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 Defense Ministry bolsters security in Sana’a; director of central prison in Taiz survives assassination attempt; Yemeni Army and security forces fire on local merchants in Bab al Yemen; security forces capture Ethiopians being smuggled into Yemen through al Hudaydah, Shabwah,  Abyan, and Taiz shores; AQAP claims responsibility for suicide bombing on police academy in Sana’a on July 10

Horn of Africa: Three aid workers kidnapped in central Somalia and transported to pirate town; TFG, AMISOM capture Lanta-Buro; al Shabaab claims attacks in Baidoa, Bardhere, and Mogadishu; intelligence cache found on body of al Qaeda in East Africa leader; headless body of teenager found in Galkayo; al Shabaab releases a communiqué claiming attacks in Mogadishu and Middle Shabelle on June 28

Yemen Security Brief

  • The Yemeni Defense Ministry reported that Yemeni security forces were deployed to key foreign offices and residences to protect diplomats in Sana’a. After the suicide bombing at the police academy in Sana’a on July 10, security forces inspected cars, motorbikes, and people to tighten security.[1]
  • Yemeni security officials reported that Director of the Central Prison in Taiz Col. Mohammed Naif Mansour survived an assassination attempt in Bair Basha area. Unknown gunmen fired at Mansour’s car and injured two of his prison guards, Mohammed Hamdi and Hisham Anwar.[2]
  • The Yemeni Army and security forces opened fire on local merchants in the Bab al Yemen area in Sana’a on July 7. According to local witnesses, merchants were badly injured and others were arrested.[3]
  • Security manager of al Madriba district in the governorate of Lahij Abdu al Matari reported that the 17th Infantry Brigade captured 34 Ethiopians being smuggled into two vehicles in al Sakee area in Lahij. The Interior Ministry released a statement on July 10 reporting that four Yemeni smugglers were killed in the capture and four immigrants and two security personnel were injured. They also reported that the smugglers’ boats arrived via al Hudaydah, Shabwah, Abyan, and Taiz governorates.[4]
  • Xinhua Net reported that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility for the suicide attack on the police academy in Sana’a on July 10.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A Somali official said that three Kenyan aid workers belonging to Sweden-based International Aid Services were kidnapped in central Somalia by armed men and then transported to Garaad, a Somali pirate town. The aid group added that a Somali staffer was critically injured in the attack leading to the abduction.[6]
  • Radio Garowe reported that Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops captured the town of Lanta-Buro, 40 kilometers west of Mogadishu on July 11. Eleven al Shabaab militants were killed in brief clashes when AMISOM and TFG entered the town. AMISOM and TFG are reportedly moving toward Marka, a coastal town held by al Shabaab.[7]
  • Al Shabaab’s military spokesman Sheikh Abdi Aziz Abu Mus’ab said that al Shabaab militants clashed with TFG forces in Baidoa in Bay region on July 11. Three soldiers were allegedly killed. Mus’ab also claimed attacks in Bardhere in Gedo region and Mogadishu, but failed to provide any additional details.[8]
  • A cache of intelligence was found on the body of Fazul Abdullah Mohammed and in his vehicle that was shot up when he tried to ram through a Somali government checkpoint on June 7, 2011 in Mogadishu. The intelligence collected details terror plots against London, Burundian, Ethiopian, and Ugandan embassies in Nairobi, and Sudan’s deputy ambassador to Nairobi. In the reports, Mohammed writes, “These attacks must be backed with a carefully planned media campaign to show why we chose our targets to refute hypocrites, clear doubts amongst Muslims and also inspire Muslim youth to copy.”[9]
  • Galmudug region “police boss” Col. Mohamed Noor Ali reported that a headless body was dumped in Galkayo. Ali said that police have begun investigations.[10]
  • Al Kata’ib Media Foundation, al Shabaab’s media wing, released a communiqué on jihadist forums on July 10 claiming three attacks on June 28. In the first attack, al Shabaab targeted a government official’s house in Mogadishu. In the second, al Shabaab claimed grenade attacks against police headquarters in Mogadishu’s Karan district. In the third, al Shabaab ambushed a TFG convoy near Bal’ad in Middle Shabelle.[11]        

[1] “Security Tight After Deadly Bombing in Yemen Capital,” Yemen Post, July 12, 2012. Available:
[2] Fares Anam, “Armed Ambush Targets Director of One of Yemen’s Prisons,” Yemen Observer, July 11, 2012. Available:
[3] Ahlam Mohsen, “Protests Against Old City Crackdown,” Yemen Times, July 12, 2012. Available:
[4] Ahmed Dawood, “Four Smugglers Dead Following Clashes With Military,” Yemen Times, July 12, 2012. Available:
“Four Smugglers Killed, and Two Cars Carrying 34 Africans Caught,” 26 September Net, July 11, 2012. Available:
[5] “Suicide Bombing Kills 20 in Yemen’s Capital, al Qaeda Says Responsible,” Xinhua Net, July 12, 2012. Available:
[6] “3 Aid Workers Abducted in Central Somalia Are Taken to Pirate Town,” AP, July 12, 2012. Available:
[7] “Allied Forces Make Advancements in Southern Somalia,” Garowe Online, July 11, 2012. Available:
[8] “Allied Forces Make Advancements in Southern Somalia,” Garowe Online, July 11, 2012. Available:
[9] “Star Exclusive: Documents Found on Body of Al Qaeda’s African Leader Detail Chilling Plans for Kidnapping, Attacks,” Toronto Star, July 11, 2012. Available:
[10] “Shock As Headless Body of a Teenager Found in Galkayo,” Bar Kulan, July 12, 2012. Available:
[11] “Shabaab Attacks Somali Forces, Government Official’s House in Mogadishu,” SITE Intelligence Group, July 11, 2012. Available at SITE.
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