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: Ansar al Sharia video depicts Aden suicide bombing; Yemeni government deploys thousands of troops; tribesmen attack military bases in Arhab; Yemeni air raids kill six militants in Abyan; gunmen injure security official in Lahij

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab describes drought activities; al Shabaab executes three men for espionage; Somalis rally in support of al Shabaab’s withdrawal from Mogadishu; TFG soldiers kill three people collecting food aid; Joint Security Committee meets in Mogadishu; Iran says it may open embassy

Yemen Security Brief

  • A video posted on the radical Islamist Shumukh al Islam web forum claims to depict a suicide bombing in Aden. The bomber struck a Yemeni military convoy en route to Abyan governorate. The video, however, is undated.[1]
  • The Yemeni government deployed thousands of troops into Sana’a’s streets as hundreds of thousands of protestors turned out chanting such slogans as, “Oh Saleh, you will follow Qaddafi.” Residents report over 60 tanks arrived at the presidential palace, deployed from neighboring Dhamar governorate. Checkpoints have been established along major roads and military planes flew over protests in Taiz and Ibb. In Taiz, additional troops were deployed to al Janad district.[2]
  • Tribesmen attacked Yemeni military bases in Arhab district, northeast of Sana’a, and seized weapons. The tribesmen also damaged two tanks and captured six Republican Guard soldiers. The Yemeni military bombarded tribal positions in response.[3]
  • A local official reported that Yemeni air raids in al Arqub in Abyan killed six al Qaeda-linked militants. Yemeni military forces attacked suspected al Qaeda positions in the area. Tribesmen also report that a suspected suicide bomber died when his explosive-rigged motorcycle detonated prematurely in Lawder.[4]
  • Gunmen opened fire on a car carrying the head of security of Dalea district in Lahij, General Ali al Bukhayti, on August 21. The shooters injured Bukhayti and his son.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab released four statements onto jihadist forums. The group announced the completion of a shari’a course for female gold sellers, which it claimed was attended by 80 women, in Banadir region. Al Shabaab also described a meeting with Absami tribal leaders in Jubba region, noting that the tribes had given support to al Shabaab. Al Shabaab described the launch of a campaign against drugs by its Accountability Department in Lower Shabelle region and noted that a large quantity was destroyed in Jowhar on August 18. Finally, al Shabaab claimed that its Drought Relief Committee distributed food aid, donated by local businessmen, to over 4,000 families in al Yassir camp in Lower Shabelle region on August 18. The governor of Lower Shabelle region, Sheikh Muhammad Abu Abdullah, was in attendance. Al Yassir camp was established in May 2011 and is located near the K50 airfield.[6]
  • Sheikh Omar al Qadi, an al Shabaab judge, reported that two men and a 16-year-old boy had been executed by firing squad in Daynille district for spying for Kenya and for the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). The men, Ibrahim Mohamed Abdi, Hussein Mohamed Abdullahi, and Abdi Bare-Kullan, were captured in Mogadishu and in Sakow district of Middle Jubba region. Al Shabaab summoned local residents to watch the executions.[7]
  • Thousands of people attended a demonstration in Mogadishu celebrating the withdrawal of al Shabaab from the capital. The rally was held in Konis stadium, previously a training camp for al Shabaab, in northern Mogadishu. Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali said, “Our troops made those achievements despite difficulties they face, including lack of salary and camps. Within a short period we shall get rid of (al-Shabab) from the country."[8]
  • TFG soldiers opened fire on Somalis collecting food aid. At least three people were killed and three others injured, according to witnesses.[9]
  • The 9th Joint Security Committee meeting was held in Mogadishu and focused on the recent withdrawal of al Shabaab. Attendees, including Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, UN Special Representative for Somalia Dr. Augustine P. Mahiga, and Deputy Special Representative for Somalia Wafula Wamuyinyi, decided to prioritize the development of Somalia’s security sector, draft a security action plan, and reach a consensus on a revised national security and stabilization plan.[10]
  • Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi announced that his country was considering opening an embassy in Mogadishu. Salehi was in Mogadishu touring camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs).[11]

[1] “Ansar al-Shariah Video of Suicide Bombing in Aden,” SITE Intelligence Group, August 22, 2011. Available at SITE.
[2] Hakim Almasmari, “Yemen Braces for Fallout from Libya,” The National, August 23, 2011. Available:
“Military Reinforcements Deploy to Taiz as People Urge Immediate Revolution Resolution,” Yemen Post, August 22, 2011. Available:
[3] Hakim Almasmari, “Yemen Braces for Fallout from Libya,” The National, August 23, 2011. Available:
[4] “Six Suspected Qaeda Gunmen Killed in South Yemen,” AFP, August 23, 2011. Available:
[5] “Gunmen Target South Yemen Security Official,” Reuters, August 22, 2011. Available:
[6] “Shabaab Burns Drugs, Holds Meetings, and Distributes Aid,” SITE Intelligence Group, August 22, 2011. Available at SITE.
“Shabaab Reports on Work of Drought Relief Team in Southern Somalia,” SITE Intelligence Group, August 20, 2011. Available at SITE.
[7] Abdi Guled, “Thousands of Somalis Celebrate Islamist Retreat,” AP, August 23, 2011. Available:
“Shabab Shoots 3 Men Suspected to be Spying for Kenya, Somalia,” Mareeg Online, August 23, 2011. Available:
[8] Abdi Guled, “Thousands of Somalis Celebrate Islamist Retreat,” AP, August 23, 2011. Available:
[9] “Three Killed as Somali Soldiers Fire at IDPs Collecting Aid,” Shabelle Media Network, August 22, 2011. Available:
[10] “The Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission co-chaired the 9th Joint Security Committee Meeting Held in Mogadishu,” AMISOM Press Release, August 23, 2011. Available:
[11] “Salehi: Iran Considers Opening Embassy in Somalia,” Islamic Republic News Agency, August 23, 2011. Available:
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