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 statement expressing solidarity with Sunni fighters in Iraq; AQAP claims credit for SVBIED in Hadramawt; AQAP releases statement regarding Ansar al Sharia’s operations in the Arabian Peninsula; Yemeni military chief of staff meets with U.S. deputy commander in U.S. special operations in Sana’a
Horn of Africa: AMISOM and Somali security forces raid residences of former warlords and clash with clan militia in Mogadishu; Somali security forces disrupt two media outlets in Mogadishu; clan militia attacks village of rival clan in Kenya’s North Eastern Province
Yemen Security Brief
- Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a statement, entitled “Statement on American bombing in Iraq,” via Twitter on August 14. Within the statement, AQAP expressed solidarity for Sunni fighters in Iraq, condemned U.S. air strikes in Iraq, criticized Israeli military operation in Gaza and violent jihadist operations that violated human and minority rights in Iraq, called for jihadist groups to launch attacks against the United States, and offered recommendations to jihadists for mitigating the effectiveness of drone strikes.
AQAP’s insurgent arm, Ansar al Sharia, released a statement, entitled “Al Najda Police killed and wounded in vehicle-born improvised explosive (VBIED) explosion at the entrance of Mukalla city,” via Twitter on August 14. Within the statement, Ansar al Sharia claimed credit for a Suicide VBIED (SVBIED) operation that detonated when Ansar al Sharia militants attacked a checkpoint manned by the Yemeni al Najda Police Force in Siteen Street in Mukalla, Hadramawt. The statement alleges that three militants were wounded in the clashes and Basil Mohammed al Amri, a Saudi citizen, drove the SVBIED. Official government statements claim that Yemeni forces interdicted three separate SVBIEDs en route to their destinations, in which three Yemeni soldiers and two AQAP militants were killed. Simultaneously, AQAP militants stormed and looted the Mukalla branch of the International Bank of Yemen.
AQAP’s media arm, al Malahem Media Foundation, released a statement, entitled “Summary of Ansar al Sharia’s operations in the Arabian Peninsula,” via Twitter and YouTube on August 14. Within the statement, Jalal al Marqishi, leader of Ansar al Sharia, provided an overview of all jihadist operations against the Yemeni military, al Houthi militants, U.S. drone centers, and Saudi Arabia and their respective objectives over the last three months. Al Marqishi added that the Ansar al Sharia operations will continue and vowed that Ansar al Sharia would make the U.S. government pay the price for its actions.
Major General Ahmed Ali al Ashwal, the Yemeni Army’s Chief of Staff, met with Brigadier General Curt Crytzer, Deputy Commander of U.S. special operations in United States Central Command (CENTCOM), in Sana’a on August 15 to discuss improving bilateral cooperation in the fields of counter-terrorism and security.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali security forces raided the residences of two former warlords, Ahmed Hassan Adow and Abdullahi Sheikh Hassan, during a disarmament operation in the Wadajir district of Mogadishu on August 15. The security forces clashed with clan militiamen loyal to Adow during the operation, resulting in the deaths of at least fourteen people. AMISOM reported that the security forces eventually overtook the militia, arresting twenty militiamen and seizing an assortment of weapons and ammunition.
- Somali security forces disrupted two Somali media outlets, Shabelle Radio and Sky FM, during a security operation in Mogadishu on August 15. The security forces raided a media building hosting the two outlets, arresting as many as twenty staff members and seizing equipment. The operation came after the outlets allegedly broadcasted negative press with the purpose of inciting violence in the city.
- A suspected Garre clan militia attacked Chiroqo, a village inhabited primarily by members of the rival Degodia clan, in Kenya’s North Eastern Province on August 14. The militia killed three people and destroyed as many as four houses during the attack. Separately, rival clan militias clashed near Balanbale, Galgudud region on August 15. The confrontation, which killed as at least three people, occurred as a result of an ongoing land dispute in the area.