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: Students and teachers protest murder of an English teacher in Sa’ada; two men arrested for alleged al Qaeda links; security forces seize al Qaeda materials in Hawta

Horn of Africa: NATO and EU see growing risk of Islamists taking part in piracy; al Shabaab burns millions of Somali shillings; merger talks between Hizb al Islam and al Shabaab temporarily on hold

Yemen Security Review

  • Hundreds of students and their teachers protested in the streets of Sa’ada on Tuesday demanding that the murderers of an English teacher, allegedly al Houthi rebels, be brought to justice and that the schools remain safe from fighting.  The head of the Educational Professions Syndicate Muhammad al Adoul gave the authorities five days to arrest the killers before educators would stop teaching in protest.[1]
  • A Yemeni man and an Arab man between the ages of 21 and 25 were arrested on Tuesday in Sa’ada for alleged links to al Qaeda.  The Interior Ministry reported that they were planning suicide attacks on domestic infrastructure.[2]
  • Yemeni security forces seized CDs and videos concerning al Qaeda’s death industry as they continued to search the town of Hawta in Shabwah governorate, recently cleared of al Qaeda militants.  Security forces also found military and special forces uniforms, empty ammunition bags, and a notebook containing contacts’ cell phone numbers.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Review

  • NATO and European Union senior officials reported that there is an increased likelihood that Islamists and militants may partake in Somalia’s piracy industry.  “Basic logic suggests that the more money there is, the more appealing and interesting it would become for funding Al Shabaab and others,” said commander of EU Naval forces in Somalia Major General Buster Howes.[4]
  • Al Shabaab militants set fire to about 10 million Somali shillings (US$322.58) in a square in Kuntuwaary district in Lower Shabelle region on Tuesday, reported residents.  Sheikh Mohammed Abu Abdalla, al Shabaab’s regional chairman, warned a gathering crowd against using the new shillings printed by the TFG and said that “a suitable step will be taken against anyone who is seen having used it.”  Al Shabaab continues to destroy government currency in areas under its control.[5]
  • Merger talks between Hizb al Islam and al Shabaab are temporarily on hold, but  Hizb al Islam leader, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, said that talks will resume.  He added, “It is not so important to mention the reason for the current standstill or the bone of contention but I hope we shall reach comprehensive agreement, whether it takes a short while or a long time.”  Aweys also commented on recent high-level meetings sponsored by the UN and the International Contact Group for Somalia saying, “Meetings in New York and Madrid about Somalia sponsored by UN and the Somali Contact group are against the actual desire of the Somali people. . . . So we condemn the outcome of the conferences particularly the support of AMISOM and deployment of further AU troops because AMISOM’s presence will not bring any solution to Somalia’s situation.”[6]

[1] “Saada Students and Educators Protest Murder of Teacher by Houthis,” Yemen Post, September 28, 2010. Available:
[2] “Yemeni and Arab Arrested in Saada in Suspicion of Having Links with Al-Qaeda,” Yemen Post, September 28, 2010. Available:
[3] “CDs and Qaeda Videos About Death Industry Seized in Shabwa,” Saba Net, September 29, 2010. Available:
[4] “NATO and EU See Rising Risk of Piracy Militant Link,” Reuters, September 28, 2010. Available:
[5] “Al Shabaab Burns Millions of Somali Shillings,” All Headline News, September 29, 2010. Available:
[6] “Somali Rebel Merger Talks Halt but Will Go On: Leader,” Reuters, September 29, 2010. Available:
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