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: Yemeni airstrike kills at least ten militants in Abyan governorate; security increased in Sana’a due to fears of a terrorist attack; IMF approves a $93.7 million loan to Yemen; unknown assailants attack defected general’s home in Sana’a; President Hadi meets with ambassadors in Sana’a to discuss national dialogue

Horn of Africa: Clashes kill 40 al Shabaab militants and injure nine soldiers in Hosingow; two British twins charged for attempting to fund al Shabaab; clashes kill one person and injure two others between al Shabaab militants and farmers in Lower Shabelle

Yemen Security Brief

  • Air strikes carried out by the Yemen Air Force killed at least ten Ansar al Sharia militants, according to a Yemeni official. The strikes hit the village of Umm al Jabalayn, near Jaar in Abyan governorate.[1]
  • The Yemeni Ministry of Interior reported that Yemeni security forces have increased their presence in Sana’a, especially at government buildings and essential institutions, to protect the city from potential terrorist attacks.  Suspicious cars are being inspected at checkpoints. According to a security official, "We have received information concerning plans by al Qaeda to move its operations to Sanaa. We believe it is preparing to carry out these operations using car bombs any time soon.”[2]
  • The International Monetary Fund announced on April 4 that it had approved a $93.7 million loan for Yemen. IMF Deputy Managing Director Nemat Shafik said, "Financing needs are likely to remain large as the political crisis has worsened poverty and unemployment conditions and severely impacted tax revenues.”[3]
  • Unknown assailants fired a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) at the home of Brigadier General Mohammed Ali Mohsen in a southern neighborhood of Sana’a on April 4. Mohsen was the commander of the eastern military zone at the time of his defection in March 2011.[4]
  • Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi met with the ambassadors of countries supporting the country’s national dialogue on April 4 in Sana’a. Hadi spoke of the need to develop a plan for political rebuilding in the country and thanked the countries for their support. He said that all political entities and civil society organizations were welcome to participate in the national dialogue. Countries with ambassadors in attendance were the United States, Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Russia, Britain, France, and the European Union.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Review

  • Kenyan troops, backed by the Somali National Army, clashed with al Shabaab militants near Hosingow in Lower Jubba region on April 4. Kenyan Colonel Cyrus Oguna reported that three Kenyan soldiers were slightly injured. Major Emmanuel Chirchir, Kenya’s military spokesman, confirmed that attack on a Twitter post reading, “Al Shabaab casualty report 40 confirmed neutralized, 30 AK 47 captured, 1 Doshika and 1 PKM captured.” He added that six Somali National Army soldiers were injured in the attacks.[6]
  • Two British twins, Mohammed Shafiq Ali and Mohammed Shabir Ali, were charged for allegedly attempting to raise and funnel money to al Shabaab and their older brother, Mohammed Shamim, who is suspected of currently being in Somalia. The two 24-year-olds reportedly plotted to raise money through establishing a religious charity stall. They also allegedly possessed a copy of Anwar al Awlaki’s 44 Ways to Support Jihad.[7]
  • Clashes between al Shabaab militants and local farmers in Qorioley in Lower Shabelle killed one person and injured two others. A farmer reported that the clashes began when al Shabaab assisted armed militias in taking over plots of land: “The farmers of Qorioley showed stiff resistance against the Al-shabab fighters who tried to loot their properties. The militants were expelled from the area during the clashes and now the situation is calm.”[8]    

[1] Mohammed Ghobari and Mohammed Mukhashaf, “Yemen Kills 10 Militants, Sanaa Faces Carbomb Threat,” Reuters, April 5, 2012. Available:
[2] “Interior Ministry Leadership Directs an Increase in Security Preparedness in the Capital,” Yemeni Ministry of Interior, April 5, 2012. Available:
Mohammed Ghobari and Mohammed Mukhashaf, “Yemen Kills 10 Militants, Sanaa Faces Carbomb Threat,” Reuters, April 5, 2012. Available:
[3] “IMF Approves $93.7 mln for Yemen’s Crisis-Hit Economy,” Reuters, April 4, 2012. Available:
[4] “Unknown Assailants Fire RPG at the Home of Commander of the Eastern Military Area in Sana’a,” Al Masdar Online, April 5, 2012. Available:
[5] “President Meets Ambassadors of National Dialogue Sponsor States,” SABA News, April 4, 2012. Available:
“President Hadi: Political Forces Invited to Participate in Upcoming National Dialogue,” Yemen Post, April 4, 2012. Available:
[6] Cryus Ombati and David Ochami, “Kenyan, Somali Soldiers Kill 40 Al Shabaab militia,” The Standard, April 5, 2012. Available:
Tweets by Major Emmanuel Chirchir, April 4, 2012. Available:!/MajorEChirchir/status/187554743558750208
[7] “Two Charged in Somalia Terror Probe,” UKPA, April 4, 2012. Available:
[8] “1 Killed As Al-Shabab, Farmers Battle in Southern Somali Town,” Shabelle Media Network, April 5, 2012. Available:
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