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 Air Force launches raids in Abyan and Ma’rib; TSA official says Ibrahim al Asiri trained more bombers; military besieges man for 13 hours in Sana’a; militants attack security headquarters in Lahij; gunmen kill business manager in Taiz; security forces shoot at lawyer in Hadramawt; Islah militias beat socialists in Taiz; Yemeni Coastguard to take part in anti-piracy training course; AQAP shoots gay man in Lahij

Horn of Africa: Kenyan ships bomb Barre Hirale’s troops in Gobweyn, Lower Jubba region; a single source claims al Shabaab militants capture Barre Hirale, while Hirale’s spokesman denies the statement; al Shabaab militants accidentally detonate IED in Wadajir district, Mogadishu; unknown attackers raid police station in Karan district, Mogadishu; al Shabaab militants kill and kidnap herders in Mahas district, Hiraan region; Somali government responds to July 17 UN monitoring report; Puntland government executes two suspected murderers; Somali defense minister meets with Ethiopian prime minister in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Yemen Security Brief

  • The Yemeni Air Force launched raids on members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Abyan and Ma’rib governorates on July 23. Districts and casualties from the raid have not yet been reported.[1]
  • John Pistole, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), said on July 19 that there is intelligence that AQAP chief bomb-maker Ibrahim al Asiri, who built the underwear bomb used in the 2009 Christmas day attack among others, provided training in bomb construction to a handful of individuals.[2]
  • Twenty five military pickup trucks besieged a man in his house in Sana’a for thirteen hours on July 20. The siege began after the man killed a neighbor and locked himself inside, refusing to surrender to security forces. Four soldiers and two civilians were wounded, and nine homes were destroyed.[3]
  • Armed militants attacked a political security headquarters with rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) in al Hawta, Lahij governorate on July 23. The attack bore the hallmarks of AQAP activity. There were no casualties.[4]
  • Gunmen on a motorcycle killed the production manager of Red Sea Detergent Company in Taiz on July 23.[5]
  • Security forces shot at lawyer Lamis Hassan al Hamdi after she demanded that they stop beating prisoners at the central prison in Hadramawt on July 23.[6]
  • Militias associated with the Islah Party broke into the Yemeni Socialist Party headquarters and beat several members in Dimnat Khadir, Taiz governorate on July 23.[7]
  • Mohamad al Ghalibi, director general of the Gulf of Aden Coastguard, said on July 22 that Yemeni forces will take part in a two week anti-piracy course with the International Maritime Organization (IMO).[8]
  • Suspected AQAP gunmen wounded Mohammed Saeed, a man suspected of being homosexual, in al Hawta, Lahij governorate on July 20. It was the second attack targeting a suspected homosexual in a week.[9]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A single source is reporting that Kenyan ships bombed Gobweyn town outside Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on July 22. The bombs were supposedly targeting Barre Hirale’s forces but no casualties were reported.[10]
  • A single source is reporting that al Shabaab militants captured Barre Hirale, Lower Jubba. Barre Hirale’s spokesman strongly denied these claims and accused Ras Kamboni leaders of perpetuating the rumor.[11]
  • Al Shabaab militants accidentally detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) inside a home in the Wadajir district of Mogadishu on July 23. Three militants were killed in the explosion and one civilian was injured.[12]
  • Unknown attackers raided a police station in Karan district, Mogadishu on July 22. Two people were killed and two people were injured in the clash.[13]
  • Al Shabaab militants killed one woman and kidnapped nine herders in Mahas district, Hiraan region on July 22. The civilians had refused to comply with al Shabaab demands.[14]
  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud responded to the July 17 United Nations monitoring report that portrayed the Somali government as corrupt and ineffective. The Somali president promised to investigate many of the agencies denounced by the UN but also admitted that there were limitations to the country’s infrastructure that the government is still trying to fix.[15]
  • The Puntland government executed two men suspected of the February 2012 killing of a prominent sheikh in Garowe, Nugaal region. Security was bolstered in the area for fear of retaliatory attacks.[16]
  • Somali Defense Minister Abdihakim Haji Mohamud Fiqi met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on July 19 to discuss Ethiopian troop withdrawal and continued bilateral relations.[17]

[1] “Yemeni Fighter Planes Violate Sanctity of Ramadan and Launch Raids on Abyan and Ma’rib,” Sada Aden, July 23, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Yemeni Air Forces Conducts Strikes against Members of al Qaeda in Ma’rib and Abyan,” al Tagheer, July 23, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Saudi Suspect in Underwear Bomber Plots Trained Others, U.S. Says,” Reuters, July 19, 2013. Available:
[3] “Man Resists 25 Pickups for 13 Hours and Kills Citizens and Wounds Six, Among Them Four soldiers, West of Sana’a,” Mohammash Ye, July 23, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Gunmen Attack Political Security Headquarters in Lahij,” Mareb Press, July 23, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Breaking: Production Manager at the Red Sea Detergent Company in Taiz Killed by Gunmen,” Yemen Saeed, July 23, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Hadramawt Lawyer Suffers Attack by Central Security Forces for Defending Prisoners from Being Beaten With Rifle Butts,” Hona Hadramout, July 23, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Islah Militias Storm Socialist Headquarters in Khadir,” Barakish, July 23, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “Yemen Partakes in Training Course to Combat Piracy,” Saba News, July 22, 2013. Available:
[9] “Al Qaeda Militants in Yemen Target Another Man After Accusing Him of Being GaySuspects Attack Gay Man in South Yemen,” AFP, July 20, 2013. Available:
[10] “Kenyan Naval Ships ‘Bombard’  Locality in Southern Somalia,” Daynile, July 22, 2013. Available:
[11] “Militia Group Said Plans Fresh Attacks on Southern Somalia Town,” Midnimo, July 22, 2013. Available:
[12] “Blast Killed 2, Wounded One Female in Mogadishu,” Mustaqbal Radio, July 23, 2013. Available:
“Heavy Explosion Heard in Wadajir district Early Morning,” Radio Dalsan, July 23, 2013. Available:
“3 al Shabaab Members Die While Planting an Explosion in Mogadishu,” Bar Kulan, July 23, 2013. Available:
[13] “Armed Group Attack Police Station in Karan District,” Radio Mustaqbal, July 22, 2013. Available:
[14] “Militants Kill, Rob and Kidnap Nomads in Hiran Region,” Qalin, July 23, 2013. Available:
[15] “Somalia Call for Adjudication Panel for Future Monitoring Group Reports,” Dalsan Radio, July 23, 2013. Available:
[16] “Puntland Executes Sheikh Ga’amey Killers,” Bar Kulan, July 23, 2013. Available:
[17] “Somali Defense Minister Meets with Ethiopian Prime Minister in Addis Ababa,” Radio Dalsan, July 23, 2013. Available:
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