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 condemns military repression in Egypt; AQAP says U.S. is retreating; bomb targets Air Force officers in Sana’a; 30th Brigade arrives in al Radma, Ibb; judge postpones trial of AQAP suspects; attack on English language center in Sana’a fails; soldiers mutiny in Shabwah
Horn of Africa: Somali government defends accused al Shabaab financier; Somali troops clash with al Shabaab in Bakool; Kenyan Defense Forces and Ras Kamboni fighters clash with al Shabaab in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region; Somali troops arrest al Shabaab suspects in Baidoa, Bay region; Japan to send ship to Somali coast; police disarm bomb in Puntland; al Shabaab blow up car in Garowe, Nugaal; Somali-American apologizes for 2010 car bomb plot
Yemen Security Brief
- Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a statement condemning the military repression of overthrown President Mohammed Morsi’s supporters in Egypt and accusing the government of trying to return Egypt to former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s era of “tyranny.” The speech was given by Harith bin Ghazi al Nadhari, an AQAP official also known as Muhammad al Murshidi, and published on jihadi forums on August 25.
- AQAP official Harith bin Ghazi al Nadhari released a second video on August 25 mocking the U.S. for closing its embassy in Sana’a. He claimed that the “crusade alliance” was retreating.
- A bomb planted on a bus transporting Air Force officers to al Daylami air base in Sana’a exploded on August 25. The Yemeni government’s statement said that the bomb killed one individual and wounded several others. Other sources reported that as many as 12 people died and 26 were wounded.
- Two battalions from the 30th Brigade arrived in al Radma, Ibb governorate on August 25 with tanks and armored personnel carriers. The military was sent to prevent further clashes between al Houthis and tribesmen from al Radma.
- Judge Hilal Hamid Mahfal postponed the trial of four AQAP members accused of plotting to assassinate President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, security officials, and diplomats in Yemen. The indictment accused them of monitoring, preparing, and plotting to kill the president with a car bomb while he was leaving his house. The next hearing is scheduled for September 8.
- A security official said that a young man wearing a suicide vest threw a grenade at an American English language center in Sana’a on August 25. The grenade did not explode and the attacker was arrested.
- Hundreds of soldiers from the 21st Mechanized Brigade mutinied in Ataq, Shabwah governorate on August 25. The soldiers demanded the removal of Brigadier General Mohammad Hussein al Jamaa’i, whom they accused of corruption and stealing salaries and food.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- The Somali Federal Government (SFG) requested that the UN remove sanctions on Ali Ahmed Nur Jimale, a Somali businessmen accused of being “one of al Shabaab’s chief financiers.” The government said that it investigated the charges and determined that he was innocent.
- SFG forces fought al Shabaab militants in Bakool region on August 26. Al Shabaab fighters reportedly took over the town of Qura’a Jome, which sparked the clashes. Reports indicated several casualties, but the exact numbers are unknown.
- Kenyan troops and Ras Kamboni militiamen clashed with al Shabaab at the airport in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on August 25.
- SFG troops arrested four al Shabaab suspects during an operation in Baidoa, Bay region on August 25. Security forces also seized several weapons.
- The Japanese government announced on August 25 that the Maritime Self Defense Force will deploy a ship and patrol aircraft to join the multilateral anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia. The Japanese constitution prohibits military action except in the case of self-defense. The government says the anti-piracy activities are under police authority.
- Police found and disarmed a roadside bomb in Puntland on August 25. The bomb targeted the Assistant Minister of Security Abdijamal Osman Mohamud.
- Al Shabaab militants blew up a car on August 23 in Garowe, Nugaal region. The explosion happened close to the presidential palace, but there were no casualties. Police announced on August 25 that they captured five suspects in the attack.
- Mohamed Mohamud, a Somali-American convicted of attempting to bomb a Christmas ceremony in Portland, Oregon, filed an apology letter on August 23. In the letter he said he renounced his former beliefs and wanted to speak to Muslim youth to “help keep them away from the path of extremism.”