Gulf of Aden Security Review - March 22, 2013

Yemen: Al Malahem Foundation releases biography of diseased jihadist commander; assailants throw grenade at house of transport minister in Khormaksar, Aden; gunmen fire on car of senior police officer in Tarim, Hadramawt; Islah Party reportedly giving recruits military training in Suiairi, Hadramawt; Yemeni foreign minister says UN will soon release a report on smuggling ship interdicted January 22

Horn of Africa: Suicide bomber targets police post at Bakara Market in Mogadishu; AMISOM commanders announce they can secure Bay and Bakool regions; Somali prime minister to visit Kismayo, Lower Jubba region; Kenyan police warn of an upcoming security crackdown in Mandera, Kenya; Djiboutian ambassador meets Somali president in Mogadishu; Somaliland and Puntland agree to bilaterally fight al Shabaab; al Shabaab stones to death a man convicted of rape

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Malahem Foundation released a video on Ali bin Saeed bin Jameel, an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) commander who had been killed in a U.S. airstrike, on March 15, 2013. The video was released on jihadist forums, and detailed his life after joining AQAP.[1]
  • Unknown assailants threw a grenade at the house of Yemeni Transport Minister Wa’ed Bathib on March 22 in Khormaksar, Aden. Nobody was wounded in the incident.[2]
  • Unknown gunmen attacked and fired on the car of senior police officer Hamoud al Khader in Tarim, Hadramawt governorate on March 20. Al Khader escaped unscathed.[3]
  • The Islah Party is providing recruits with military training at a camp in Suairi, Hadramawt governorate, according to a report published March 22 in al Oulaye.[4]
  • Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al Qirbi said that the UN team investigating the smuggling ship interdicted in the Arabian Sea on January 22 would soon publish a report of its findings, in an interview on March 21.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A man wearing a suicide vest targeted a police post near the Bakara Market in Mogadishu on March 21. Somali police were able to shoot the man before he entered the police post, but three civilians were injured when the suicide vest detonated. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.[6]
  • AMISOM commanders announced on March 21 that their forces would be able to maintain security in the Bay and Bakool regions if Ethiopia were to pull out additional troops. On March 17, Ethiopian troops withdrew from Hudur, Bakool region allowing al Shabaab militants to recapture the town. Reportedly, the March 17 withdrawal potentially signals the removal of additional Ethiopian forces from the area.[7]
  • Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon will visit Kismayo, Lower Jubba region in order to attend the Jubbaland conference. The head of the Jubbaland elders said that they welcome the federal government, and wish them to run the conference.[8]
  • Kenyan police warned those living in Mandera, Kenya on March 21 that there would be a major security sweep in the city to root out militants responsible for the explosion that killed a police officer on March 19.[9]
  • Djiboutian Ambassador to Somalia Dayib Doubad Robleh met with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in Mogadishu on March 19 to discuss relations between the two countries.[10]
  • Leaders from the governments of Somaliland and Puntland held meetings in Nairobi starting on March 18. The two states agreed to bilateral cooperation in fighting al Shabaab.[11]
  • Al Shabaab militants stoned to death a man on March 15. The terrorist organization convicted the man of raping a 13-year-old boy.[12]  

[1] “AQAP Video Focuses on Slain Official Muwahhid al-Maribi,” SITE Intel Group, March 21, 2013. Available at SITE.
[2] “Close Sources: Unknown Assailants Threw Grenade at Wa’ad Badheeb, Transport Minister’s House in Aden,” al Masdar Online, March 22, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/article/43164
[3] “Attempted Assassination in Hadramawt,” Yemen Post, March 21, 2013. Available: http://yemenpost.net/Detail123456789.aspx?ID=3&SubID=6707&MainCat=3
[4] “Concerns Over Intensive Military Training for Islah group in Hadramawt,” al Oulaye, March 22, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://aloulaye.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=5540:0000-00-00%2000:00:00&Itemid=59
[5] “Qirbi: UN Team to Prepare a Full Report on the Iranian Arms Seized by Yemen,” Qatar News Agency, March 22, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/article/43165
[6] “One Killed and Three Injured in Suicide Attack in Mogadishu,” Radio Mogadishu, March 22, 2013. Available: http://somaliamediamonitoring.org/march-22-2013-daily-monitoring-report/
[7] “AU Somali Forces Readies for Possible Ethiopia Pullout,” AFP, March 21, 2013. Available: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jvDTwP5klEiRpvXVd4KT48MkZ_Og?docId=CNG.960a83beaa7eec7c5352b1725634ad38.4c1
“AMISOM Reassures the Citizens of Somalia on Security Situation in Bay and Bakool,” AMSIOM, March 21, 2013. Available: http://amisom-au.org/2013/03/amisom-reassures-the-citizens-of-somalia-on-the-security-situation-in-bay-and-bakool/
[8]“Somalia: PM Shirdon to Visit Kismayo and Meet with Jubaland Officials,” Garowe Online, March 21, 2013. Available: http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_PM_Shirdon_to_visit_Kismayo_and_meet_with_Jubaland_officials.shtml
“Government to Preside Over Jubbaland Conference,” Radio Mustaqbal, March 22, 2013. Available: http://somaliamediamonitoring.org/march-22-2013-daily-monitoring-report/
[9] “Police Warn of Anti-Terror Crackdown in Northern Kenya,” Bar Kulan March 22, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/03/22/police-warn-of-anti-terror-crackdown-in-northern-kenya/
[10]“Djiboutian Ambassador, Somali President Discuss Bilateral Relations,” Sabahi Online, March 21, 2013. Available: http://sabahionline.com/en_GB/articles/hoa/articles/newsbriefs/2013/03/21/newsbrief-08
[11] Somaliland and Puntland Agree to Jointly Fight Al Shabaab,” Garowe Online, March 21, 2013. Available: http://somaliamediamonitoring.org/march-22-2013-morning-headlines/
[12] “Man Stoned to Death By Somali Rebels for Homosexual Sex Act, March 21, 2013. Available: http://hiiraan.com/news4/2013/Mar/28604/man_stoned_to_death_by_somali_rebels_for_homosexual_sex_act.aspx