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: Possible drone strike targets AQAP in Shabwah; President Hadi meets with U.S. ambassador; security services transfer AQAP prisoners; security forces arrest three of most-wanted AQAP members; U.S. to stop reconnaissance flights over Sana’a; Islah members kill al Houthis; al Houthis blockade al Quhsah, al Jawf; al Houthis and tribesmen clash in al Radma, Ibb

Horn of Africa: Security forces detain al Shabaab suspects in Mogadishu; U.S. indicts Kenyan for providing support to terrorist groups; Somali forces clash with al Shabaab in Garas Weyne, Bakool; pictures show Somalis supporting ISIL; Barclay’s ends partnership with remittance agencies; Kenya to allow al Qaeda suspects to appeal conviction

Yemen Security Brief

  • Sources reported that a U.S. drone strike killed two suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants in Shabwah on August 12. However an official in Shabwah denied there was a strike.[1]
  • President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi met with U.S. Ambassador Gerald Feierstein in Yemen on August 13. They discussed the recent security warnings and the closing of the embassy in Sana’a, which is expected to reopen in the next few days.[2]
  • Yemeni security services transferred about 60 AQAP prisoners to secret locations in response to Nasser al Wahayshi’s threat that he would free AQAP prisoners.[3]
  • A Yemeni security official said that Yemen had arrested three people from the list of 25 most wanted AQAP members released last week.[4]
  • Wefaq Press reported that the U.S. and Yemeni governments reached an agreement that the U.S. would stop reconnaissance flights over Sana’a, which causes popular discontent and embarrassment for the Yemeni government. The agreement allows for continued drone strikes against AQAP targets.[5]
  • Gunmen associated with the Islah Party killed two al Houthis in al ‘Asha, Amran governorate on August 12.[6]
  • Al Houthis blockaded al Quhsah, in al Murashi, al Jawf governorate and arrested 13 people on August 13.[7]
  • Al Houthis and tribesmen renewed clashes in al Radma, Ibb governorate, killing one and wounding one on August 11.[8]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Abdikarin Hussein Guled, the Interior and Security Minister of Somalia, stated that security forces detained 40 al Shabaab suspects during search operations on August 12 in Mogadishu.[9]
  • On August 8 the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami indicted Mohammad Hussein Said, a Kenyan, on 15 counts of attempting to provide material support to al Qaeda, al Shabaab and Jabhat al Nusra.[10]
  • Clashes between Somali government forces and al Shabaab militants killed six and wounded 20 in Garas Weyne, Bakool region on August 12.[11]
  • Al Sham Jihadi Media Foundation published images of Somalis holding flags and signs in support of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on jihadi forums on August 12.[12]
  • Barclay’s Capital announced on August 12 that it will end its partnership with 250 remittance agencies in Somalia. Barclay’s expressed concern about the lack of oversight and inability to track cash flows which could be financing terrorists.[13]
  • Kenya’s High Court announced on August 11 that it will allow three al Qaeda suspects to appeal their conviction of entering the country illegally.[14]   

 [1] “Two Suspected al Qaeda Militants Killed in Yemen Drone Strike,” Reuters, August 13, 2013. Available:
“Local Official in Shabwah Denies Occurrence of Drone Strike,” Barakish, August 13, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: 
[2] “President Meets U.S. Ambassador,” Saba News, August 13, 2013. Available:  
[3] “Al Qaeda Prisoners Transferred in Sana’a and Aden to Secret Places After Threats by the Leader of the Organization to Free Them,” Barakish, August 13, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:  
[4] “Arrest of Three on the List of 25 Wanted al Qaeda members,” Barakish, August 13, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “American-Yemeni Agreement on Excluding Sana’a from Overflights,” Wefaq Press, August 13, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:  
[6] “Two al Houthi Elements Shot Dead by Islah in Amran,” Al Watan Ye, August 13, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:  
[7] “Aal Houthis Blockade al Qahasa in al Murashi, Jawf and arrest 15 people,” Mareb Press, August 13, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:  
[8] “Killed and Wounded in Renewed Clashes Between al Houthis and Tribes in al Radma in Ibb,” Mareb Press, August 12, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:  
[9] “Government Comments on Mogadishu Security Situation,” Dalsan Radio, August 13, 2013. Available:  
“Security Forces Conduct Search Operation in Mogadishu,” Dalsan Radio, August 12, 2013. Available:  
[10] “Kenyan Faces Terror Case in U.S.,” Bar Kulan, August 13, 2013. Available:  
[11] “6 Killed, 20 Others Wounded in Bakol Clashes,” Bar Kulan, August 13, 2013. Available:  
[12] “Jihadi Media Group Shows Somalis Praising ISIL,” SITE Intel Group, August  13, 2013. Available: SITE Intel Group
[13] “British Bank Forces Backlash for Cutting Money Transfer Service to Somalia,” Keyd Media, August 13, 2013. Available:  
[14] “Kenyan High Court to Permit Terror Suspect’s Appeal,” Sabahi Online, August 13, 2013. Available:  
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