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: Islah Party raises AQAP flag in Aden; military surrounds house in Sana’a; kidnapped Iranian diplomat possibly in the hands of AQAP; al Houthis execute Saudi man in Sa'ada city; British embassy to reopen soon

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab clashes with gunmen in El Bur, Galgudud; car bomb kills elder in Kismayo; spokesman says KDF troops will not leave until Somalia is stable; Ugandan military police complete training; former National Intelligence director doubt’s army’s capabilities

Yemen Security Brief

  • Members of the Islah Party marched in Aden against the Egyptian military’s violent repression of protesters on August 16. Dozens of Southern Movement activists halted the demonstration. Aden al Ghad reported that the Islah protesters responded by raising an al Qaeda flag. Thousands protested in other governorates across Yemen, including Ibb, Taiz, and Sana’a.[1]
  • Ten military pickup trucks cut off streets surrounded a house in Harat al Qadisiyah, Sana’a city on August 15 in response to celebratory gunfire at a wedding.[2]
  • A Kuwaiti newspaper cited tribal sources claiming that Iranian diplomat Nour Ahmad Nikbakht was kidnapped by tribesmen and transferred to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in exchange for money.[3]
  • Al Houthis arrested and executed a Saudi man in Sa'ada city on August 16.[4]
  • According to a British official’s twitter account, the British embassy in Yemen will reopen within the next few days.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab attacked a group of armed men in El Bur, Galgudud region on August 16 after the men seized an al Shabaab vehicle. The clash resulted in at least three killed.[6]
  • A car bomb in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region killed a pro-Ras Kamboni clan elder on August 16. The explosion also killed two security guards and wounded a bystander.[7]
  • Kenyan Defense Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo denied on August 15 that Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) in Somalia are engaged in local politics or business. She also said Kenyan troops would not leave until the security situation in Somalia was stable.[8]
  • A group of 145 Ugandan military police officers completed training with U.S. forces in Nakaseke, Uganda on August 14 and are set to deploy to Somalia with AMISOM.[9]
  • Ahmad Mo’allim Fiqi, the former National Intelligence and Security Agency chief, said that he does not believe the Somali army is able to guarantee security in the country because it lacks a plan to defeat al Shabaab or a sense of national unity among its troops.[10]    

[1] “Southern Movement Stops Brotherhood Demonstration against the Egyptian Army in Aden,” Barakish, August 16, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Happened a Short Time Ago: Demonstration of Muslim Brotherhood Supporters in Aden Stopped and Islah Activists Raise al Qaeda Flags,” Aden al Ghad, August 16, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “10 Military Pickups Surround House East of Presidential Palace,” Barakish, August 15, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Iranian Ahmad Nour Ahmad in the Grip of al Qaeda,” August 15, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Sa’ada: Yemeni Bearing Saudi Citizenship Shot Dead by al Houthis,” Nashwan News, August 16, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “UK Ambassador to Yemen Returns After Terror Alert,” The Times, August 16, 2013. Available:
[6] “Confrontation Between Armed Men and Al Shabaab in Galadud Region,” Shabelle, August 15, 2013. Available:
[7] “Explosion in Kismayo Kills Pro-Jubbaland Clan Elder,” Dalsan Radio, August 16, 2013. Available:
[8] “Omamo Defends KDF on Somalia Trade Allegations,” Hiraan, August 16, 2013. Available:
[9] “Uganda: U.S. Army  Trains Ugandan Military Officers For Somalia Mission,” Hiraan, August 16, 2013. Available:
[10] “Concerns Rise Over Preparedness of Somali Security Forces,” Sabahi Online, August 15, 2013. Available:
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