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: Defense minister’s convoy hit by bomb in Abyan; army shells kill four militants in Zinjibar; Saleh calls for GPC and JMP to resume transition negotiations

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab leader vows to continue attacks; al Shabaab reports on activities in Mogadishu; TFG and Puntland sign cooperation deal; Nigerian bomber trained in Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

  • A roadside bomb in Dofes in Abyan reportedly detonated near the convoy of Yemeni defense minister Major General Muhammad Nasser Ahmed. The blast killed two soldiers in the convoy. SABA, Yemen’s state news agency, published a report denying that the attack occurred.[1]
  • The Yemeni army shelled suspected militant positions in Zinjibar in Abyan governorate. Four militants were killed. Al Qaeda-linked militants remain in control of Zinjibar, Jaar, and Shaqra in Abyan, though local sources report that the army has taken control of Dofes, Kod, and Matla outside of Zinjibar.[2]
  • Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh called for his party, the General People’s Congress (GPC), to develop a mechanism to implement the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) deal with the opposition bloc, the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP). The JMP has refused to restart negotiations on the deal.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab’s leader Sheikh Mukhtar Abu Zubair said in an audio message released to media, “This new phase of fighting has also split people into two groups. Al Shabaab – a faithful group that says the real fighting has just started and believes God's promise that there will be a victory at the end, and a hypocrite group that lost hope and believes there will be no victory….We didn't abandon the fighting and we aren't weak. We are now launching a new phase of fighting against you which will prove to be your end.”[4]
  • Al Shabaab reported that two Transitional Federal Government (TFG) soldiers surrendered to the al Shabaab administration in Kismayo after making arrangements from Dhobley on the Kenyan border. Al Shabaab official Sheikh Muhammad Zul Yadain received the pair in the port city. Al Shabaab also described an attack by its explosives battalion on an AMISOM vehicle traveling between Faqah junction and Karan district in Mogadishu. Additionally, the group claimed to have conducted a series of grenade attacks on the police station in Hoosh neighborhood and the Ambassador Hotel and to have attacked AMISOM forces in the former defense ministry and the Lifouin Hotel at Faqah Junction and TFG policemen in Madina and Karan districts.[5]
  • The TFG and the Puntland government signed a cooperation agreement to strengthen relations. The TFG has committed to assisting Puntland’s security forces, in addition to implementing previous agreements such as the August 23, 2009 Galkayo Accord and the April 2010 agreement.[6]
  • The Nigerian Department of State Services reported that an “Investigation has revealed that one Mamman Nur, a notorious Boko Haram element with al Qaeda links who returned recently from Somalia, working in concert with the two suspects, masterminded the attack on the United Nations building in Abuja.” The August 26 bombing of the UN building in Abuja killed 23 people.[7]


[1] Hakim Almasmari, “Yemeni defense minister survives assassination attempt, officials say,” CNN, August 31, 2011. Available:
“Yemen Defense Minister’s Convoy Hit by Blast,” AP, August 30, 2011. Available:
“Yemen Denies Reports of Landmine Attack on Defense Minister,” SABA News, August 30, 2011. Available:
[2] “Four 'Qaeda' gunmen killed in Yemen clashes: medic,” AP, August 31, 2011. Available:
[3] “Saleh Calls for Way to Implement Gulf’s Yemen Plan,” AFP, August 30, 2011. Available:
[4] “Somalian militant leader denounces reluctant fighters,” Reuters, August 30, 2011. Available:
[5] “Shabaab Reports Spate of Attacks in Mogadishu,” SITE Intelligence Group, August 30, 2011. Available at SITE.
[6] “Somalia, Puntland Sign Cooperation Agreement,” Shabelle Media Network, August 31, 2011. Available:
[7] Tim Cocks, “Nigerian says al Qaeda-linked man behind bomb on UN,” Reuters, August 31, 2011. Available:
Camillus Eboh, “Nigeria Says Boko Haram, al Qaeda-link Behind U.N. Attack,” Reuters, August 31, 2011. Available:
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