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 in the Arabian Peninsula released an audio speech from Ibrahim Suleiman al Rubaish; protest broke out in Buraika city over authorities’ refusal to release detainees; security guard who killed the Frenchman may have acted for personal and criminal reasons

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab reportedly closed Kenyan border; Somali pirates seized Taiwanese fishing vessel off coast of Madagascar; al Shabaab militants desert strategic central town of Beledweyne; Puntland security forces detained ten in connection with Boosaaso violence

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula released an audio speech delivered by Ibrahim Suleiman al Rubaish on October 7.  In it, Rubaish gives a eulogy for Zayed al Daghari al Awlaki, who was killed in a raid in Shabwah governorate on July 24 this year.  Daghari’s death had been announced on August 7, along with the death of Usama Ahmed Ali Hifadhullah al Sana’ani.  Rubaish said, “So rise and die for what he died.  There is no good in life if it is reined by humilitation and controlled by fools.  Rise and be free… Seek Allah’s help, be angry for the faith of Allah, and know that the Ummah is facing a humiliation that will only be removed with the death of a mujahid vanguard that offers its blodd in seeking Allah’s satisfaction.”[1]
  • A protest broke out in al Buraika city in Aden at the al Shaab football club on Wednesday night.  The people were protesting the unresponsiveness of the authorities to their demands to release detainees held in connection with criminal charges.  The police were forced to break up the crowd with tear gas and live ammunition.[2]
  • The Yemeni Defense Ministry reported that Hashin Mohammed Assem, the security guard who shot dead a Frenchmen on Wednesday, may have acted for personal and criminal reasons.  The ministry reported, “It is probable that the murder of the Frenchman…was for personal reasons and that it was of a criminal nature.”[3]

Horn of African Security Brief

  • Residents report that al Shabaab has closed Somalia’s southern border with Kenya.  Aden Sheikh, a transporter in the town of Dhobley, said, “They have brought in a lot of their militia since yesterday and have issued a threatening message that no one should enter from Kenya.”[4]
  • In their southernmost hijacking to date, Somali pirates have seized a Taiwanese fishing vessel with 14 crew onboard.  The attack occurred 270 miles east of Madagascar, far outside of the area that the European Union Naval Force in Somalia patrols.[5]
  • Al Shabaab militants have deserted Beledweyne in central Somalia.  The reasons for al Shabaab’s withdrawal are unclear, but it did occur as more Ethiopian troops entered Somalia in the Hiraan region and others say that it may have something to do with the reported rift among the al Shabaab leadership.[6]
  • Puntland security forces have detained ten suspects in connection with the recent outbreak of violence in Boosaaso.  One soldier was killed in the Boosaaso market and eight soldiers were wounded by a roadside bomb in the last 24 hours.[7]

[1] “AQAP Member Gives Euology for Zayed al Daghari,” SITE Intelligence Group, October 8, 2010.  Available on SITE.
[2] “Angry Protesters Damage Cup Stadium in Southern Yemen,” Yemen Post, October 7, 2010. Available:
[3] “Yemen Killing of Frenchman was for ‘Personal’ Reasons,” AFP, October 8, 2010. Available:
[4] “AU Peacekeepers Gaining Ground in Somali Capital,” Reuters, October 7, 2010.  Available:
[5] “Somali Pirates ‘Seize Taiwanese Ship off Madagascar’,” BBC, October 8, 2010. Available:
[6] “Al Shabaab Militants Desert Strategic Town as Leadership Feud Reported,” All Headline News, October 7, 2010. Available:
[7] “Somalia’s Puntland Forces Apprehend 10 After Violence Outbreak,” All Headline News, October 7, 2010. Available:
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