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: LNG pipeline attacked in Shabwah governorate; jihadist post calls for attacks on Bab al Mandab and Hormuz Straits; trial of four suspect al Qaeda militants to begin Monday

Horn of Africa: TFG imposes curfew in parts of Mogadishu; at least three government soldiers wounded after landmine blast; al Shabaab spy network operating in TFG-controlled districts of Mogadishu; Somaliland forces surround 300 ONLF rebels near Ethiopian border; UN, African Union officials issue joint call for cohesion within Somali leadership; UN calls al Shabaab “serious international threat”; Danish warship disarms suspected pirates off Somali coast

Yemen Security Brief

  • Militants attempted to bomb a gas pipeline, owned by LNG, but succeeded in only causing minor damage. “At 7 a.m. today, Yemen LNG pipeline was subject to an attempt of sabotage in Shabwah, causing minor damage to the pipeline,” Yemen LNG said in a press release. “There were no injuries and the pipeline remains in operation.”  Hand grenades were thrown at the pipeline, which fell short.[1]

  • A September 11 message posted on the Tahaddi jihadist forum called for militants to focus on the Bab al Mandeb and Hormuz straits because of their commercial and military import.[2]

  • The trial of four suspected al Qaeda members, including a German, is set to begin Monday in Sana’a Monday. A judicial source reported that the prosecution found the men to be “deeply involved in planning and preparing for terrorist acts” in its investigation into their activities.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • TFG officials in the Hamar Jajab district of Mogadishu have established a curfew because of security concerns. The commissioner of Hamar Jajab said that the curfew would remain in effect until the security situation in the area improved.  There is also a curfew in Waberi district of Mogadishu.[4]

  • A landmine exploded when a government vehicle ran over it in Hodan district of Mogadishu, wounding at least three government soldiers. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.[5]

  • Spies for al Shabaab reportedly receive around $100 a month to report on TFG and AMISOM force numbers and positions.  Cells of three to eight men operate in government neighborhoods, for a total of as many as one thousand men working for al Shabaab.[6]

  • Nearly 300 suspected Ogaden National Liberation Front rebels have been surrounded by Somaliland forces near the Ethiopian border, according to Somaliland Interior Minister Mohamed Abdi Gabose. He said the rebels had arrived in Somaliland by boat and then travelled to the mountainous region which borders Ethiopia and Djibouti.  Somaliland military chief General Elmi Robleh Furur displayed items captured with some of the men: weapons, Amharic and Somali-language military training manuals, and Eritrean bank notes.[7]

  • United Nations Special Representative for Somalia Augustine Mahiga, African Union Commission for Somalia Chairperson Boubacar Diarra and Somalia Facilitator for the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Kipruto Arap Kirwa issued a statement Monday urging the TFG to remain united. “Many members of the international community have worked tirelessly to support the current administration and we know they join us in calling for the leadership of the TFIs to remain cohesive and focused on security and transitional tasks at such a critical time,” they said. “The leaders and politicians need to demonstrate their unity of purpose to show they are working together to restore peace to Somalia.”[8]

  • The United Nations warned against the growing threat of al Shabaab, calling it a “serious international threat” as it made a new appeal Monday for the TFG to end its internal disputes. Somalia will be at the center of a Security Council debate Thursday and a top level ministerial meeting in the General Assembly next week.[9]

  • A NATO-led Danish warship, part of NATO’s anti-piracy operation, found seven people aboard a suspected pirate boat some 120 miles off the Somali coast. Equipment that could be used in attacks was seized and the pirates were released.[10]

[1] “Yemen LNG pipeline was subject to sabotage attempt, says the company,” Saba Net, September 13, 2010. Available:
“Armed Militants Fail to Bomb Gas Pipeline in Yemen,” Reuters, September 13, 2010.  Available:
[2] “Jihadist Suggests Fighters Focus on Bab al-Mandeb, Hormuz Straits,” SITE Intelligence Group, September 13, 2010.  Available on SITE.
[3] “Trial of 4 al Qaeda members to begin Monday in Yemen,” Saba Net, September 14, 2010. Available:
[4] “Somali government imposes curfew to parts of Mogadishu,” Shabelle Media Network, September 14, 2010. Available:
[5] “Blast wounds 3 government soldiers in Mogadishu,” Mareeg Online, September 14, 2010. Available:
[6] “Network of Spies Threatens Somalia,” Washington Post, September 14, 2010.  Available:
[7] “Somaliland forces ‘surround ONLF rebels near Ethiopia,” BBC News, September 13, 2010. Available:
“Somaliland: Up to 300 Ethiopian Rebels Surrounded,” AP, September 14, 2010.  Available:
[8] “U.N. and Partners Issue Joint Call for Cohesion Among Somalia’s Leaders,” U.N. News Service, September 13, 2010. Available:
[9] “UN warns over growing threat from Somali militants,” AFP, September 14, 2010. Available:
[10] “Danish warship disarms suspected Somali pirate ship,” AFP, September 13, 2010. Available:
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