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 releases 12th issue of “Echo of the Epics;” AQ leaders warned of potential exposure; AQAP launches offensive; Saudi Arabia welcomes truce
Horn of Africa: Government soldiers targeted in recent explosion; al Shabaab seizes the town of Diif; Somali State Minister survives an assassination attempt; Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a condemns assassination on Minister
Yemen Security Brief
- AQAP released the 12th issue of its e-magazine “Echo of the Epics” on jihadist forums. In the article “Secrets of Manufactured Devices,” AQAP mocks its enemy by touting its discoveries in explosives and its capability to manipulate an explosive to hit a specific target.
- An al Qaeda field commander, Abdullah Saleh al Eidan, was captured in Oman in late January while carrying information from al Qaeda Prime (in Pakistan) to al Qaeda affiliates in AQAP. He reportedly was in possession of documents identifying 300 names, phone numbers, and, in some cases, pictures of al Qaeda militants. Jihadist websites have been warning AQ militants about possible exposure and “to change their locations, and mobile numbers as soon as possible.”
- AQAP forces attacked the al Jabal presidential resort, located in the Abyan governorate, with three RPG shells and machine guns. Sources claim security returned fire on the attackers, however no casualties were reported.
- Saudi Arabia has welcomed the ceasefire between the Yemeni government and the al Houthi rebels. Saudi Arabia believes the ceasefire is an important first step “towards stability and security in Yemen as well as in the Arab world.”
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Two Somali government soldiers escaped an explosion injured targeted at government forces in the Hamar Jajab district in Mogadishu. No arrests have been made, nor has any group claimed responsibility. The government has blamed the attack on the Islamist group al Shabaab.
- Al Shabaab has taken control of the town of Diif, which literally sits on the border of Somalia and Kenya. The group wrested control from Hizb al Islam, which recently declared jihad on the Somali government. Al Shabaab now has control of nearly the entire Jubba region.
- Somali State Minister Sheikh Yusuf Mohamed Said, known as Indho Ade, survived an assassination attempt as his convoy was escorting him to the presidential palace. The attack was made by a car loaded with explosives and killed five civilians and two security guards. Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack.
- Ahlu Sunna Waljamaa clerics have openly and strongly condemned the assassination attempt on Somali State Minister Sheikh Yusuf Mohamed Said.