Gulf of Aden Security Review - June 25, 2012

Yemen: Airstrike reported in Aden; attempt to attack power line in Ma’rib thwarted; Yemeni troops recapture Azzan town after militants left; Yemeni army clearing landmines from Zinjibar and surrounding areas; military committee remove checkpoints in Arhab district; Southern Movement supporters killed in Aden; oil route reopens for the first time in a year

Horn of Africa: Bomb in Bay region kills at least three Somali officials; Mombasa bombing occurs after U.S. embassy warning of terrorist attack; Kenyan police arrest Norwegian near Somali border; security forces and TFG detain four people for al Shabaab connection; two local herders die in attack near Galkayo town; al Shabaab commander indicates he does not fear the U.S.; Minister of Defense for TFG promises to continue fighting al Shabaab militants; gunmen kill second judge in less than a month in Sool region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Xinhua reported that a U.S. drone strike targeted an al Qaeda convoy traveling from Abyan governorate outside of Aden near Beer Hameed. The strike killed three militants, one of whom was a senior commander.[1]
  • Fighting broke out in Ma’rib governorate when soldiers prevented an attack on a power line on June 24. Two Yemeni soldiers and three of the attackers were killed. Yemeni military officials reported that additional reinforcements are being deployed.[2]
  • Yemeni troops now control Azzan in Shabwah governorate after tribal mediators officially turned over control on June 23. The army had entered the town on June 18.[3]
  • The Yemeni army has been unable to fully clear landmines in Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan governorate, and surrounding areas. Ansar al Sharia militants planted the landmines, which were reportedly hidden in statues, in government buildings, and along main roads. According to 26 September, over 23 military units are stationed in Abyan governorate, including three demining teams.[4]
  • Clashes in Aden between Southern Movement supporters and Central Security Forces killed at least two people June 22. The fighting broke out after a funeral for a man killed on June 20 in Martys’ Square in al Mansoura district when the mourners returned to the square and demanded that security forces leave.[5]
  • The Yemeni Military Committee removed checkpoints established by tribesmen in Tabti, Wasel and Bathan in Arhab district June 23 and 24. Republican Guard military vehicles were removed from Bani Jarmooz in Arhab district and Capital Defense Security Forces replaced Republican Guard troops at three checkpoints along the road to Arhab.[6]
  • Both Yemen’s Republican Guard and tribal fighters agreed to withdraw from positions along the route from Ma’rib to the Sana’a, opening a prime oil production and transfer site for the first time in a year. The Ma’rib oil pipeline feeds the country’s primary oil refinery.[7]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A bomb exploded at a coffee shop in Qansax Dhere district in Bay region frequented by Somali government officials on June 23. At least three Somali commanders were injured and three Somali government officials, Hussein Isac, Garabey, and Hussein, were killed in the attack. Ali Adan, a Somali member of parliament in Baidoa, the capital of Bay region, reported that only soldiers were injured in the attack.[8]
  • An explosion at a Mombasa night club in Kenya killed at least one person on June 24. The U.S. embassy in Nairobi issued a warning to all U.S. citizens of an imminent threat of a terrorist attack in Mombasa on June 22. The embassy message suspended all U.S. government travel until July 1 and required U.S. government personnel to leave Mombasa.[9]
  • Kenyan authorities arrested a Norwegian national, Isaack Yahya, in Mandera town near the Kenya-Somalia border. Kenyan police sources report that Yahya had been in Somalia and was arrested shortly after an explosion occurred in the town that injured two police officers.[10]
  • Somali Security Forces and Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces detained at least four people for alleged al Shabaab linkage in Luq district in Gedo region after a search operation on June 24.[11]
  • Armed groups attacked local herders killing at least two and injuring one in Miro-cowleed neighborhood near Galkayo town in Mudug region on June 23. Locals from nearby towns to Galinsor district arrived at the scene to quell the fighting between tribes from the Galmudug administration and the Himan and Heeb administration.[12]
  • The deputy leader of al Shabaab, Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Ali, also known as Abu Mansur, indicated he does not fear the United States on June 23. He mocked the Rewards for Justice Program by saying, “If [the U.S. government] can harm me, I [say] now that I am here in Burhakaba town and also I can move freely in Somalia.”[13]
  • The Minister of Defense for the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia, Hussein Arab Isse, vowed to continue the fight against al Shabaab. He highlighted the progress made by Somali Forces and African Union Mission to Somalia Force (AMISOM) in combating the militants.[14]
  • The attorney general of Sool region for Somaliland administration, Ahmed Aw Mahamud, was shot as he watched the Euro 2012 semi-final at a location in Las Anod town on June 24. Being the second judge murdered in less than a month, Governor of Sool region for Somaliland administration, Mohammed Ali Geesle, said security forces will find the unknown assailants.[15]        
 

[1] “U.S. Drone Strike Kills 3 al-Qaida Militants in Yemen’s Aden,” Xinhua, June 25, 2012. Available: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-06/25/c_131675321.htm
[2] Ahmed al Haj, “Clash in South Yemen Kills 2 Solider; 3 Saboteurs,” AP, June 24, 2012. Available: http://articles.boston.com/2012-06-24/news/32395675_1_power-line-saboteurs-yemenis
Fawaz al Haidari, “Yemen Army Takes Control of Qaeda Bastion Azzan,” AFP, June 23, 2012. Available: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jNrqCb3Pn0Nxa_SDMzVFtovmMpXQ?docId=CNG.451380db92ce04528fe9d942267e5637.f1
[4] “Martyrdom of 73 Civilians and Military Personnel by Mines of Ansar al Sharia and al-Qaeda; Military Teams Remove More Than Three Thousand Mines in Zinjibar and the Surrounding Areas,” 26 September, June 25, 2012.  Available: http://26sep.net/news_details.php?sid=82901
Fawaz al Haidari, “Yemen Army Takes Control of Qaeda Bastion Azzan,” AFP, June 23, 2012. Available: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jNrqCb3Pn0Nxa_SDMzVFtovmMpXQ?docId=CNG.451380db92ce04528fe9d942267e5637.f1
[5] Eman Tuhama, “Amidst Calls for Southern Secession; Security Forces Kill Protestors,” Yemen Times, June 25, 2012. Available: http://www.yementimes.com/en/1584/news/1043/Amidst-calls-for-southern-secession;-security-forces-kill-protesters.htm
[6] “Arhab Tribes Sign A Truce, Military Committee Removes Tribal Checkpoints,” Yemen Times, June 25, 2012. Available: http://www.yementimes.com/en/1584/news/1041/Arhab-tribes-sign-a-truce-Military-Committee-removes-tribal-checkpoints.htm
[7] “Yemen Oil Route Reopens After Military Pullout,” Reuters, June 24, 2012. Available: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/24/us-yemen-military-idUSBRE85N05A20120624
[8] “A Café in Somalia Hit by Bomb Blast,” Shabelle Media Network, June 23, 2012. Available: http://shabelle.net/2012/06/23/a-cafe-in-somali-hit-by-a-bomb-blast/
[9] “Mombasa Blast Deaths Rise to 3, Suspect Arrested,” Reuters, June 25, 2012. Available: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/25/kenya-attack-idUSL6E8HP0D420120625
“Emergency Messages For U.S. Citizens,” U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, June 22, 2012. Available:http://nairobi.usembassy.gov/mssg_062212.html
[10] Cyrus Ombati, “Norwegian in Anti-Terror Unit Custody,” Standard Media, June 25, 2012. Available: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000060552&story_title=Norwegian-in-anti-terror-unit-custody
[11] “Somali Forces Seize Al Shabaab Suspects in Luq Town, Gedo Region,” Shabelle Media Network, June 24, 2012. Available: http://shabelle.net/2012/06/24/somali-forces-seize-al-shabab-suspects-in-luq-town-gedo-region/
[12] “Gunmen Kill Two Civilians in Galka’Yo, Central Somalia,” Shabelle Media Network, June 23, 2012. Available: http://shabelle.net/2012/06/23/gunmen-kill-two-civilians-in-galkayo-central-somalia/
[13] “Senior Al Shabaab Commander Says ‘Not Fear of US,’” Raxanreeb, June 23, 2012. Available: http://www.raxanreeb.com/2012/06/somalia-senior-al-shabaab-commander-says-not-fear-of-u-s/
[14] “Somali Defense Minister Promises To Expand War On Al Shabaab,” Shabelle Media Network, June 25, 2012. Available: http://shabelle.net/2012/06/25/somali-defense-minister-promises-to-expand-war-on-al-shabab/
[15] “Gunmen Shot Dead Somali Judge in Las’Anod, Sool Region,” Shabelle Media Network, June 24, 2012. Available: http://shabelle.net/2012/06/24/gunmen-shot-dead-somali-judge-in-lasanod-sool-region/
“Judge Killed in Las’Anod,” Garowe Online, June 24, 2012. Available: http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Judge_killed_in_Las_anod.shtml