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: Yemeni minister for oil and materials meets with Turkish energy minister in Istanbul, Turkey; Yemen NSA chief said intelligence cooperation with America will persist; deadly clashes in Rada’a, al Baydah; mutinying 29th Brigade besieges Ministry of Defense committee in Harf Sufyan, Sa’ada; ambush on 33rd Brigade vehicle in al Dhaleh; 10 men to stand trial tomorrow for orchestrating May 2012 bombing in al Sab’een Square

Horn of Africa: Somali military urged to advance on remaining al Shabaab towns in Gedo region; five known al Shabaab terrorists may have entered Uganda; Omar Hammami releases document; al Shabaab spreads threatening flyers in Marka, Lower Shabelle; Somali police arrest journalist and rape victim in Mogadishu; Somali president meets with World Bank delegation at Villa Somalia, Mogadishu; Somali foreign minister announces new embassies to open in Mogadishu; Somali terrorist will claim entrapment during his trial on Portland, Oregon

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni Minster for Oil and Minerals Ahmed Abdullah Dares met with the Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Yaner Tildiz in Istanbul, Turkey on January 10. The two ministers discussed how their countries could increase their relationship in the energy sector.[1]
  • Yemen’s National Security Agency Chief Ali Al Ahmadi said intelligence cooperation with America will continue until al Qaeda no longer operates within Yemen. This includes U.S. drone operations that frequently target terrorists working for Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula.[2]
  • Security forces tasked with removing weapons from Rada’a city in al Bayda governorate clashed with armed men in the city center on January 11. Two soldiers were killed, along with two of the attackers.[3]
  • Soldiers and officers of the mutinying 29th Mechanized Brigade in Harf Sufyan, Amran governorate barricaded members of a committee appointed by the Defense Ministry to resolve the crisis inside the brigade’s headquarters. The men demanded that the committee return their commander, Brigadier General Hafezullah al Sadmi, and threatened to cut off the Sa’ada-Sana’a road and remove the brigade’s tanks and weapons if their demands were not met.[4]
  • Armed men thought to be southern separatists ambushed a vehicle belonging to the 33rd Armored Brigade in al Kibar village of al Dhaleh governorate on January 11. Two soldiers were killed.[5]
  • Ten suspects are slated to stand trial in a preliminary hearing concerning the 21 May 2012 bombing of al Sab’een Square in Sana’a on January 12 in the capital.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The Somali military urged its commanders in the Gedo region to take all remaining al Shabaab strongholds. Local residents report Somali troop movement around the towns of Bardhere and Burdhubo, Gedo region.[7]
  • Ugandan police alerted its citizens that five known al Shabaab terrorists have reportedly entered Uganda in an attempt to carry out terrorist attacks. The Ugandan police have put up flyers with pictures of the men along with their names, which are: Ali Salah Adan, Naim A. Amur, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, Abderraouf Jdey, and Mohamed Nor Ali.[8]
  • Omar Hammami describes how the conflict between him and al Shabaab began in the second document by him released in a weekon January 7. He said al Shabaab leaders became paranoid that he would try to start a competing group and slowly began stripping Hammami of his powers. That is when Hammami made his first YouTube video in March 2012 that made the feud public.[9]
  • Al Shabaab spread threatening flyers around Marka, Lower Shabelle region on January 11. The papers say that any person who conducts business in Marka will be hurt.[10]
  • Somali police arrested a journalist in Mogadishu on January 10 for interviewing a woman who was raped by five Somali National Army (SNA) fighters. The woman who was sexually assaulted, as well as the woman who introduced the victim to the reporter, haves also been taken into custody.[11]
  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud met with a delegation from the World Bank at Villa Somalia on January 10. President Mohamud said he is excited to be engaging in conversation with the international organization as he believes they can help rebuild Somalia.[12]
  • Somali Foreign Minister Fowzia Yusuf Haji Aden announced on January 10 that more foreign embassies will soon be opened in Mogadishu. She said countries such as the United Kingdom, Italy and China will soon have a presence in the Somali capital.[13]
  • The Somali-born man who was arrested for trying to set off a bomb at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon on November 26, 2010 will argue entrapment during his trial. His lawyers say he would never have attempted the terrorist attack had he not been approached by FBI agents when he was 18.[14]  

[1] “Oil Talks Held in Turkey,” Yemen Post, January 11, 2013. Available:
[2] “NSA Chief: Cooperation with the U.S. Will Continue Until AL Qaeda in Finished in Yemen,” Yemen Observer, January 8, 2013. Available:
[3] “Breaking: four killed, including two soldiers, in fighting in downtown Rada’a,” Barakish Net, January 11, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Breaking: soldiers and officers of the “Giants” brigade besiege the al Qushaybi committee demanding the return of Brigadier General al Sadmi,” Barakish Net, January 11, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Two soldiers killed in ambush in al Dhaleh and the 33rd Armored Brigade returns to al Jurba’ site,” Barakish Net, January 11, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “The court in Sana’a will begin tomorrow to try 10 men accused of orchestrating the explosion in Sabeen Square,” al Masdar Online, January 11, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Somali Army to Launch Attacks on Militants in Gedo Region Soon,” Shabelle, January 10, 2013. Available:
[8] “5 Terrorists Make Their Way into Uganda,” New Vision, January 11, 2013. Available:
[9] “Hammami Exposes Inner Workings of Shabaab, Details Conflict (Part 2),” SITE Intelligence Group, January 10, 2013. Available at SITE.
[10] “Threatening Letters Scatter in Marka Town,” Kulmiye News, January 11, 2013. Available:
[11] “Somali Police Detain a Journalist, Summon Another for Questioning,” Raxanreeb, January 10, 2013. Available:
[12] “President Hassan Sheikh Met with World Bank Delegation,” Markacadeey, January 10, 2013. Available:
[13] “More Foreign Embassies to Open in Mogadishu, Says Somali FM,” January 10, 2013. Available:
[14] “Trial in Oregon’s Alleged Christmas Bomb Plot to Turn on Entrapment,” NBC News, January, 10 2013. Available:
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