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 denies plots in Yemen; security forces arrest AQAP cell in Sana’a; police arrest suspects in grenade attack in Sana’a; clashes in Khormaksar, Aden; security seizes explosives in Sana’a airport

Horn of Africa: Suicide bomber attacks AMISOM in Beledweyne, Hiraan; Mudug officials take bribes to release pirates; clan violence in Qaidarre, Mudug; al Shabaab retreats from Qura’a Jome, Bakool; al Shabaab attacks Mustahil, Hiraan; Puntland vice president visits and threatens to seize Somaliland border town

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) rejected U.S. claims of the organization’s plotting to attack targets in Yemen and denied that the U.S had intercepted a conference call between Ayman al Zawahiri and regional affiliate leaders. AQAP said in an online statement that such claims were an attempt to justify U.S. military action in Yemen.[1]
  • A Yemeni intelligence officer revealed that security forces captured a nine-person AQAP cell in Sana’a on August 27. The cell was suspected of carrying out the bombing of an Air Force bus on August 26. The cell included at least one Pakistani.[2]
  • Police in Saba’een district, Sana’a on August 26 arrested two people accused of injuring two people with a grenade in the capital. Police sources said that they were still searching for three more suspects.[3]
  • Light clashes broke out between body guards of a tribal sheikh and guards at a military base in Khormaksar, Aden governorate on August 27.[4]
  • An anonymous security official said that special monitoring devices helped security at Sana’a airport seize explosive materials before they entered Yemen. The explosives were reportedly in liquid form and were being smuggled in juice and soda containers.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A suicide bomber blew himself up at an AMISOM base in Beledweyne, Hiraan region on August 27. The attack caused an unspecified number of casualties and targeted Djiboutian forces stationed in Beledweyne.[6]
  • The governor of Mudug region accused local judiciary officials of taking bribes in exchange for releasing pirates from prison.[7]
  • Armed militiamen killed three people and wounded two during a raid in Qaidarre, Mudug region on August 26. The attack was due to an ongoing tribal feud.[8]
  • The district commissioner of Celbarde, Bakool region stated that al Shabaab retreated from Qura’a Jome, Bakool region on August 27. He added that al Shabaab were unable to face Ethiopian and Somali government forces. Al Shabaab fighters reportedly took over the town on August 26.[9]
  • Al Shabaab reportedly massacred civilians in Mustahil, Hiraan region on August 26. A local politician said that there were no government troops present to protect civilians.[10]
  • The vice president of Puntland visited Taleh, a border town between Puntland and Somaliland, and said that Taleh rightfully belongs to Puntland. He threatened to annex the town by force. The interior minister of Somaliland warned that the vice president’s statements were damaging diplomatic relations.[11]   

[1] “Al-Qaeda in Yemen Denies US Claims on Attack Plots,” AFP, August 27, 2013. Available:
[2] “Capture of Terrorist Cell Involved in Air Force Bus Explosion,” Wefaq Press, August 27, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Police of the Seventies Detains Two Accused of Grenade Explosion that Wounded Two People,” Yemen Saeed, August 27, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Armed Clashes in Khormaksar between Individuals from Camp Badr and Bodyguards of a Tribal Sheikh,” New Yemen, August 27, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Sana’a Airport Seizes Explosives and Explosive Mechanisms and Different Weapons After They Passed International Airports,” al Ain Online, August 27, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Suicide Bomber Attacked AMISOM Troop’s Base in Beledweyne,” Mustaqbal Radio, August 27, 2013. Available:
[7] “Mudug Judiciary Release Pirates After Receiving Bribes From Pirate Kings,” Dalsan Radio, August 27, 2013. Available:
[8] “Somalia: Three Killed in Mudug Clan Revenge Attack,” Garowe Online, August 27, 2013. Available:
[9] “Al Shabaab Retreats from Qurac-Jomo Areas,” Bar Kulan, August 27, 2013. Available:
[10] “Al Shabaab Accused of Killing Civilians in Mustahil, Hiran Region,” Shabelle, August 27, 2013. Available:
[11] “Somalialand and Puntland Send Warning Messages to Each Other Over Land Disputes,” Shabelle, August 27, 2013. Available:
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