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: Airstrike kills at least ten suspected AQAP militants in al Bayda; Yemeni security forces arrest suspected AQAP militants in Shabwah; two airstrikes target AQAP positions in al Mahfad, Abyan; gunmen target two intelligence officers in Sana’a
Horn of Africa: Car bomb kills parliamentarian, seriously injures another in Mogadishu; al Shabaab video warns of plans for another Westgate attack; Somali warlord opposes Interim Jubbaland Administration; Somaliland troops reportedly surrender to Puntland government
Yemen Security Brief
- A reported U.S. airstrike killed at least ten suspected AQAP militants and wounded another in al Bayda governorate on April 19. Reports indicate that the airstrike targeted a vehicle containing AQAP militants en route to Shabwah governorate, whom security officials suspected were planning attacks on civilian and military organizations in al Bayda. At least three civilians were killed and five others were wounded in the strike.
- Yemeni security forces purportedly arrested ten suspected AQAP militants at a security checkpoint in Shabwah governorate on April 20. Initial reports indicated that the majority of the militants are residents of Aden governorate.
- A reported U.S. airstrike killed at least thirty suspected AQAP militants in al Mahfad in Abyan governorate on April 20. Another reported U.S. airstrike killed at least three suspected AQAP militants in al Mahfad in Abyan governorate on April 21. Yemeni tribal leaders identified one of the deceased militants as AQAP commander Munnaser al Anbouri. Witnesses reported that a helicopter purportedly arrived to collect the bodies of the deceased militants, though this has not been corroborated by security sources. A Yemeni government official confirmed reports of special operations commandos operating in the area.
- Unidentified militants killed one intelligence officer and wounded another in Sana’a capital on April 21. Initial reports suggest that the militants opened fire on the two officers, killing Lt. Col. Abdel Rahman al Nagdi and critically wounding Lt. Gen. Mohamed al Eriej.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- A car bomb killed Somali member of parliament Isack Mohamed Ali, also known as Isack Rino, and seriously injured Mohamud Abdi-dhuuh, also a member of parliament, on April 21 in Mogadishu’s Hamarweyne district. At least one bystander was also injured. The lawmakers were en route to the National Security Conference, which began on April 20. Al Shabaab claimed credit for the attack, which members of the government have widely condemned.
- Al Shabaab’s media arm, al Kata’ib Media Foundation, released the fourth episode of its “Mujahideen Moments” series on April 17. The latest video, with English subtitles, shows foreign fighters chanting, “We have entered Westgate, we have reached Nairobi. That’s just the beginning… We will blow you up until we finish you off.” The late Kenyan cleric Aboud Rogo Mohammed also appeared in a clip.
- Former warlord Colonel Barre Adan Shire, also known as Barre Hirale, said that he would not disarm his militia in Goob Weyn, located a few kilometers outside of Kismayo in Lower Jubba region. Hirale remains opposed to the Interim Jubbaland Administration.
- The mayor of Armo district in Bari region in north Somalia, Ibrahim Shire, reported that at least 60 Somaliland troops surrendered with weapons to the Puntland authorities. The semi-autonomous Puntland region and breakaway Somaliland state continue to dispute territorial control. These troops were said to have been based in Sanaag region. Puntland’s Minister of Security, Hassan Osman Alore, addressed infantry battalions in Takaraq in Sool region on April 18, calling for the troops to protect Puntland from both al Shabaab and Somaliland.