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: AQAP responsible for defense ministry attacks in Sana’a; 57 dead, 167 wounded in defense ministry attacks; security sweep results in death of five militants; Benomar gives public statement in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Car bomb kills Somali parliament member in Mogadishu; Jubba administration announces new security forces; three men arrested in Hargeisa, Somaliland for ties to al Shabaab; Kenyan police arrest 18 youths in Mombasa

Yemen Security Brief

  • Ansar al Sharia, the insurgent arm of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility for the attack on Yemen’s Defense Ministry on December 5 through its Twitter account. AQAP’s media arm, al Malahem Foundation, allegedly claimed credit through a new Twitter account, saying the target were “drone control rooms” within the Defense Ministry compound.[1]
  •   The Yemeni Supreme Security Committee reported on the hospital of the Defense Ministry complex attack, stating that 57 people were killed, and nearly 167 others wounded. Victims included numerous international medical staff.[2]
  • A sweep of the Defense Ministry complex after the initial attacks resulted in the death of five suspected AQAP militants and one Yemeni soldier.[3]
  • The U.S. military has increased its regional alert status in response to the attacks. An anonymous official reported to Reuters that, “the United States military is fully prepared to support our Yemeni partners.”[4]
  • Jamal Benomar, Special Adviser to UN Secretary-General on Yemen, upon his return to Sana’a after the attacks on the defense ministry, publicly condemned the attacks. He reaffirmed his commitment to the completion of the National Dialogue, as this is the “most important priority” for the country right now.[5]

 Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A car bomb killed Somali member of parliament, Mohammed Warsame Feisal, at the entrance to the presidential palace in Mogadishu on December 6.[6]
  • The Jubba administration established a new special forces security organization to provide security in Kismayo, Lower Jubba. All other security forces in the city have been ordered to return to their bases.[7]
  • Three men believed to be linked to al Shabaab have been arrested in Sinai, just south of Hargeisa in Somaliland. One of the men is said to be a relative of al Shabaab’s leader. Separately, gunmen killed a Somaliland Special Unit Police officer, Mohamed Abdi Adam, in Hargeisa on December 5.[8]
  • Kenyan police arrested 18 young men in Mombasa after the youths had seized Sakina Mosque and thrown out the local imam. Officials allege there are militants who trained in Somalia among those who had been arrested.[9]

[1] “AQAP Reportedly Joins Twitter, Claims Raid at Yemen’s Defense Ministry,” SITE, December 5, 2013. Availabe at SITE.
[2] “Terrorist Attack kills 52 People and Injures 167 others in Yemen,” Saba News Agency, December 6, 2013. Available:
[3] “Yemen: 6 Dead in Raids to Catch Ministry Attackers,” Associated Press, December 6, 2013. Available:
[4] “U.S. military hikes regional alert status after Yemen attack,” Reuters, December 6, 2013. Available:
[5] “Special Adviser to UN Secretary-General on Yemen arrives in Sana’a,” Saba News Agency, December 6, 2013. Available:
[6] Omar Nor, “Car Bomb Kills Somali Lawmaker Outside Presidential Palace,” CNN, December 6, 2013. Available:
“Car Bomb Kills Somali Lawmaker-Police,” Reuters, December 6, 2013. Available:
“Somalia Car Bomb Explosion Outside of Prime Minister’s Office,” AFP, December 6, 2013. Available:
[7] “Juba Administration Commissioned Special Forces for Kismayo,” Kismaayo Media, Widhwidh Online, Dhanaan Online, and al Shahid, December 6, 2013. Available:
[8] “Police Officer Shot Dead, Three Men Suspected of Having Links with al-Shabaab Arrested in Somaliland,” Somaliland Informer, December 5, 2013. Available:
[9] “Police Arrest 18 Over Mosque Takeover,” The Standard, December 5, 2013. Available:
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