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Gulf of Aden Security Review - May 11, 2012

Critical Threats
Friday, May 11, 2012

Yemen: Ansar al Sharia confirms the death of senior leader in Jaar airstrikes; the al Houthi rebels demand the end to U.S. intervention in Yemen, GPC reportedly strengthening ties with the al Houthis; jihadist comments on speech made to Saudi prisoners by AQAP official in March 2012

Horn of Africa: TFG captures Goobo village in Hiraan region; unknown gunmen assassinate Puntland Administration officials; bombs discovered in Dadaab refugee camp; EU to increase Somalia funding by 100 million Euros; foreign ministers of non-aligned countries discuss Somali issues at meeting in Egypt

Yemen Security Brief

In a statement, Ansar al Sharia confirmed that the airstrikes on Jaar in Abyan governorate on May 10 killed senior leader, Khaldun al Sayed. A Yemeni security official reported that the airstrike that leveled a house in Jaar targeted militants who were planning terrorist acts. Furthermore, Yemeni security officials confirmed a second airstrike in the coastal town of Shaqra in Abyan governorate, which killed two militants. Yemeni news agency SABA added that Abu Hadhifa al Sana’ani, Abdul Aziz al Hujuri, and Bakil al Malki were also killed in the air raid.[1]

The al Houthi rebels released a statement demanding the end to U.S. intervention in Yemen on May 10. In the statement, the rebel group encouraged Yemeni authorities to explicitly note “U.S. violations” of Yemen’s sovereignty. Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh has reportedly been strengthening relations between the al Houthi rebels since he formally stepped down in February 2012. Spokesman for the General People’s Congress (GPC) Abdul Jani stated that the party needed to ally with the al Houthis after it lost regional and international support. The al Houthi-affiliated newspaper Al Hawiah reported that a relative of Saleh met with the Iranian ambassador to Sana’a. Additionally, Sa’ada locals stated that Republican Guard forces were in Sa’ada with the aim of training the al Houthi rebels.[2]

A jihadist posted the conclusions he drew from a speech given by Said Shihri Abu Sufyan al Azdi, the deputy leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), on a jihadist forum on May 6. The post has been “stickied,” meaning that it takes precedence over other posts on the forum board. The speech titled, “And Incline Not Toward Those Who Do Wrong,” was released in March 2012 and was directed at Saudi prisoners. The jihadist concluded that the speech highlights jihadist support for other jihadists imprisoned in Saudi Arabia and motivated them to take action. He also stated that the speech explains to the Saudi government that the detained jihadists remain steadfast and dedicated to jihadist leaders.[3]
Horn of Africa Security Brief

Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces captured Goobo village, about 12 kilometers northwest of Mahas in Hiraan region on May 10. A local armed militia withdrew its forces and the TFG moved in. A local TFG official stated that he expected to take Mahas within a few hours, from which al Shabaab fighters reportedly withdrew earlier the same day.[4]
Unknown gunmen killed two Puntland Administration officials in Boosaaso on May 10. Both officials served in the Puntland Security Force.[5]

Two bombs were discovered in a food store in the Hagadera camp, part of the Dadaab refugee camp complex in northeast Kenya, on May 10. The area was immediately cordoned off by Kenyan police and one bomb was detonated.[6]
The European Union pledged to increase its aid to Somalia by 100 million Euros. The money would go toward wages and salaries of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces.[7]

Foreign ministers from non-aligned countries convening in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt discussed Somalia. They stressed support for the TFG, the need for reconciliation among different parties in the country, and a resolution of current crises through dialogue.[8]

[1] “Al Qaeda Confirms the Death of Prominent Leader in Abyan Air Raid,” Al Masdar Online, May 11, 2012. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/index.php?page=news&article-section=1&news_id=31874
“Supreme Military Council Official Reports that Eight Prominent Terrorist Leaders Killed in Jaar,” SABA News, May 10, 2012. Available: http://www.sabanews.net/ar/news268433.htm
[2] “Houthi Group Demands to End US Intervention,” Yemen Post, May 10, 2012. Available: http://yemenpost.net/Detail123456789.aspx?ID=3&SubID=5331&MainCat=3
[3] “Jihadist Finds Meaning in AQAP Official’s Message to Saudi Prisoners,” SITE Intelligence Group, May 10, 2012. Available at SITE.
[4] “TFG Troops Take Control of Gobo Village, Mahas District,” Radio Bar-Kulan, May 10, 2012. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2012/05/10/tfg-troops-take-control-of-gobo-village-mahas-district
[5] “Gunmen Gun Down Two Puntland Officials,” Shabelle Media Network, May 11, 2012. Available: http://shabelle.net/2012/05/11/gunmen-gun-down-two-puntland-officials-in-bosaso-town-2
[6] “Kenyan Police Uncover Explosive Devices Planted Inside a Food Store in Dadaad,” Radio Bar-Kulan, May 10, 2012. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2012/05/10/kenyan-police-uncover-explosive-devices-planted-inside-a-food-store-in-dadaad
[7] David Herbling, “EU Unveils Sh10bn Fund for Somalia Peace Effort,” Business Daily, May 10, 2012. Available: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/EU+unveils+Sh10bn+fund+for+Somalia+peace+effort+/-/539546/1403550/-/1546xwtz/-/index.html
[8] “Somalia Issue Dominates Non-Aligned Countries’ Meeting in Egypt,” Radio Bar-Kulan, May 10, 2012. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2012/05/10/somalia-issue-dominates-non-aligned-countries%E2%80%99-meeting-in-egypt


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