Below are the takeaways for the week:
- Protests over the Iranian regime’s marginalization of ethnic Arab communities may pose an internal security threat if they continue to spread. Iranian Arabs took to the streets on March 29 in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, and protests later spread to surrounding towns and cities. Security forces quickly deployed to confront protesters and reportedly arrested dozens.
- Hamza Bin Laden, the son of Osama Bin Laden, introduced a new line of argument for the overthrow of the House of al Saud, continuing his ascent in al Qaeda’s leadership. Hamza deemed the Saudi regime “ineligible” for its failure to defend Islam’s holy sites against internal and external threats, probably a reference to the threat Saudi Arabia now faces from Yemen. He called for the people of the Arabian Peninsula to revolt and voiced support for al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen.
- Al Shabaab contested recent Somali Federal Government (SFG) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) gains in south-central Somalia. Al Shabaab militants conducted five simultaneous attacks on security positions in Lower Shabelle region on April 1. The attacks occurred amid a political crisis in the Somali parliament that has drawn the SFG’s focus away from counter-al Shabaab efforts on the outskirts of the capital.