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: Al Malahem Foundation releases AQAP statement on January 28-29 Yemeni military campaign in al Bayda governorate; security services arrest two AQAP militants in al Hudaydah city; car carrying twenty smuggled motorcycles stopped at checkpoint in Taiz governorate; al Hudaydah security service roles inflated;  protesters demonstrate against Hajjah governor Ali al Qaysi in Hajjah city

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants attack Somalia and AMISOM bases in Beledweyne, Hiraan region; Somali and AMISOM troops capture two towns in Hiraan region; unknown blast targets police vehicle at Dadaab Refugee Camp, Kenya; Kenyan police recover two grenades at Dadaab Refugee Camp, Kenya; Somali PM announces 100 police officers will be sent to Marka, Lower Shabelle; Somali president travels to London, England; Somali-American man found guilty of terrorism in Portland, Oregon

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's (AQAP) media arm, al Malahem Foundation, released a statement on the recent Yemeni Army campaign near Rada’a, al Bayda governorate, on January 31 via prominent jihadist Abdullah bin Muhammad on Twitter. In the statement, AQAP claimed that the Yemeni Army and U.S. Air Force jointly participated in a “vicious military campaign,” and detailed a number of improvised explosive device (IED) strikes, and ambushes and seizures of Yemeni Army vehicles.[1]
  • Security services arrested two al Qaeda members in al Hudaydah city on January 31. Sources said that six more militants were on the run, and were last seen driving toward Bayt al Faqih district, al Hudaydah governorate.[2]
  • A car carrying 20 smuggled motorcycles was stopped and seized at a checkpoint in al Hawban, Taiz governorate on January 30.[3]
  • More than 700 officers and 6000 enlisted personnel are assigned to the al Hudaydah governorate security services than actually exist, according to a security source in al Masdar Online on January 30.[4]
  • Protesters demonstrated in Freedom Square in Hajjah city on January 31, demanding the resignation of Hajjah governor Ali al Qaysi. They accused al Qaysi of undermining President Hadi and supporting armed groups to intentionally destabilize the governorate, and they threatened to march to the Presidential Palace in Sana’a if their demands were not met.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants attacked a Somali and AMISOM military base in Beledweyne, Hiraan region on February 1. Twelve al Shabaab militants were killed in the attack, including several commanders, whose names will be released shortly.[6]
  • Somali and AMISOM troops captured the towns of Luq Jelow and Baar, 30 km from Beledweyne, Hiraan region on February 1. They were able to take the towns peacefully after al Shabaab withdrew its troops from both locations.[7]
  • An unknown blast targeted a Kenyan police vehicle at Dadaab Refugee Camp, Kenya on January 31. Three officers were injured in the explosion.[8]
  • Kenyan police recovered two grenades in Dadaab Refugee Camp, Kenya on January 31, after receiving a tip. The owner of the grenades was arrested.[9]
  • Somali Prime Minister announced on January 31, that 100 Somali police will be deployed to Marka, Lower Shabelle region on February 1, in order to increase security in the area.[10]
  • President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud arrived in London, England on February 1 where he will meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron.[11]
  • A Somali-American man, who was on trial for attempting a terrorist attack at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon, in November 2010, was found guilty on January 31. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 14.[12]

[1] “AQAP Gives Details of Clashes in Rada’, Warns Yemeni Soldiers,” SITE Intelligence Group, January 31, 2013. Available at SITE.
[2] “Security Sources: Two al Qaeda Supporters Arrested in al Hudaydah and Chase of a Car Carrying Six,” al Masdar Online, January 31, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Seizure of Smuggled Motorcycles at Security Checkpoint in al Hawban, Taiz,” al Masdar Online, January 30, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Seizure of Smuggled Motorcycles at Security Checkpoint in al Hawban, Taiz,” al Masdar Online, January 30, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Foot March to the Presidential Palace: Protest to Demand the Resignation of Governor al Qaysi,” Mareb Press, January 31, 2013 [Arabic]. Available from:
[6] “Rebels, Government Forces Clash in Beledweyne,” Bar Kulan, February 1, 2013. Available:
[7] “AU, Somalia Forces Gain More Territories,” Bar Kulan, February 1, 2013. Available:
[8] “Policemen Injured in Dadaab Blast,” Standard Media, February 1, 2013. Available:
[9] Cyrus Ombati, “Grenades Recovered in Dadaab Refugee Camp,” Standard Media, February 1, 2013. Available:
[10] “Police to Boost Security in Merca,” Bar Kulan, February 1, 2013. Available:
[11] “President Mohamud Arrives in London,” Bar Kulan, January 1, 2013. Available:
[12] “Somali-American Man Guilty in Oregon Christmas Bomb Plot,” Reuters, February 1, 2013. Available:
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