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: Federal court indicts Nigerian national in New York; IED attack in al Bayda; IED attack in Abyan; Southern Movement civil disobedience across southern Yemen; tribal clashes in Hajjah; popular committee executes youth in Abyan; AQAP criticizes President Hadi; AQAP criticizes Saudi monarchy; U.S. and British warships reported to position off the coast of Yemen
Horn of Africa: Somali troops to launch operation in Dinsor, Bay region; youths arrested in Mogadishu suburbs; plans to launch security operation in Bu’aale, Middle Jubba region; IEDs strike Somali convoy; Somali and Jubbaland officials reach agreement
Yemen Security Brief
- A federal court in New York indicted Nigerian national Lawal Olaniyi Babafemi on charges of providing material support to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Babafemi reportedly met and trained with AQAP leaders in Yemen in 2010 and assisted with publishing Inspire magazine. Nigeria is seeking to extradite Babafemi.
- An improvised explosive device (IED) killed four people in Rada’a, al Bayda governorate on August 27. No group claimed responsibility, but officials said it was likely the work of AQAP.
- An explosion wounded dozens of people in Lawder, Abyan governorate on August 28. Military officials said the explosion bore the hallmarks of an AQAP attack, and that AQAP movement has been observed in the mountains east of Lawder.
- The Southern Movement launched a civil disobedience campaign on August 28 at the urging of former Vice President Ali Salim al Beidh. Protesters have cut off roads and closed government facilities and private shops in Hadramawt, Aden, Shabwah and al Dhaleh governorates.
- Clashes between al ‘Azba and al Fatmi tribes wounded seven people in ‘Abs, Hajjah governorate on August 27. The clashes began over disputed land on the border between the two tribes. Tribal mediators are trying to defuse the situation.
- The popular committee of Abyan executed a youth accused of blowing up a car and killing the leader of the popular committee. The popular committees carry out extrajudicial killings in Abyan in a way similar to the actions of AQAP before the group’s expulsion from Abyan population centers in 2012.
- Journalist Abdul Razzaq al Jamal posted a speech on Facebook from AQAP officials saying that President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi is no different from former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and that both were ruled by the U.S. The statement also criticized Hadi for demanding that AQAP disarm, but not demanding the same from al Houthis, who are killing Sunnis.
- AQAP leader Ibrahim al Rubaish gave a speech criticizing the Saudi monarchy. He said the Saudi monarchy manipulates religion for personal gain and encouraged followers to reject King Abdullah. The speech was posted online by al Malahem Media Foundation on August 25.
- Yemeni newspaper al Sharia’ quoted a Yemeni military official saying that seven American and British warships, including the aircraft carrier USS Harry Truman, arrived in the Gulf of Aden this week to prepare for the event of a war against Syria.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- The district commissioner of Dinsor, Bay region announced on August 28 that government troops will remove al Shabaab militants from the district. He said there was a plan in motion to retake al Shabaab-controlled territory.
- Security forces arrested dozens of youths during a house-to-house sweep in Daynile and Hodan, Banadir region on August 28.Officials said the operation’s goal was to improve security and prevent al Shabaab attacks in the area.
- A government official announced that AMISOM and Somali Federal Government (SFG) troops plan to attack al Shabaab militants in Bu’aale, Middle Jubba region. The official said the government also plans to launch a campaign against al Shabaab in Gedo.
- Two IED explosions killed five SFG soldiers in Yaqshid, Mogadishu on August 27. No party claimed responsibility.
- SFG and Jubbaland officials signed an agreement in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on August 27. The agreement recognized Ahmed Madobe as the interim leader of Jubbaland and laid out the nature and structure of the new state. Observers hope the deal will end clan conflict in Kismayo.