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: Reports say brother of AQAP’s leader, Nasser al Wahayshi, killed near Zinjibar; Yemeni President Saleh seeks medical treatment abroad; protesters continue in “Life March” from Taiz to Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Clashes in Lower Jubba region in Somalia kill one al Shabaab militant and one Kenyan soldier; Kenyan MP believes al Shabaab dispatched agents to assassinate two Kenyan MPs, citing national intelligence reports

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni security and military officials reported that they have killed Abd al Rahman al Wuhayshi, the brother of Nasser al Wahayshi, who is the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The battle took place outside of Zinjibar and resulted in the deaths of at least five other militants.[1]
  • UN envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar reported that Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is expected to leave the country in order to seek medical treatment for the injuries he sustained in the June 3 attack on the presidential mosque. Observers believe that Saleh’s medical condition may force him to abide by the signed peace deal that formally ensures he stand down in February.[2]
  • Protesters continue marching from Taiz to Sana’a in demand of the trial of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who recently signed a peace deal that gives him immunity from prosecution following the proposed power transfer. Protesters began marching on Wednesday and are expected to reach the capital, Sana’a on Sunday. The protests are steadily gaining momentum as protesters pass cities and towns along the 170 mile route. Up to 50,000 people are expected to participate in the protests before reaching Sana’a.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Clashes in Lower Jubba near Afmadow, Somalia between al Shabaab and Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) resulted in the deaths of one al Shabaab militant and one Kenyan soldier. The KDF launched a 30-minute offensive on Afmadow, an al Shabaab stronghold, and were ambushed en route. Shabelle Media reported that both sides used rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and machine guns.[4]
  • Kenyan MP Gitobu Imanyara reported that al Shabaab has dispatched agents to assassinate Kenya’s Defense Minister Yusuf Hajji and Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim.  Imanyara cited national intelligence reports during his statement. The assassination threats come amid an announcement by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) of humanitarian agencies withdrawing their staff from refugee camps in north Kenya, due to an increase in terrorist attacks.[5]

[1] Ahmed Al-Haj, “Yemen Kills Brother of Country’s Al-Qaida Leader,” AP, December 22, 2011. Available:
[2] “UN Envoy Expects Yemen Power Transfer Friday,” AP, December 22, 2011. Available:
[3] “Yemenis March 270km to Demand Saleh’s Trial,” AFP, December 21, 2011. Available:
[4] “Two Dead as Kenyan Army, Al-Shabab Battle in Southern Somalia,” Mareeg Online, December 21, 2011. Available:,-Al-shabab-battle-in-southern-Somalia-&sid=22284&tirsan=3
[5] “Security on High Alert Following Assassination Threats on M.P.s,” Mareeg Online, December 22, 2011. Available:
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