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: Al Qaeda-linked militant and his two sons killed while making bomb that detonated prematurely in al Mukalla; Ansar al Sharia media arm posts video showing French aid worker’s release from captivity

Horn of Africa: A landmine injures three police officers and three civilians at Dadaab refugee camp; AMISOM forms a new security force to secure the venue where the constitution will be passed in Mogadishu; Puntland forces launch security operations in Galkayo to remove pirates from the area; twelve Vietnamese crew members return home after being held captive for 18 months

Yemen Security Brief

  • The Yemeni Interior Ministry said that an al Qaeda-linked militant and his two sons were killed when a bomb they were building detonated prematurely in their home in al Mukalla in Hadramawt governorate on July 24.[1]
  • Madad News Agency, Ansar al Sharia’s media arm, released a video on jihadist forums on July 23 showing the release of French aid worker Benjamin Malbrancke to the deputy head of the council in Abyan, Mahmoud al Baydhani, on July 15. In the video, an Ansar al Sharia official states that Malbrancke is being released in accordance with Muslim scholars’ rulings, including a fatwa released by Jordanian cleric Abu Muhammad al Maqdisi. The official added, “This is Benjamin and we are releasing him without anything in return, without any conditions or requests...”[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A local police official, George Kingi, reported that a landmine injured three police officers and three civilians when it detonated near a police vehicle transporting food to Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.[3]
  • African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) spokesman Mohamed Adam Hamud reported that AMISOM established a new security force to secure the event marking the adoption of a new constitution in Mogadishu.[4]
  • Puntland security forces launched security operations in Galkayo town, the capital of Mudug region, in order to target pirates in the area.[5]
  • Twelve Vietnamese sailors held hostage by Somali pirates reportedly returned home after 18 months of captivity on July 24.[6]      

[1] “Militants Killed in ‘Own Explosives’ in Yemen,” Yemen Post, July 25, 2012. Available:
[2] “Madad Video Shows Release of French Aid Worker in Yemen,” SITE Intelligence Group, July 24, 2012. Available at SITE.
[3] “Three Kenyan Police Injured in an Explosion in Dadaab, Northern Kenya,” Bar Kulan, July 25, 2012. Available:
[4] “AMISOM Forms a Special Unit to Maintain Security During the Meeting to Pass the Constitution,” Radio Risaala, July 24, 2012. Available:
[5] “Puntland Forces Carry Out Security Operations in Galkayo,” Garowe Online, July 24, 2012. Available:
[6] “Seamen Kidnapped by Somali Pirates Returned Home,”  Raxanreeb, July 24, 2012. Available:
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