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: UN Security Council to issue statement on Yemeni National Dialogue Conference; popular committee members shoot and kill suicide bomber in Jaar, Abyan governorate; two bombs explode in al Bayda city, al Bayda governorate; militants blow up oil pipeline in Ma’rib governorate; militants throw grenade at Political Security Organization in Dhamar city, Dhamar governorate; Joint Meeting Parties turn in consolidated list of representatives for National Dialogue Conference; Special Primary Criminal Court threatens legal action against Yahya Saleh and Abdul Malik al Tayeb; broad increase in security across southern and eastern Yemen

Horn of Africa: Somali and AMISOM troops capture villages in Lower Shabelle region; the Iranian government denies allegations of supplying arms to al Shabaab; al Shabaab vows to continue its bombing campaign in Puntland; unknown gunmen shoot and kill a businessman in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region; al Shabaab praises the death of Ahlu Sunna leader; Somali army launching attacks on al Shabaab-controlled villages in Jubbaland; Somali speaker of parliament travels to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Yemen Security Brief

  • The UN Security Council is expected to issue a statement addressing the Yemeni National Dialogue Conference, according to a report in army news source 26 September on February 14. The statement will emphasize the inclusion of all relevant parties, the coordination between the Yemeni government and international donors, and possible measures against any party undermining the National Dialogue process.[1]
  • Popular committee members shot and killed a suicide bomber, suspected of belonging to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), in Jaar, Abyan governorate on February 14. Three other AQAP members escaped in the operation.[2]
  • Two bombs exploded in al Bayda city, al Bayda governorate on February 14. One exploded near the Political Security Organization’s building in the city, and the other at the gate of al Bayda Governor al Thaheri al Shaddadi’s house.[3]
  • Unknown militants blew up an oil pipeline near Markaz ‘Irq al Shabwan, Ma’rib governorate on February 13.[4]
  • Three unidentified militants attacked the Political Security Organization office in Dhamar city on February 13. Sources said that gunmen riding a motorcycle threw a grenade into the building’s courtyard. No one was injured.[5]
  • The Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) turned in a single, consolidated list of representatives for the National Dialogue Conference on February 14.[6]
  • The Special Primary Criminal Court threatened legal action against former Chief of the Central Security Staff Yahya Mohamed Abdullah Saleh and former Chief of Central Security Forces Abdul Malik al Tayeb if they did not show up to testify in the case of a suicide bombing that killed 86 soldiers on May 21, 2012, according to a report in al Masdar Online on February 14.[7]
  • A number of regions in eastern and southern Yemen witnessed an increase in security in the wake of a rise in security threats in the last two days, according to a report in Barakish Net on February 14.[8]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali and AMISOM forces captured a series of villages in Lower Shabelle region on February 14. Al Shabaab had already withdrawn from the villages of Janale, Aw Dheegle, Barrire, and Mubaarak before the Somali and AMISOM troops arrived. All of these villages are located along the Shabelle River and the main road connecting Afgoi and Marka to towns in the Bay region.[9]
  • The Iranian government is vehemently denying the claims put forth by a UN monitoring group that Iran is illegally trafficking arms to al Shabaab. Iran believes the accusations to be a malicious propaganda campaign, according to a letter submitted to the UN Security Council by Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee.[10]
  • An al Shabaab official in Puntland, Abdi Kadir Ali Mumin, said that the organization would continue its bombing campaign in the semi-autonomous state, and would not stop its activities until it eradicates the Puntland administration.[11]
  • Unknown gunmen shot and killed a businessman in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on February 13. The shooters were able to flee the scene and the reason behind the attack is not known.[12]
  • Al Shabaab militants praised the death of Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a leader Sheikh Mohamed Yussuf Hefow saying that Hefow was “an Ethiopian puppet” and that those in the Galgudud region are better for his passing.[13]
  • Somali army official in Jubbaland, General Ismael Sahardeid, said Somali troops are launching attacks against al Shabaab positions in the area and will not stop until they capture all villages under al Shabaab control. [14]
  • Somali Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on February 14 to meet with Ethiopian parliament members to strengthen the relationship between the two legislative bodies.[15]         


[1] “Informed Source: Security Council Will Issue a Statement on Confirming Participation of All Forces in the Dialogue,” 26 September, February 14, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Abyan: Suicide Bomber Killed at Popular Committee Checkpoint in Jaar,” Barakish Net, February 14, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Security Source in al Bayda: Two Bombs Explode in Front of Political Security Office and Governor’s House on Thursday the 14th,” 26 September, February 14, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Breaking: Oil Pipeline Bombed in ‘Irq al Shabwan, Ma’rib” Barakish Net, February 13, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Sources: Unknown Assailants Riding a Motorcycle Throw a Grenade at Political Security Building in Dhamar,” al Masdar, February 13, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “JMP Surprises Iryani with One United List for Dialogue Conference,” Barakish Net, February 14, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Court Threatens to Take Legal Action Against Yahya Saleh and al Tayeb if They Don’t Attend Seba’een Case Hearing,” al Masdar Online, February 14, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “Security Escalation in East and South Yemen,” Barakish Net, February 14, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[9] “Government Troop Took Over Lower Shabelle Region,” Shabelle, February 14, 2013. Available:
“AU Forces Capture New Positions in Somalia,” Bar Kulan, February 14, 2013. Available:
[10] “Iran Denies Shipping Arms to Islamist Militants in Somalia,” Reuters, February 14, 2013. Available:
[11] “Al Shabaab Sends a Threat to Puntland,” Kulmiye News, February 14, 2013. Available:
[12] “Businessman Killed in Kismayo,” Bar-Kulan, February 14, 2013. Available:
[13] “Al Shabaab Hails the Death of Ahlu Sunna Leader,” Hiiraan, February 14, 2013. Available:
[14] “The Officals of the Jubba Land ‘We Will Take Over the Rest of the Jubba Regions,” Kulmiye News, February 14, 2013. Available:
[15] “Jawari Travels to Ethiopia,” Kulmiye News, February 14, 2013. Available:
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