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: Fighting kills three al Qaeda leaders in Abyan; government soldiers arrest al Qaeda militant; demonstrations occur throughout Yemen, several killed

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab captures female cabinet minister; Somali military official exposes corruption in government; Kenyan government spokesman calls refugee crisis unmanageable

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni government soldiers from the 31st and 119th armored brigades clashed with militants south of Zinjibar, who attacked army forces in Kod district.  Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) commander Ayed al Shabwani and his cousin, Awad Mohammed Saleh al Shabwani, were killed.  Ayed al Shabwani had been targeted by airstrikes in January 2010 in Ma’rib governorate. Dozens of other militants were reportedly killed and injured.  The battle left at least ten government soldiers dead and another 33 wounded. A security source said government soldiers also killed Muhammad al Khadir, a reported al Qaeda operative, in Abyan governorate on July 19.  Khadir allegedly had links to attacks on army personnel in south Yemen.[1]
  • Military forces arrested Abdul Rahman Mohammed, an alleged al Qaeda member. Mohammed is reported to have participated in a June 6 ambush in Mukairas in Abyan governorate that killed ten soldiers.[2]
  • Republican Guard forces dispersed protestors in Taiz city with tear gas and live ammunition, killing a child and wounding six others.  Another crackdown on anti-government protestors near Kintaki bridge in Sana’a left one dead and five wounded.  An explosion at a demonstration in Sa’ada governorate killed two al Houthi loyalists and injured five others.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab kidnapped Asha Osman Aqil, whom Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali had appointed Minister of Women and Family Affairs on July 20.  Al Shabaab fighters apprehended Aqil in Bala’d town of Middle Shabelle Region while on a bus heading towards Mogadishu.[4]
  • General Yusuf Mohamed Siad Indho Adde, Somalia’s former defense minister, told reporters that there “is countless corruption in the transitional federal government [TFG] of Somalia.”  He said the United States and other international donors need to investigate money laundering, illicit weapons sales to al Shabaab, and other forms of mass corruption within the TFG.  He said the Somali people have been robbed, and corrupt officials must stand trial.[5]
  • Kenyan government spokesman Alfred Mutua said the influx of refugees into Kenya is no longer manageable.  He said he wants food distribution centers constructed in Somalia to feed drought victims that are fleeing to Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp.[6]

[1] Ahmed al Haj, “Yemen says senior al-Qaida member killed,” AP, July 21, 2011. Available:
Fawaz al Haidari, “Yemen Qaeda chief, 10 soldiers killed in fighting,” AFP, July 21, 2011. Available:
“Al-Qaeda Leader Killed in South Yemen,” Yemen Post, July 20, 2011. Available:
[2] “Two al-Qaeda leaders killed, one arrested in Yemen,” Yemen News Agency (SABA), July 20, 2011. Available:
[3] Hakim Almasmari, “Medics: Child slain during Yemen protest,” CNN, July 21, 2011. Available:
“Violence resumes in Sana’a,” Yemen Times, July 21, 2011. Available:
“Two Killed in Saada as Yemeni Cities See Massive Demonstrations,” Yemen Post, July 20, 2011. Available:
[4] “Somali female minister falls into Al shabaab hands,” Shabelle Media Network, July 21, 2011. Available:
[5] “Somali official admits corruption within the govt,” Shabelle Media Network, July 21, 2011. Available:
[6] “Kenya: Airdrop food inside Somalia to halt influx,” AP, July 21, 2011. Available:
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