Gulf of Aden Security Review - March 26, 2013

Yemen: Yemeni Interior Ministry announces arrest of four accused in assassination attempt on al Houthi delegate to National Dialogue; gunmen fire on car of Yemeni director of land and real estate interests; assassination attempt on director-general of al Shihr district, Hadramawt governorate; gunmen shoot Red Cross worker in Sana’a city; man throws two grenades at Central Security checkpoint in al Dhaleh city, al Dhaleh governorate; President Hadi travels to Doha for Arab League summit; security forces fire on protesters in Sana’a Police Academy; car bomb explodes on 60th Street, Sana’a city; improvised explosive device explodes in Rada’a, al Bayda governorate; armed men storm prison in Lawder, Abyan governorate

Horn of Africa: Somali and AMISOM intelligence operatives arrest an al Qaeda member in Mogadishu; two bombs explode in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region; al Shabaab militants attack a Somali base in Afmadow, Lower Jubba; U.S. prosecutors unseal guilty plea of Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame in Manhattan, New York; Ethiopian intelligence officials capture eight al Shabaab militants; Danish court sentences two al Shabaab militants to jail; Kenyan Supreme Court orders ballot recount; Somali president attends Arab League summit in Doha, Qatar; U.S. ambassador meets Puntland president in Garowe, Nugaal region; Somali prime minister arrives in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region; government officials in Marka, Lower Shabelle region request Somali government intervention

Yemen Security Brief

  • The Yemeni Interior Ministry announced that it had arrested four people on March 24 in Sana'a, for the assassination attempt on al Houthi delegate to the National Dialogue Conference Abdul Wahid Abu Ras.[1]
  • Gunmen fired on the car of Yemeni Director of Land and Real Estate Interests Abdullah Fadhli on March 25 in Sana’a, Yemen. Fadhli and his driver were both wounded in the incident.[2]
  • The Director-General of al Shihr district, Hadramawt governorate, Hussein Mohammed Badahiya al 'Amoodi, was subject to an assassination attempt on March 26 in al Shihr, when his car exploded. Badahiya and another individual were wounded in the incident.[3]
  • Unknown gunmen shot and injured a Red Cross worker in Sana’a city on March 26.[4]
  • Three Central Security soldiers were injured when a man threw two grenades at their checkpoint in al Dhaleh city, al Dhaleh on March 25. The man was later arrested by security forces.[5]
  • President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi traveled to Doha, Qatar on March 25 to attend the Arab League summit.[6]
  • Security forces fired on protesters in the Sana’a Police Academy in Sana’a city on March 25.[7]
  • A car bomb exploded near the Ali Mohsen al Ahmar market on 60th Street in Sana’a city on March 25. It was reported that the car belonged to Sheikh Suleiman bin Ali ‘Afan, a sheikh from Sa’ada governorate. No one was injured in the incident.[8]
  • An improvised explosive device (IED) exploded outside the house of Sheikh Abdul Salaam al Nuseiri in Rada’a, al Bayda governorate on March 26. Two people were injured in the incident.[9]
  • A group of armed men stormed a prison run by popular committees in Lawder, Abyan, and killed inmate Saleh Gharama on March 25.[10]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A single source reported that Somali and AMISOM intelligence operatives arrested an al Qaeda-linked terror suspect at Mogadishu airport on March 24. The Somali man, who had previously been in America, the Middle East and Europe, was stowed away on a plane that landed in Mogadishu. America’s Central Intelligence Agency had reportedly been following the plane and is currently working with Somali and AMISOM agents to interrogate the suspect.[11]
  • Two bombs exploded at the presidential palace, now a Ras Kamboni base, in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on March 25. A first remote-controlled improvised explosive device (IED) detonated outside the base, and a second detonated after a crowd gathered around the first blast site. Somali and AMISOM troops later arrested a man who was driving a mini-bus full of explosives, and is believed to be connected to the attack. [12]
  • Al Shabaab militants reportedly attacked a Somali military base in Afmadow, Lower Jubba region on March 25. Al Shabaab leaders claim that they killed many Somali troops in the battle and pushed farther into the town.[13]
  • United States federal prosecutors unsealed a guilty plea made by a Somali terrorist in Manhattan, New York on March 25. Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame pled guilty to nine criminal charges in secret on December 21, 2011, and has been cooperating with American intelligence officials since April 2011. Warsame was a commander of al Shabaab and trained with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.[14]
  • Ethiopian intelligence officials captured eight al Shabaab militants who were plotting to abduct and ransom United Nations employees working for the UN World Food Program in Dollo Ado, Ethiopia.[15]
  • A Danish court sentenced two Somali-born Danish citizens to three and a half years in prison on March 25 in Aarhus, Denmark. The two brothers were convicted of training with the intent of carrying out a terrorist act. One of the brothers trained with al Shabaab in Somalia in early 2012.[16]
  • In response to Raila Odinga’s election petition, Kenya’s Supreme Court ordered a re-tallying of results from 22 polling stations and a re-examination of all 33,400 polling stations in Kenya. The Supreme Court ordered the recount on March 25 and the results must be turned in by March 27. The Supreme Court has until March 30 to rule on Odinga’s petition.[17]
  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud traveled to Doha, Qatar on March 25 in order to attend the Arab League summit.[18]
  • United States Ambassador to Somalia James Swan met with Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole in Garowe, Nugaal region on March 26 to discuss democracy in Puntland.[19]
  • Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon arrived in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on March 26 in order to hold talks with local leaders and administrators.[20]
  • Officials in Marka, Lower Shabelle region asked the Somali government to help intervene in administrative disputes caused by clan disputes between those governing the town.[21]      

[1] “Interior Ministry Says it Has Arrested Four ‘Suspects’ in Assassination Attempt on Dialogue Conference Member,” al Masdar Online, March 25, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/article/43333
[2] “Source Close to al Fadhli Accuses Tribal Elders and Members of Parliament of Being Behind al Fadhli Assassination Attempt,” al Masdar Online, March 26, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/article/43349
[3] “Agency: Local Hadramawt Official Escapes Assassination Attempt After Bomb Explodes in his Car,” al Masdar Online, March 26, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/article/43365
[4] “Red Cross Worker Survives an Assassination Attempt in Sana’a,” Barakish Net, March 26, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://barakish.net/news.aspx?cat=12&sub=11&id=47290
Mohammed Ghobari, “Foreign aid worker shot in Yemen: security source,” Reuters, March 26, 2013. Available: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/26/us-yemen-violence-aidworker-idUSBRE92P0CJ20130326
[5] “Three Soldiers Wounded After Man Throws Two Grenades at a Checkpoint in al Dhaleh,” al Masdar Online, March 26, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/article/43341
[6] “President Heads to Doha to Participate in 24th Arab Summit,” Saba News, March 25, 2013. Available: http://sabanews.net/en/news303403.htm
[7] “Breaking: Violence Inside the Police College in Sana’a,” Barakish Net, March 25, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://barakish.net/news.aspx?cat=12&sub=11&id=47225
[8] “Breaking: Car Explodes in Front of Ali Mohsen Market in Sana’a,” Barakish Net, March 25, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://barakish.net/news.aspx?cat=12&sub=11&id=47263
[9] “Breaking: Bomb Explodes in Front of Sheikh Nuseiri’s House in Rada’a,” Barakish Net, March 26, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://barakish.net/news.aspx?cat=12&sub=23&id=47271
[10] “Armed Group Storms Lawder Prison and Executes Inmate in Broad Daylight,” Barakish Net, March 25, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.barakish.net/news.aspx?cat=12&sub=15&id=47229
[11] “Somalia: Al Qaeda Member Arrested in Mogadishu,” Raxanreeb, March 25, 2013. Available: http://www.raxanreeb.com/2013/03/somalia-al-qaeda-member-arrested-in-mogadishu-airport/
[12] “Twin Explosion Rock Presidential Palace in Kismayo,” Shabelle, March 25, 2013. Available: http://shabelle.net/twin-explosions-rock-presidential-palace-in-kismayu/
“Suspect Arrested Over Monday Explosion in Kismayo,” Bar Kulan, March 25, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/03/25/suspect-arrested-over-monday-explosion-in-kismayo/
[13] “Al Shabaab Says Fighters Attacked Afmadow Town, Southern Somalia,” Somali Memo Online, March 26, 2013. Available: http://somaliamediamonitoring.org/march-26-2013-daily-monitoring-report/
[14] “Suspect Tied to Africa, Yemen Militants Pleads Guilty to U.S. Charges,” Reuters, March 25, 2013. Available: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/25/us-usa-somalia-militant-idUSBRE92O0RF20130325
"Terrorist Organizations,” FBI, March 25, 2013. Available: http://www.fbi.gov/newyork/press-releases/2013/guilty-plea-unsealed-in-new-york-involving-ahmed-warsame-a-senior-terrorist-leader-and-liaison-between-al-shabaab-and-al-qaeda-in-the-arabian-peninsula-for-providing-material-support-to-both-terrorist-organizations?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter 
[15] “Ethiopia Says Foils Somali Rebel Plot to Seize U.N. Staff,” Reuters, March 25, 2013. Available: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/25/us-ethiopia-somalia-plot-idUSBRE92O0WR20130325 
[17] “Kenyan Supreme Court Orders Scrutiny of Ballots,” Sabahi Online, March 25, 2013. Available: http://sabahionline.com/en_GB/articles/hoa/articles/newsbriefs/2013/03/25/newsbrief-01
Humphrey Malalo, “Kenya court orders a partial recount of presidential votes,” Reuters, March 25, 2013. Available: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/25/us-kenya-elections-idUSBRE92O0NY20130325
Tom Odula and Jason Straziuso, “Kenya court: Partial recount in presidential vote,” Associated Press, March 25, 2013. Available: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/kenya-court-partial-recount-in-presidential-vote/2013/03/25/b369f2e4-9582-11e2-b6f0-a5150a247b6a_story.html
[18] “Somalia: President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Head to Qatar,” Raxanreeb, March 25, 2013. Available: http://www.raxanreeb.com/2013/03/somalia-president-of-somalia-hasaan-sheikh-heads-to-qatar/
[19] “James Swan Meets Puntland President in Garowe,” Bar Kulan, March 26, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/03/26/james-swan-meets-puntland-president-in-garowe/
[20] “PM Shirdon Arrives in Kismayo,” Bar Kulan, March 26, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/03/26/pm-shirdon-arrives-in-kismayo/
[21] “Somalia: Appeal to the Government of Somalia to Reshuffle the Governing Body of Marka Town,” Raxanreeb, March 26, 2013. Available: http://www.raxanreeb.com/2013/03/somalia-appeal-to-the-government-of-somalia-to-reshuffle-the-governing-body-of-marka-town/