Gulf of Aden Security Review - October 7, 2013

Yemen: AQAP attacks checkpoint in al Bayda; Yemeni air force bombs AQAP in Shabwah; AQAP attempts to kidnap German ambassador in Sana’a and gunmen kidnap UNICEF worker in Sana’a; intelligence tipoff about car bomb entering Abyan; AQAP claims Second Military District attack

Horn of Africa: U.S. Navy SEALs conduct raid in Barawe, Lower Shabelle region; Kenya announces identities of four militants participated in Westgate attack; AMISOM officials meet Diaspora leaders in Minnesota; IED kills two civilians in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region; Ethiopian-trained Madani troops begin Berdale district operations

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) attacked a checkpoint in Rada’a, al Bayda governorate on October 7. Eight soldiers were killed and four others are missing. The attackers also stole two armed pickup trucks.[1]
  • The Yemeni Air Force bombed AQAP elements trying to attack a government facility in Kinib, Shabwah governorate. The source did not specify the number of casualties. A U.S. drone also reportedly flew over region to provide intelligence on AQAP movement in the area.[2]
  • Suspected AQAP gunmen attempted to kidnap the German ambassador in Hadda, Sana’a city on October 6. The attackers shot dead the ambassador’s body guard, but the ambassador escaped. Gunmen also kidnapped a UNICEF worker from his UN vehicle in Sana’a on October 6. The worker was from Sierra Leone. The gunmen did not take his Yemeni driver.[4]
  • Yemeni intelligence tipped off security and military forces in Abyan governorate that two cars, one loaded with explosives and the other carrying weapons, had entered the governorate. The source said that the car bomb was meant for a popular committee or military checkpoint.[5]
  • Journalist Abdul Razzaq al Jamal posted a message on Facebook on October 6 from AQAP claiming the attack on the Second Military District in al Mukalla, Hadramawt governorate. The statement said the Yemeni government was trying to cover up the number of casualties and their ranks. AQAP also claimed the base was an operations center aiding the U.S. war on terror.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • U.S. Navy SEALs aborted a pre-dawn raid on a complex in Barawe, Lower Shabelle region after coming under heavy fire on October 5. An al Shabaab operative, Ikrima, is believed to be the target of the raid. An al Shabaab spokesman reported the death of Swedish and Sudanese al Shabaab militants in the Barawe raid and initially claimed that British and Turkish troops carried out the raid. Pentagon Press Secretary George Little confirmed the U.S. attack and Turkey denied involvement.[7]
  • Kenya stated that only four militants conducted the Westgate Mall siege and released the names of attackers caught on video on October 5. The list included Abu Baara al Sudani, Omar Nabhan, Khattab al Kene and a man named Umayr, but little else is known about the attackers.[8]
  • AMISOM officials met with leaders from North American Somali communities to discuss Somali development efforts in Minneapolis, Minnesota, from October 5 to 6. Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) leadership told the Somali Diaspora that Somalia should have only one president and that it should avoid creating autonomous areas.[10]
  • Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) and wounded two civilians in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on October 6.[11]
  • Ethiopian-trained Madani troops began operations in Berdale district of Bay region on October 6.[12]

[1] “Breaking: 8 Soldiers Killed and Two Military Pickups Stolen in Armed Attack on Security Checkpoint in Rada’,” Wefaq Press, October 7, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://wefaqpress.net/news_details.php?lang=arabic&sid=9175
[2] “War Planes Launch Air Raids on Regions that al Qaeda is Gathering,” al Khabar Now, October 8, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.alkhabarnow.net/news/77396/2013/10/07/
[3] “Yemen Attackers Try to Kidnap German Diplomat,” al Jazeera, October 6, 2013. Available: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/10/yemen-gunmen-try-kidnap-german-diplomat-2013106165956597378.htm
"Yemen: Unicef Worker Seized After Envoy Attack,” Sky, October 6, 2013. Available: http://news.sky.com/story/1150955/yemen-unicef-worker-seized-after-envoy-attack
[5] “Entrance of Car Bomb and Another Carrying Weapons into Abyan,” Barakish, October 7, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.barakish.net/news.aspx?cat=12&sub=23&id=57127
[6] “AQAP Claims Raid on Military Headquarters in Hadramawt,” SITE, October 6, 2013. Available: SITE
[7] “U.S. Raids in Libya and Somalia Strike Terror Targets,” New York Times, October 5, 2013. Available: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/world/africa/Al-Qaeda-Suspect-Wanted-in-US-Said-to-Be-Taken-in-Libya.html?hp&_r=1&.
“Turkey denies involvement in US raid in Somalia,” Shabelle, October 6, 2013. Available: http://shabelle.net/?p=5329
[8] “Kenya’s Military Spokesman Names Attackers,” Shabelle, October 5, 2013. Available: http://shabelle.net/?p=5262
[9] “AMISOM meets with the Somali Diaspora in Minneapolis,” Bar Kulan, October 6, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/10/06/amisom-meets-with-the-somali-diaspora-in-minneapolis/
“IGAD executive secretary says Somalia should have only one leadership,” Dalsan Radio, October 5, 2013. Available: http://dalsanradio.com/articles/1671/IGAD-executive-secretary-says-Somalia-should-have-only-one-leadership
[11] “Two wounded is Kismayo Explosion,” Bar Kulan, October 6, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/10/06/two-wounded-in-kismayo-explosion/
[12] “Madani forces set to operate in Berdale district,” Bar Kulan, October 6, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/10/06/madani-forces-set-to-operate-in-berdale-district/