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: Political and community parties declare their intention to form a Popular Resistance Committee in Hadramawt governorate; the five captured Yemeni officers in Syria are reportedly in good health; Popular Resistance Committee member is wounded by a grenade attack in Lahij governorate; Southern Movement activists demonstrate in southern cities; unidentified assailants bomb oil pipeline in Ma’rib governorate; security forces seize roughly 5,400 handguns in al Hudaydah governorate; security forces are reportedly on high alert in Aden governorate

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab is offering a bounty for killing Kenyan security officers; Somali government soldier shoots security boss in Dhusamareb, Galgudud region; Puntland security forces raid al Shabaab outposts in the Golis Mountains; Somali Prime Ministers names State and Assistant Ministers; area leaders convene in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle to discuss security

Yemen Security Brief

  • A number of political and community parties announced on December 12 their intention to form a Popular Resistance Committee (PRC) in Hadramawt governorate. The announcement of the committee formation comes after a string of assassinations and kidnappings against security officials in Hadramawt governorate. Political and community parties cited a state of increasing lawlessness and a deteriorating security situation as the reasons for the formation of the committee.[1]
  • Local sources reported on December 13 that the five Yemeni military officers captured in Syria in August 2012 are in good health and unharmed. The officers were captured by Jabhat al Nusra, a Syrian rebel group with alleged ties to al Qaeda. Local sources added that Yemeni officials set up a committee to make contact with the captors and secure the release of the officers. The officers were last seen in a video distributed by Jabhat al Nusra on September 30.[2]
  • A Popular Resistance Committee (PRC) militia member was wounded in a grenade attack in al Hawta city of Lahij governorate on December 13. Local sources identified the PRC member as Manib al Aqash al Subaihi. Subaihi was reportedly wounded when an unidentified assailant threw a grenade at his vehicle near al Tarbia Street.[3]
  • Southern Movement activists demonstrated in a number of Yemeni governorates on December 13. Southern Movement activists, who have begun protesting every Thursday, demonstrated in Lahij, Shabwah, and Dhaleh governorates. The activists recently began protesting every Thursday, calling the day the “Day of the Southern Prisoner.” The activists demanded secession and rejected the upcoming Yemeni National Dialogue.[4]
  • Al Watan reports that unidentified assailants bombed an oil pipeline in the Wadi Abeidah region of Ma’rib governorate on December 12. The bombing attack reportedly occurred just hours after the 107th Brigade thwarted a bombing attempt near the Kilo 30 region. Yemeni military or official media sources have yet to confirm the bombing.[5]
  • Security forces seized a large shipment of handguns in al Hudaydah governorate on December 13. Local sources reported that roughly 5,420 handguns were seized at a checkpoint. The weapons shipment was reportedly traveling from Taiz governorate through al Hudaydah governorate with a final destination in Sana’a.[6]
  • Security forces in Aden governorate are reportedly on high alert as of December 13 after receiving intelligence that indicates al Qaeda intends to kidnap senior officials and foreigners.[7]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab is offering a reward equivalent to $8000 for the killing of Kenyan security officers. The amount of money the terrorist organization decides to give out depends on the rank of the person killed. Kenyan officials found out about the bounty by intercepting an al Shabaab communication coming from Dhobley, Lower Jubba and going to the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya. Kenyan police are warning civilians to stay alert as they have received information al Shabaab plans on inciting chaos during the December holidays.[8]
  • A Somali government soldier shot the security boss for Dhusamareb, Galgudud region on December 13. Security officer Farhan Moalim Ali sustained only minor injuries to the head and will fully recover. The Somali soldier, who was taken into custody, was reportedly upset over the firearm ban imposed in Dhusamareb.[9]
  • Puntland security forces raided several al Shabaab outposts in the Golis Mountain range on December 7. The Puntland troops stormed the villages on El Dibir and Dudun, Sanaag region killing at least two al Shabaab militants and recovering weapons, food and medical supplies. These outposts served as homes and medical facilities for al Shabaab. Several militants were able to flee the attack and have dispersed into the mountains.[10]
  • Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon named the State Ministers and Assistant Ministers on December 13. Each ministry will receive two Assistant Ministers, making twenty total Assistant Ministers. Five State Ministers were also named.[11]
  • Leaders in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region met on December 12 to discuss plans to strengthen security in the town. Al Shabaab militants remaining in the area have also been given 48 hours to turn themselves in to authorities.[12]

[1] “After a String of Assassinations and Kidnappings, Political Parties and Civil Community Organizations Form a Popular Committee to Control Security in Hadramawt,” Mareb Press, December 12, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Yemeni Detainees in Syria in ‘Good Health,’” Yemen Times, December 13, 2012. Available:
[3] “Popular Committee Member Wounded in Lahij after Being Targeted by a Bomb,” Aden al Ghad, December 13, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Protests in Southern Cities Refuse Dialogue and Demand Independence,” al Watan, December 13, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “New Assault on Oil Pipeline and Indications of a Crisis in the Local Market,” al Watan, December 13, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Security Director in al Hudaydah: Seizure of Truck with More Than 5,000 Handguns Inside,” al Masdar Online, December 13, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “High Alert for Security Forces in Aden after Intelligence on the Intention of al Qaeda to Kidnap Officials,” Barakish, December 13, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “Al Shabaab Offers Cash for Killing of Security Officers,” Daily Standard, December 13, 2012. Available:
[9] Dusamareb Security Boss Injured,” Bar Kulan, December 13, 2012. Available:
[10] “Somalia: Puntland Commandos Unit Capture Al Shabaab Mountain Outpost,” Garowe Online, December 9, 2012. Available:
“Somalia: Puntland Commandos Raid Al Shabaab Base in Golis Mountains,” Garowe Online, December 9, 2012. Available:
[11] “Somali PM Appoints State Minister and Assistant Minister,” Bar Kulan, December 12, 2012. Available:
[12] “Stakeholder Meet to Discuss Jowhar Security,” Bar Kulan, December 13, 2012. Available:
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