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 (AQAP) issues statement naming 55 security officers in Abyan governorate; AQAP releases photo series of attacks in Abyan; Yemeni President Saleh gives speech on Eid al Fitr
Horn of Africa: At least 20 more people killed in Mogadishu; al Shabaab may take up piracy to finance group; AMISOM says that attack on airport will not deter it from mission; Kenya reiterates pledge to host refugees
Yemen Security Brief
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula issued a statement that threatened to kill 55 policemen in Abyan governorate. The statement was distributed in Abyan’s capital, Zinjibar, and named the officials, 31 of whom are state security officers, 15 are members of the judiciary police, and nine are military intelligence officers. AQAP called on the policemen to “repent in public at Zinjibar mosque following Friday prayers or be killed.” The authenticity of the statement has not been verified.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula released six undated photographs depicting militant attacks on military bases in Abyan governorate. The picture series is titled, “Pictures of the Victories of the Mujahideen in Abyan.” Most show burning government vehicles.
President Ali Abdullah Saleh said in an address on Eid al Fitr, “Everyone should counter and fight strongly and continuously those terrorist elements . . . and dry their intellectual and financial sources in addition to dismantle their terrorist cells and pursuit their elements in all areas of their presence. It is not only the task of security personnel and the army forces, but it is the task of all Yemenis.” Saleh also called for participation in the national dialogue process to preserve the unity of the country.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
Radio Garowe reports that at least 20 people were killed and dozens more injured in Mogadishu. The government claims that troops attacked rebel militias and killed militants; however, al Shabaab spokesman Abdi Aziz Abu Mus’ab denies the death of any al Shabaab fighter.
Al Shabaab’s Sheikh Mahad, a senior official in the southern port city of Kismayo, said, “America is our enemy . . . We have to retaliate against them by sea or by land,” as he called on militants to join in a “sea jihad.” TFG Information Ministry spokesman Abdirisaq Qaylow said that the group has been “directly using the pirates” for funding. Reports say that five months ago, al Shabaab commanders met to discuss the group’s funding, and proposed launching the group’s own raids.
The coordinated attack Thursday morning on Aden Adde International Airport in Mogadishu killed up to 14 people, according to the Associated Press, or at least 25 people, according to local sources. Reports say that two to four suicide bombers ran out of the second vehicle and were stopped within 200 meters of the terminal building, where they exploded their vests. The AMISOM spokesman, Major Barigye Bahoku, said that two AU soldiers and four Somali police officers were killed, along with three civilians and at least five al Shabaab militants. Bahoku said, “The Airport is a very high profile target and we always expect an attempt of sabotage here. This attack was in vain and will not deter us from our mission.”
Kenyan Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka assured that Kenya will continue to host refugees from surrounding nations, including Somalia. The Kenyan Department of Immigration reports that over 5,000 Somali refugees enter the country every month and enter the Daadab refugee camp near the border.