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: Car bomb detonates and kills Yemeni intelligence officer; Yemeni authorities foil terror plots targeting Yemeni and foreign government officials; al Qaeda-linked militants launch attack in Dhaleh governorate; jihadist forums post video of kidnapped Saudi diplomat appealing for his government to meet al Qaeda demands; AQAP-trained Norwegian man linked to plot to attack US airliner; shell kills one child and injures seven in Jaar; Yemeni lawyer accuses security services of allowing jail inmates to escape; Kenyan security forces intensify search for aid worker abductors

Horn of Africa: Two attacks on Kenyan churches kill 17 and injure 60 in Garissa; gunmen kill Mudug court prosecutor; Deputy Governor of Hiiraan survives assassination attempt in Beledweyne; Al Shabaab militants launch an attack on TFG forces in Hudur town; fighting between al Shabaab militants and TFG and Kenyan forces in Qoqani town

Yemen Security Brief

  • Lt. Col. Mohammed al Qudami, a senior Yemeni intelligence officer responsible for parts of Sana’a, died when a bomb detonated under the seat of his car in the capital. .[1]
  • Information gleaned from captured al Qaeda militants led to the discovery of roughly a dozen terrorist plots targeting officials from the Yemeni government and foreign embassies in Sana’a and southern Yemen. The plots included kidnappings, assassinations, and bomb attacks on government buildings. Yemeni authorities believe that members of an al Qaeda cell arrested for their involvement in a May bombing of a military parade are tied to several other terror plots.[2]
  • Yemeni military troops and allied tribesmen captured nine al Qaeda-linked militants and killed another on July 1 after militants launched an assault on al Awabel in al Dhaleh governorate, 60 miles north of Aden.[3]
  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) media arm posted a video of kidnapped Saudi Arabian diplomat Abdullah al Khalidi asking Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz to meet al Qaeda’s demands for his release. Militants abducted Khalidi in Yemen on March 28 and are demanding the release of female prisoners related to al Qaeda militants.[4]
  • AQAP recruited and trained a Norwegian convert to Islam, Muslim Abu Abdurrahman, at a camp in Yemen as part of a plot to attack U.S. civilian aircraft, according to British officials interviewed by The Sunday Times. Abdurrahman was reportedly in Azzan in Shabwah governorate until June and then relocated to Dammaj in Sa’ada governorate in northern Yemen.[5]
  • One child was killed and seven were injured when a group of children accidentally set off a shell they were playing with in Jaar. Similar explosions and landmines in Abyan governorate have resulted in the deaths of at least 85 people in recent weeks.[6]
  • Yemeni lawyer Mohammad Naji al Alaw accused elements of Yemen’s security services of facilitating al Qaeda militants’ escape from prison. He demanded that President Abdu Rabbu Mansoor Hadi investigate the incidents. [7]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Militants using guns and grenades attacked two churches in Garissa, a town in northern Kenya used to stage operations against al Shabaab in Somalia, killing at least 17 civilians and injuring 60 more. Kenyan police suspect that al Shabaab supporters may have launched the attack.”[8]
  • Armed assailants killed the Mudug regional court prosecutor, Bashir Abdi Garad, in Gilkayo in central Somalia on June 30.[9]
  • The Deputy Governor of Hiraan region, Awin Elmi Nur, said he survived an assassination attempt by armed menin central Beledweyne town on July 1.[10]
  • Al Shabaab militants launched attacked Somali forces with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic guns in Hudur town, the provincial capital of Bakol region. The deputy Bakol governor, Hassan Ibrahim Hassan, said government troops repelled the attack.[11]
  • Transitional Federal Government (TFG) soldiers and Kenyan army troops fought al Shabaab militants in Qoqani in Lower Jubba region on July 1. Local residents reported that al Shabaab fighters attacked TFG and Kenyan military posts but were beaten back.[12]
  • Kenyan security forces continued the search for four aid workers from Canada, Norway, Pakistan, and the Philippines who were abducted on June 29 from the Dadaab refugee camp. Kenyan army spokesman Cyrus Oguna said “The search is intensifying and more security forces have been sent to make every effort possible but, so far, no one has been recovered.”[13]    

[1] “Blast Killed Senior Yemeni Intelligence Officer,” Associated Press, July 2, 2012. Available:
[2] Ahmed al Haj, “Authorities Foil Attacks on Foreigners,” Associated Press, July 2, 2012. Available:
“Yemen Says it Foiled Sanaa Suicide Bombings Plot,” Associated Press, July 2, 2012. Available:
[3] Ahmed al Haj “Authorities Foil Attacks on Foreigners,” Associated Press, July 2, 2012, Available:
[4] “New Appeal by Yemen Qaeda-held Saudi Diplomat: SITE,” Associated Press, July 2, 2012. Available:
“AQAP Releases Second Video Appeal from Captured Saudi Diplomat,” Site Intel Group, July 2, 2012. Available: See SITE
“Yemen Militants Post New Video of Kidnapped Saudi Diplomat Appealing to King,” Associated Press, July 2, 2012. Available:
[5] David Leppard, “Al-Qaeda ‘to bomb US plane,’” The Sunday Times, July 1, 2012. Available:
[6] Ahmed al Haj, “Shell Kills Child, Injures 7,” Associated Press, July 2, 2012. Available:
[7] “Demands to Investigate Escapes of al Qaeda Inmates,” Yemen Post, June 30, 2012. Available:
[8] “4 Attacks on Kenyan Churches Kill 17,” Reuters, July 2, 2012, Available:
“ James Marcharia, “Simultaneous Attacks on Kenyan Churches Kill 17,” Al Arabyia News, July 1, 2012. Available:
[9] Abdalle Ahmed, “Regional Court Prosecutor Killed in Galkayo,” Raxenreeb, July 1, 2012, Available:
[10] “Hiran Deputy Governor Survives Assissination Attempt,” Shabelle Media Network, July 1, 2012. Available:
[11] “Al Shabaab Attack Somali Troops in Hudur, Bakol State,” Shabelle Media Network, July 2, 2012. Available:
[12] “Heavy Fighting in Southern Somalia Kills 7,” Shabelle Media Network, July 1, 2012. Available:
[13] “Kenyan Forces Intensify Search for Abductors,” AFP, June 30, 2012. Available:
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