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: Abdulelah Haider Shaye released; grenade attack in Sana’a; U.S. Ambassador meets with Foreign Minister; First Special Guard Brigade mutinies; security forcibly removes vendors in Taiz; Southern Movement demonstrates in Abyan; gunmen wound activist in Sana’a; customs seizes smuggled military cargo in Aden

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab claims to have killed high-level CIA officer; car bomb targets Somali parliamentarian in Hamar Weyne district, Mogadishu; al Shabaab attacks Somali base in Balidogle, Lower Shabelle region; grenade attack targets Somali troops in Afgoi, Lower Shabelle region; Somali soldiers conduct security operations in Beledweyne, Hiraan region; unknown gunmen kill NGO worker in Galkayo, Mudug region; Kenyan police capture bus carrying explosive equipment in Nairobi, Kenya; Interpol report describes group of al Shabaab fighters of European origin; police detain Raila Odinga’s campaign manager

Yemen Security Brief

  • President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi ordered that journalist and expert on al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Abdulelah Haider Shaye be released from Yemeni prison on July 24. Shaye was imprisoned in 2011 for suspected links to AQAP.[1]
  • Men riding a motorcycle threw two grenades into the intersection of Rabat Street and 16th Street in Sana’a on July 24. Two people were injured. The attackers managed to escape, and witnesses said that soldiers at a security checkpoint nearby did nothing.[2]
  • U.S. Ambassador Gerald Feierstein met with Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Abdullah al Qirbi on July 24. They discussed bilateral cooperation and the progress of the National Dialogue Conference (NDC).[3]
  • Soldiers of the First Special Guard Brigade of the Presidential Protective Forces mutinied against camp commander Brigadier General Saleh Abdu Rabbu al Jaeemalani on July 24.[4]
  • Clashes erupted between security forces and armed men in central Taiz on July 23 after the security forces tried to remove stall vendors from the middle of the streets.[5]
  • Thousands of Southern Movement members demonstrated in Zinjibar, Abyan governorate on July 23 in memory of clashes with security forces which killed dozens in 2009.[6]
  • Unidentified gunmen wounded anti-Houthi human rights activist Gha’ib Hawas on July 23 in Sana’a. Sources close to Hawas accused al Houthis of the assassination attempt.[7]
  • Customs officials seized a shipment of Chinese military cargo in Aden on July 23. The shipment included communication devices, mine-sweepers, silencers for automatic weapons, and remote helicopters which intelligence sources say can be used in assassinations.[8]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab released a series of tweets claiming that Gary Schroen, who the group says is the East Africa Director for the CIA, died from injuries received during an attack carried out by al Shabaab in Mogadishu on July 12. No outside sources have commented on the veracity of the statement.[9]
  • A car bomb detonated in the vehicle of Somali Parliamentarian Sheikh Aden Mader in the Hamar Weyne district of Mogadishu on July 24. Mader was not present in the vehicle at the time of the explosion and was not injured. One nearby civilian was killed in the blast and seven more were wounded. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.[10]
  • Al Shabaab militants attacked a Somali Army base in Balidogle, Lower Shabelle region on July 23. Somali military officials said three al Shabaab fighters were killed but did not say how many Somali soldiers were wounded or killed.[11]
  • A grenade attack targeted a Somali military checkpoint in Afgoi, Lower Shabelle region on July 23. Casualties from the explosion are not known. Somali soldiers conducted security operations following the blast and arrested dozens of youths with suspected connections to the grenade attack.[12]
  • Somali soldiers conducted security operations in Beledweyne, Hiraan region on July 24. Over 100 people were arrested for suspected links to attacks that have occurred in the town.[13]
  • Unknown gunmen killed the finance director for the Puntland Development Research Center, an NGO operating in Puntland, in Galkayo, Mudug region on July 23.[14]
  • Kenyan police intercepted a bus in Nairobi, Kenya carrying 400 components used for explosives headed to Mombasa, Kenya on July 24. The explosive parts were reportedly being shipped from Tanzania but the exact origin is not known.[15]
  • An Interpol report released on July 5 described a group of men who joined al Shabaab and attempted to create a terror cell in Malindi, Kenya. Three men, Mustapha Bouyabaren, Ben Abdallah Ismail, and Rachid Benomari, are being detained in Mombasa, Kenya. The fourth, Hassan Kafi, whose whereabouts are unknown, was held for six months in jail and then released. The four men traveled from Belgium, throughout European and Middle Eastern countries, to Somalia, Tanzania, and finally settled in Kenya.[16]
  • Reports of political repression in Kenya surfaced as Kenyan police arrested a longtime advisor to Uhuru Kenyatta’s former presidential opponent Raila Odinga. Eliud Owalo was Odinga’s campaign manager and is now being accused of trying to instigate “Egyptian-like” uprisings.[17]

[1] “Yemen Journalist Pardoned After Three Years in Prison,” Reuters, July 24, 2013. Available:
[2] “Two Wounded in Explosion on Rabat Street in Sana’a,” Barakish, July 24, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Foreign Minister Meets With U.S. Ambassador in Sana’a,” 26 Sep, July 24, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Soldiers From the First Presidential Protection Brigade Mutiny Against the Commander and Prevent Him From Entering,” Barakish, July 24, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Breaking: Violent Clashes In Taiz City Center,” Barakish, July 23, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Huge Demonstration of Southern Movement in Zanzibar,” al Watan Ye, July 23, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “al Houthis Accused of Assassination Attempt Against Activist from Sa’ada,” Mareb Press, July 24, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “Aden Customs Foils Attempted Smuggling of Helicopters Used in Assassinations,” Sada Aden, July 24, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[9] “Shabaab Says CIA East Africa Director Killed as Result of July 12 Attack,” SITE Intelligence Group, July 23, 2013. Available at SITE.
[10] “Fresh Bomb Attack Rocks Mogadishu,” Bar Kulan, July 24, 2013. Available:
“Somalia: Car Bomb Explosion at Market in Mogadishu Kills 1,” Garowe Online, July 24, 2013. Available:
[11] “Fighting Erupts in Lower Shabelle Region,” Bar Kulan, July 24, 2013. Available:
“Al Shabaab Fighters Attack Military Bases Near Ballidoogle,” Dalsan Radio, July 24, 2013. Available:
[12] “Search Operation in Afgoye after Grenade Attack,” Dalsan Radio, July 24, 2013. Available:
[13] “Somali Governmnet Troops Arrest Over 100 People in Beledweyne,” Radio Mustaqbal, July 24, 2013. Available:
[14] “Somalia: Local NGO Official Killed in Galkayo,” Garowe Online, July 24, 2013. Available:
[15] “Explosives Seized in a Bus Destined for Mombasa,” Daily Standard, July 24, 2013. Available:
[16] “Belgian Terror Suspect Goes Scot Free for Lack of Evidence,” Standard Media, July 24, 2013. Available:
[17] “Groups: Kenya Government Crushing Dissent Using Police,” AP, July 23, 2013. Available:
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