, October 26, 2010. Available:
[9] “Somali Supreme Court Clarifies Dispute Over PM Confirmation,” Hiraan Online, October 26, 2010. Available:
[10] “Somali Youth Advocacy Warn Somali Youth in Kenya the Danger of Joining Alshabaab,” Mareeg Online, October 26, 2010. Available:
[11] “Somalia: Somaliland Forces Intensify Anti-Terror Operations in Buraro,” Garowe Online, October 25, 2010. Available:
[12] “EU Denies Role in Somalia Helicopter Clash,” AFP, October 25, 2010. Available:
[13] “Fresh Fighting Displaces Some 60,000 in Somalia,” Relief Web, October 26, 2010. Available:
[14] “Somalia Pirates, Warship Clash Kills One, Injures 3 in Mudug Region,” All Voices, October 25, 2010. Available:
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