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: Popular Resistance Committee reportedly forming in Aden city; security forces seize business director in al Hudaydah; Hamid al Ahmar refuses to surrender his armed associates following raid; security forces find corpse of British national at al Hudaydah port; identy of Yemeni-detained American revealed; armed tribesmen clash over land dispute in Aden city; Sabbeiha tribesmen seize roughly 50 cargo trucks in Lahij governorate

Horn of Africa: A roadside bomb detonates in the Eastleigh district of Nairobi, Kenya; mortars aimed at the presidential palace in Mogadishu hit surrounding neighborhoods; Puntland troops attack al Shabaab hideouts in Galgala, Bari region; al Shabaab militants attack cattle herders in Leego, Bay region; Ras Kamboni forces stop exports in Kismayo; unknown gunmen shoot traditional elder in Mogadishu; UN worker is abducted by SNA troops in Baidoa, Bay region; Somali PM meets with AMISOM commander at Villa Somalia, Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Local sources reported on December 6 that progress is under way to form a Popular Resistance Committee (PRC) in Aden city. PRC forces in Aden will reportedly be supervised personally by Yemeni Defense Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed. The PRC forces will also be comprised of members from outside of the Aden community. Local sources reported that a large number of citizens disapproved of the idea of allowing militia groups to administer justice and protect public property in Aden city.[1]
  • Security forces reportedly arrested the al Hudaydah director of the Hayel Saeed Anam (HSA) Company on December 4. Local sources reported that the director, identified as Ahmad Jazem Saeed Anam, was arrested by four plain-clothes security officials.[2]
  • Hamid al Ahmar, an influential Yemeni businessman, has reportedly refused to surrender his armed associates who raided a prosecutor’s office in Sana’a on December 5. Local sources reported that the armed gunmen who stormed the prosecutor’s office were in search of documents related to terrorism cases.[3]
  • Security forces discovered the corpse of a British national on board a ship docked at Port al Saleef in al Hudaydah governorate on December 6. Local sources reported that the British national, identified as Terrell Coren, was a member of a security detail on the ship. Security forces believe Coren committed suicide.[4]
  • A Yemeni news source reported on December 5 the identity of an American national captured by Yemeni security forces in Shabwah governorate. The American national, identified as Frank Christian Motos, was reportedly captured by security forces in Shabwah governorate on October 8. Motos was wanted by the Yemeni Interior Ministry for his association with al Qaeda. Motos is currently still in Yemeni custody.[5]
  • Armed tribesmen clashed near a street leading to al Hiswa district in Aden city on December 6. Local sources reported that the clashes were sparked due to a land dispute. The clashes occurred in close proximity to a palace owned by Brig. Gen. Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh. Security forces at Brig. Gen. Saleh’s palace reinforced security measures, fearing that the tribal clashes could extend toward the palace. Tribesmen from both sides of the conflict sustained casualties during the clashes.[6]
  • Tribesmen from the Sabbeiha tribe seized roughly 50 cargo trucks in Lahij governorate on December 6. Local sources reported that the cargo trucks were seized on a main road about 80 kilometers from Aden city. Sabbeiha tribesmen reportedly transferred the trucks and their contents to a region close to Ra’s al ‘Arah in Lahij governorate.[7]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A roadside IED exploded during rush hour in the Eastleigh district of Nairobi, Kenya on December 5. One civilian was killed and at least seven others were injured in the blast. Police have launched an investigation into the incident, but no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.[8]
  • Al Shabaab militants injured at least five civilians when mortars targeting Villa Somalia hit nearby suburban neighborhoods in Mogadishu on December 5. Five mortars were launched, four of which landed in the Bondhere and Wardhigley districts of Mogadishu, and one of which landed inside the Villa Somalia compound, where it caused no injuries.[9]
  • Puntland soldiers attacked al Shabaab hideouts in the Galgala Mountains, Bari region on December 5. Puntland military officials said they killed seven militants in the attack.[10]
  • Al Shabaab militants attacked cattle herders in the town of Leego, Bay region on December 5. The attack came after the local herders refused to pay zakat, a term for charitable contributions in Islam, to the terrorist organization. Al Shabaab killed at least three civilians during the fight.[11]
  • Unknown gunmen shot and killed Mohamed Mohmud Yusuf Odey, a traditional elder, in the Wadajir district of Mogadishu on December 5. Odey, who was part of the assembly that chose the new Somali parliament, was attacked outside his home. The shooters were able to flee the scene but an investigation is underway. The reason behind the attack is unknown.[12]
  • The Ras Kamboni militia stopped all port activity in the city of Kismayo on December 6. The Ras Kamboni soldiers were seen specifically patrolling charcoal export areas in the port. The fighters are blocking the exports in preparation for an international delegation set to arrive in Kismayo on the same day.[13]
  • A United Nations worker was abducted from his home in Baidoa, Bay region on December 6. Sources report that it was Somali government troops who took the man from his home. The reason for the abduction is not known.[14]
  • Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon met with AMISOM commander Lt. General Andrew Gutti at Villa Somalia in Mogadishu on December 5. The two discussed how to better work together to tackle security concerns in the country.[15]      

[1] “Formation of Armed Popular Committees in Aden,” Barakish, December 6, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Plain-Clothes Security Forces Attack Regional Director of HSA Group and Take Him Back to the Criminal Investigation Division,” Barakish, December 6, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Hamid al Ahmar Refuses to Surrender the Gunmen That Stormed a Prosecutor’s Office and Sources Reveal the Reason for the Raid,” Barakish, December 6, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Discovery of Hanging British National in al Hudaydah Port,” Barakish, December 6, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “American Arrested in Yemen Begins Food Strike and His Wife Tells the Details of His Arrest,” al Masdar Online, December 5, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Breaking: Violent Clashes between Armed Tribesmen near the Palace of Former President’s Son,” Aden al Ghad, December 6, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Breaking: Armed Tribesmen Seize 50 Cargo Trucks in Lahij,” Aden al Ghad, December 6, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “Eastleigh Blast Victim Dies,” Daily Standard, December 6, 2012. Available:
“Kenya Blast in Somali Area of Nairobi Eastleigh,” BBC, December 6, 2012. Available:
“Explosion in Kenya’s Capital Injures 8,” Shabelle, December 6, 2012. Available:
[9] “Somalia: Civilian Injuries in Mogadishu Shelling; Police Remove Roadblocks,” Garowe, December 5, 2012. Available:
[10] “Battle Flares up Near Galgala Mountains, Northern Somalia,” Shabelle, December 6, 2012. Available:
[11] “Fierce Fighting Kills at Least Four in Southern Somalia,” Shabelle, December 6, 2012. Available:
[12] “Gunmen Assasinate a Traditional Elder in Mogadishu,” Shabelle, December 5, 2012. Available:
[13] “Ras Kamboni Fighters Block Port Activities in Kismayo,” Shabelle, December 6, 2012. Available:
[14] “UN Employee ‘Abducted’ in Southwestern Somalia,” Midnimo Online, December 6, 2012. Available:
[15] “Somali Prime Minister and AMISOM Force Commander Held Talks at the Prime Ministers’ Office in Villa Somalia,” Raxareeb, December 5, 2012. Available:
View Citations

View Citations
Arrow down red
Jan '13
Dec '12
Nov '12