Gulf of Aden Security Review

A regularly updated review of both Yemen and the Horn of Africa covering topics related to security, governance, and militant activity.

Yemen: AQAP releases audio recording of Said al Shihri; Saudi Arabia building fence near Yemen border; soldier killed in al Hawta, Lahij governorate; one soldier killed in al Dhaleh; commander of Yemeni Special Operations meets with U.S. military delegation; security forces find and defuse car bomb in al Bayda, al Bayda governorate; First Mountain Infantry Brigade withdraws from Rada’a, al Bayda governorate; protesters begin civil disobedience campaign in Rada’a, al Bayda governorate, clash with shopkeepers; al Houthi militants detain schoolchildren in Haydan, Sa’ada governorate; Interior Ministry orders security agencies to apprehend 21 Tihami Movement supporters; director of security in Taiz governorate denies assassination attempt; pro-Assad demonstration in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Somali president meets with Kenyan president in Nairobi, Kenya; Somali prime minister meets Ugandan prime minister in Kampala, Uganda; Somali president tours military training facilities, admits rape by Somali military personnel; Gedo region leader bans Jubbaland attendees from reentry into the region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Malahem Media Foundation, the media arm of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), released an audio recording on April 9 confirming that AQAP deputy leader Said al Shihri, who was reported killed by Yemeni authorities in January, is still alive. Shihri criticized the Saudi Arabian government directly in the recording, openly calling for its downfall.[1]
  • Saudi Arabia is building a 1,000-mile-long fence along the border with Yemen that will stretch from the Red Sea to the border with Oman.[2]
  • One security soldier was killed and another wounded on April 9 in an attack by gunmen believed to belong to the Southern Movement in al Hawta, Lahij governorate.[3]
  • One soldier was killed and three others were injured after clashes broke out between an army brigade stationed in al Dhaleh and unidentified armed gunmen in nearby Sanah.[4]
  • Major General Abdu Rabbu al Qushaibi, commander of Yemeni Special Operations Forces, met with a U.S. military delegation headed by Justin Siberell, deputy coordinator for regional affairs and programs in the State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism, on April 9.[5]
  • Security forces found and defused a bomb planted in the vehicle of Colonel Amr Ahmed Amr, deputy director general of traffic in al Bayda, al Bayda governorate.[6]
  • The First Mountain Infantry Brigade withdrew from Rada’a, al Bayda governorate on April 9 after protesters began a civil disobedience campaign, cutting off main roads and burning tires in the city. Protesters also tried to forcibly close shops, sparking clashes with shopkeepers.[7]
  • Al Houthi militants, led by Yahya al Qassabi, reportedly stormed and closed a mosque and school in Haydan, Sa’ada governorate on April 8. They detained the schoolchildren, prevented them from praying, and forced them to attend the funeral of one of their leaders.[8]
  • The Interior Ministry added 21 suspected supporters of the Tihami Movement in al Hudaydah to the “black list” on April 10 and instructed security agencies to apprehend them.[9]
  • Colonel Mohamed Saleh, director of security in Taiz governorate, denied news reports of an attempt on his life on April 10.[10]
  • Hundreds of Yemenis demonstrated in Sana’a on April 10 in support of Syria’s war against “terrorism.” The demonstrators condemned regional and international interference in Syrian affairs and charged political parties with sending Yemeni citizens to Syria to join the Free Syrian Army (FSA).[11]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud met with newly elected Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi on April 9. President Kenyatta announced that Kenyan will continue to support Somalia on political and security matters and that a new Joint Commission for Cooperation will soon be started between the two countries.[12]
  • Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon met with Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi in Kampala, Uganda on April 10. The two leaders discussed Somali security issues.[13]
  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud toured the Jazeera Military Training Compound and the General Kahiye Police Training school in Mogadishu on April 8. During this visit, President Mohamud admitted that there have been incidences of rape by security forces, but that his administration would justly deal with any perpetrators. [14]
  • A leader in Gedo region, Mohamed Abdi Kalil, announced that any officials who attended the Jubbaland convention in Kismayo would not be allowed back into the region. Kalil said that the Jubbaland convention does not represent the interests of the Gedo region.[15]


[1] “AQAP’s number two man, Said al Shihri, appears in a video recording to deny rumors of his death,” Yemen Press, April 10, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“AQAP Deputy Leader Abu Sufyan al-Azdi Releases New Audio Speech,” SITE Intel Group, April 9, 2013. Available at SITE.
“Mohammad Hasni, 'Dead' Qaeda leader Shehri delivers audio message: SITE,” AFP, April 10, 2013. Available:
[2] Massoud A. Derhally, “Saudis to build 1,000-mile fence on Yemeni border,” Arabian Business, April 10, 2013. Available:
[3] Yasser Hassan, “Gunmen kill soldier in southern Yemen,” Al Jazeera, April 10, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“One soldier killed, member of Public Security wounded in al Hawta, Lahij,” Akhbar al Yom, April 10, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Soldier killed, three wounded in al Dhaleh,” Barakish, April 10, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Special Operations commander meets visiting U.S. military delegation,” 26 September, April 9, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Explosive device found in the car of deputy director general of traffic in al Bayda,” 26 September, April 9, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Protesters forcibly impose civil disobedience…First Infantry Brigade withdraws from Rada’a,” Al Tagheer, April 10, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “Al Houthi militants closing mosques, banning prayer and forcing schoolchildren to the funeral of one of their leaders,” Mareb Press, April 9, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Al Houthi militants blocking a mosque and impeding schools in Haydan, Saada,” Al Sahwa, April 8, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[9] “Interior Ministry adds 21 suspected Tihami Movement supports to the “black list,’” Barakish, April 10, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[10] “Taiz security director denies an assassination attempt,” Barakish, April 10, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[11] “Yemen: Demonstration in Sana’a in support of Syria's war against "terrorism,”’ Al Hayat, April 10, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[12] “Uhuru Gets Down to Work, Meets Somali Leader,” Hiiraan Online, April 10, 2013. Available:
[13] “Prime Minister Seeks Regional Support to Nation Building for Somalia,” Shabelle, April 10, 2013. Available:
[14] “President Hassan Sheikh Tours Somali Military and Police Training Facilities,” Jowhar Online, April 9, 2013. Available:
“Somalia President Admits Rapes by Security Forces,” April 10, 2013. Available:
[15] “Gedo Admin: Those Who Attended Kismayo Meeting Not Allowed Back,” Shabelle, April 10, 2013. Available:

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