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: Explosive device planted on an officer’s car in Aden removed; Houthis and southern separatists agree to participate in National Dialogue in November; security forces searching for three al Qaeda-linked bomb makers; first UAE plane carrying relief aid arrives in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab ambushes police convoy in Mandera, Kenya; IED prematurely detonates in Elbur; TFG seizes weapons and detains militants in Bal’ad; al Shabaab arrests four qat traders, one businessman in Kismayo; AMISOM recovers stolen food aid from al Shabaab in Lanta-Buro; al Shabaab releases five communiqués detailing attacks, including an assassination attempt on TFG president near Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemen’s Interior Ministry said explosives experts removed an explosive device planted on an officer’s car in Aden on July 12. The explosive device weighed 200 grams and was rigged to be detonated by remote control.[1]
  • Jamal Benomar, the UN envoy to Yemen, announced that southern separatists and the al Houthis have agreed to take part in Yemen’s National Dialogue, slated for November. Benomar said, however, that the Southern Movement faction led by Ali Salem al Beidh has refused to participate.[2]
  • The Yemeni Interior Ministry reported that security forces are searching for three al Qaeda-linked bomb makers who have been trying to infiltrate Ibb and al Dhaleh governorates on July 12. The ministry added that the cell members were from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Dagestan.[3]
  • The first plane carrying 44 tons of aid from the UAE has reportedly arrived to Sana’a on July 12. Yemeni Red Crescent Authority (RCA) director in Sana’a Khalfan Saif al Kendi said that two more planes are set to leave for Yemen on July 13 and July 14.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A senior Kenyan officer reported that suspected al Shabaab militants shot and wounded a police officer and a driver on July 12 in Mandera, Kenya, a few kilometers from the northern Kenyan-Somali border.[5]
  • Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a’s security head in Galgudud region reported that an explosive device detonated prematurely while al Shabaab militants were planting it on a road between Wabho and Elbur. One militant was killed and others were injured.[6]
  • Director of the Somali National Security Agency Ahmed Mo’allim Fiqi reported that Transitional Federal Government (TFG) soldiers launched a door-to-door security operation in Bal’ad in Middle Shabelle region. Fiqi added that al Shabaab militants were detained and weapons were seized.[7]
  • Al Shabaab reportedly arrested four qat traders and a prominent businessman in Kismayo in Lower Jubba region on July 12.[8]
  • The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) announced that it has recovered 500 sacks of food in Lanta-Buro in Lower Shabelle on July 12 that was stolen by al Shabaab. AMISOM said that the food was redistributed to the local population.[9]
  • Al Shabaab released five communiqués through its media arm al Kata’ib Media Foundation on jihadist forums on July 11 detailing activities on June 30, July 1 through July 3, and July 5. Most significantly, al Shabaab claimed it staged in attack against Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed as he was returning to Mogadishu from Bal’ad, but the president managed to survive after hiding in a tank. Additionally, al Shabaab reported on numerous attacks against Somali, AMISOM, Kenyan, and Ethiopian targets throughout the country and several community service projects.[10]     

[1] “Interior Ministry: Explosive Device Uncovered in an Officer's Vehicle in Aden,” Al Masdar Online, July 12, 2012. Available:
[2] “Yemen Factions Invited to National Dialogue: UN Envoy,” AFP, July 13, 2012. Available:
[3] “Yemen Says Hunting Three Foreign Qaeda Bomb Makers,” Yemen Post, July 12, 2012. Available:
[4] “First UAE Aid Plane Arrives in Yemen,” WAM, July 13, 2012. Available:
[5] Bernard Momanyi, “2 Policemen Injured in Mandera Al Shabaab Ambush,” Capital News, July 12, 2012. Available:
[6] “Explosion in El-but Kills Militant Man,” Bar Kulan, July 13, 2012. Available:
[7] “Somali Forces in Bal’ad Town Impound Weapons and Militants,” Bar Kulan, July 13, 2012. Available:
[8] “Al-Shabaab Detains Traders in Kismayo,” Bar Kulan, July 13, 2012. Available:
[9] “African Union Troops Recover Stolen Relief Food from Al-Shabaab Camp,” AMISOM, July 12, 2012. Available:
[10] “Shabaab Claims Ambush Targeting Somali President, Other Attacks,” SITE Intelligence Group, July 12, 2012. Available at SITE.
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