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 Sharia Committee releases fatwa calling for jihad in Mali; jihadist calls on AQAP to release video condemning Saudis for U.S. drone base; Southern Movement supporters clash with Islah party members in Aden; crowds demonstrate in Sana’a to commemorate second anniversary of Egyptian revolution; rescue police clash with protesters in Sana’a and wound member of parliament; Yemeni aircraft bomb Wadi Abeidah in retaliation for Ma’rib pipeline bombings

Horn of Africa: Unknown gunmen shoot and kill Kenyan police officer in Mandera, Kenya; Somali farmers attack al Shabaab militants outside Kismayo, Lower Jubba; al Shabaab forces civilians to leave towns in Galgudud region; Somali officers conduct security operations in Hamar Weyne and Hamar Jabjab districts, Mogadishu; al Shabaab announces plan to take back Balad and Jowhar, Middle Shabelle; Somali National Security and Intelligence Agency displays body of dead militant in Mogadishu; Galgudud governor asks for increased AMISOM support in the region; Somali and AMISOM investigation finds AMISOM soldiers killed seven civilians during battle with al Shabaab; Puntland government bans Yemeni oil imports; special representative of AMISOM officially moves to Mogadishu, Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

  • The al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Sharia Committee released a fatwa on February 11 calling on “every capable Muslim with life and money,” and especially those living near Mali and in countries providing assistance to France, to wage jihad in Mali. The statement emphasized the necessity for Muslims to implement sharia.[1]
  • A man named Abu Hamza al Qasimi called upon AQAP and al Malahem Media Foundation in a February 8 statement on Ansar al Mujahedeen Arabic Forum to condemning the Saudi royal family with regard to the presence of an American drone base in Saudi Arabia.[2]
  • Supporters of the Southern Movement clashed with Islah party members on February 11 in Crater, Aden, injuring approximately 30 individuals. In addition, two were killed when police fired randomly to break up the clashes. The fighting occurred during protests on the second anniversary of the abdication of Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak.[3]
  • Huge crowds demonstrated on Siteen Street, near Change Square in Sana’a, to commemorate the second anniversary of the abdication of Hosni Mubarak on February 11. The Organizing Committee of the Popular Youth Revolution declared that they would continue to work until all the goals of the revolution had been fulfilled.[4]
  • Central Security Forces clashed with protesters staging a sit-in in front of the government headquarters in Sana’a on February 12. Five protesters were wounded, including Member of Parliament Ahmed Saif Hashed.[5]
  • Yemeni aircraft bombed the ‘Aji Kalfot area of Damashqa, Wadi Abeidah, Ma’rib governorate on February 12, targeting the home of Mohammad Hassan Al ‘Abji Kalfot, accused of repeatedly bombing the Ma’rib oil pipeline to extract concessions from the government over the death of his son in Sana’a two years before.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A Kenyan police officer was shot and killed in Mandera, Kenya on February 12. Unknown gunmen shot the victim from behind and were able to flee the scene.[7]
  • Somali farmers attacked al Shabaab militants 12 miles from Kismayo, Lower Jubba on February 12, after al Shabaab forced the farmers to give up their animals. Casualties are reported but exact numbers are not known. The local farmers forced al Shabaab to retreat and are in control of the area where the fighting occurred.[8]
  • Al Shabaab forced 27 people to leave Ali Yusuf, Shador, and Bargal villages in Galgudud region on February 12. Al Shabaab accused the civilians of having ties to the Somali government.[9]
  • Somali police and National Intelligence and Security officers conducted security operations in the Hamar Weyne and Hamar Jabjab districts of Mogadishu on February 11. Over 200 people were initially arrested but only 18 remain in custody for allegedly being al Shabaab sympathizers.[10]
  • Al Shabaab representative in the Middle Shabelle region, Sheikh Yusuf Isse, said that the terrorist organization plans on taking back the towns of Balad and Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region.[11]
  • The National Security and Intelligence Agency Chief in Banadir, Khalif Ahmed Ereg, displayed the body of an al Shabaab militant on Febraury 11, who was responsible for killing a Somali security officer in Mogadishu on February 10. The al Shabaab militant was killed while fleeing on February 10.[12]
  • Governor of Galgudud Ahmed Hassan Iyow asked the Somali government to deploy AMISOM troops to the region in order to increase security.[13]
  • A joint Somali and AMISOM investigation found that AMISOM troops did kill seven civilians during a battle with al Shabaab in January; however, the investigation also found the actions taken by AMISOM were within the rules of international engagement.[14]
  • The Puntland government banned Yemeni oil imports on January 24. Puntland Finance Minister Farah Ali Jama explained the action saying that many small fishing vessels smuggled the oil in from Yemen, causing a strain on the Puntland economy.[15]
  • The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, Mahamat Annadif, officially moved from his residence in Nairobi to his new one in Mogadishu on February 10.[16]      

[1] “AQAP’s Shariah Committee Declares Obligation of Jihad in Mali,” SITE Intel Group, February 11, 2013. Available at SITE.
[2] “Jihadist Suggests AQAP Raise Issue of Drone Base in Saudi Arabia,” SITE Intel Group, February 11, 2013. Available at SITE.
[3] “Two Killed by Police After Clashes Between Supporters of the Movement and al Islah Supporters in Aden,” al Masdar Online, February 11, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Huge Crowd in Sana’a Commemorates February 11 with Rally and Festival,” al Masdar Online, February 11, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Wounded in Security Soldiers’ Attack on Demonstrators in Front of Government Headquarters, Among them Saif Hashed,” al Masdar Online, February 12, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Breaking: Warplanes Bomb Wadi Abedia, Ma’rib,” Barakish Net, February 12, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Kenyan Policeman Shot Dead in Mandera near Somalia,” Bar Kulan, February 12, 2013. Available:
[8] “Herders, Al Shabaab Clash in Parts of Lower Jubba,” Bar Kulan, February 12, 2013. Available:
[9] “Al Shabaab Expels 27 from Galgudud,” Bar Kulan, February 12, 2013. Available:
[10] “Over 200 Arrested in Mogadishu Crackdown,” Bar Kulan, February 12, 2013. Available:
[11] “Somali Militants Vow to Take Control of South Central Towns,” Radio Mustaqbal, February 12, 2013. Available:
[12] “The Dead Body of an Al Shabaab Man Killed Last Night Displayed,” Kulmiye News, February 11, 2013. Available:
[13] “Galgudud Administration Calls for Deployment of AMISOM Forces in the Region,” Jowhar Online, February 12, 2013. Available:
[14] “Investigation Finds that AMISOM Troops in Somalia Killed 7 Civilians in Self-Defense,” AP, February 12, 2013. Available:
[15] “Somalia: Puntland Finance Minister Explains Yemen Petroleum Ban,” Garowe Online, February 12, 2013. Available:
[16] “African Union Special Representative Relocates to Somalia,” February 11, 2013. Available:
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