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: President Hadi leaves for the U.S.; gunmen beat Yemeni Socialist Party leader in Sana’a; tribal clashes kill four in Dhamar; gunmen kidnap two soldiers in al Dhaleh; IED found in Lahij; 26th Infantry Brigade mutinies in al Bayda; IED explodes in Sana’a; Yahya al Houthi returns to Yemen; gunmen attack oil pipeline in Ma’rib; U.S. disapproves of Shaye’s release; South Korean diplomat attacked in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab claims continued attacks during Ramadan; al Shabaab intimidates and hurts refugees returning to Somalia from Kenya; U.S. trains Kenyan and Ugandan soldiers in WMD prevention; U.S. deputy defense secretary travels to Uganda; UN condemns arms flow to Somali and Eritrea, renews monitoring group’s mandate; Ethiopian foreign minister comments on Ethiopian withdrawal

Yemen Security Brief

  • President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi left Yemen to travel to the United States on July 25 in a surprise visit. He will discuss bilateral relations with President Barack Obama and undergo a routine medical checkup in Cleveland. President Hadi just returned from a surprise visit to Qatar, and will stop in Saudi Arabia on his return from the U.S.[1]
  • Gunmen abducted Ahmad Naji Mohsen al Hashadi, one of the leaders of the Yemeni Socialist Party in Sana’a, on July 24. They severely beat him and left him on the street in the Shamila neighborhood.[2]
  • Tribal clashes between Beit al Masah and Beit “Farhan Qa’id” killed four and wounded three in Dawran, Dhamar governorate on July 24.[3]
  • Gunmen kidnapped two soldiers from the 33rd Armored Brigade in al Dhaleh on July 24. The security services in al Dhaleh are investigating the issue.[4]
  • A security official said that an improvised explosive device (IED) was found in a wall of the political security building in al Hawta, Lahij governorate on July 25. No one claimed responsibility, but the official said that it was likely the work of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).[5]
  • An IED exploded near the police station in al Qulfan, Sana’a on July 24. It destroyed a car, but no one was injured.[6]
  • Parliamentarian and al Houthi leader Yahya al Houthi returned to Sana’a on July 25 to participate in the National Dialogue Conference. Al Houthi spent years in political asylum in Germany after the Sa’ada war. Central Security Forces reportedly fired at his car shortly after leaving the airport.[7]
  • Gunmen from the al ‘Awsan tribe attacked an oil pipeline in Wadi Abeidah, Ma’rib governorate on July 25.[8]
  • Soldiers of 26th Infantry Brigade mutinied against Brigadier General Fadhel Nasser al Masri in al Bayda on July 22 because they did not receive pay. Several soldiers in military pickups shot at the brigade headquarters and forced al Masri to leave the camp.[9]
  • Spokeswoman for the U.S. National Security Council Bernadette Meehan expressed concern over the release of jailed Yemeni prisoner Abdulelah Haider Shaye on July 24.[10]
  • Unknown attackers robbed an employee at the embassy of South Korea while he was driving in Sana’a’s Hadda neighborhood on July 23.[11]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab spokesman Abdi Aziz Abu Mus’ab claimed that al Shabaab has carried out 108 attacks since the beginning of Ramadan. Mus’ab vows the group will carry out continued attacks for the rest of Ramadan in retaliation to Western interference in Somalia.[13]
  • Reports surfaced that al Shabaab is terrorizing refugees traveling from Kenyan refugee camps back to Somalia. The militants are setting up road blocks near the Kenyan-Somali border. Al Shabaab stops vehicles then beats and intimidates the passengers.[14]
  • The United States began a program in January 2013 in which U.S. forces are training Kenyan and Ugandan troops to prepare for, and defend against, weapons of mass destruction. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency is working with AFRICOM and local NGOs to provide knowledge and materials to protect against large scale terrorist attacks.[15]
  • In a show of strengthening bilateral relations, United States Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter traveled to Uganda on July 24 to meet with senior level government and security officials.[16]
  • The United Nations Security Council condemned the continued flow of arms to Somalia and Eritrea during a meeting on July 24. During this same meeting, the UN extended the mandate for the monitoring group for Somalia and Eritrea for an additional 16 months.[17]
  • Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom confirmed Ethiopian withdrawal from Baidoa, Bay region but said that the country did not intend to fully leave more unstable parts of the country.[18]

[1] “President Leaves Sana’a on His Way to USA,” Saba News, July 25, 2013. Available:
“Suddenly and Unannounced… President Hadi Headed to America for Two Week Visit, and Afterwards Saudi Arabia,” Yemen Saeed, July 25, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Kidnapping of Leader of Socialist Party in Sana’a After Muslim Brothers Storm Party Headquarters in Taiz,” Barakish, July 24, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Four Killed and Three Wounded in Clashes in Dhamar,” Barakish, July 25, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Gunmen Kidnap Two Soldiers in Dhaleh,” Barakish, July 25, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “IED Found Planted in Wall of Intelligence Building in South Yemen,” Nashwa News, July 25, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “IED Explodes Near Police Station in Sana’a,” Yemen Saeed, July 25, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Yahya al Houthis’s Caravan Exposed to Gunfire in Sana’a After His Return This Afternoon from Germany,” Al Ain Online, July 25, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “Gunmen Blow Up Oil Export Pipeline in Wadi Obeidah,” Barakish, July 25, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[9] “Seige of Command Headquarters With Military Pickups,” Mareb Press, July 22, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[10] “White House slams release of Yemeni journalist accused of terror ties,” The Hill, July 24, 2013. Available:
[11] “S. Korean embassy worker robbed by armed men in Yemen,” Yonhap News Agency, July 24, 2013. Available:
[13] Abu Muscab Vows More Deadly Attacks in Mogadishu,” Dalsan Radio, July 25, 2013. Available:
[14] “Al Shabaab Harassing Somali Refugees Returning Home From Kenya,” Sabahi Online, July 24, 2013. Available:
[15] “Pentagon Equips Kenya, Uganda against WMD Threats,” NTI, July 23, 2013. Available:
[16] “Carter Affirms Growing Partnership Between U.S., Uganda,” American Forces Press Service, July 25, 2013. Available:
[17] “Security Council Extends Mandate of Monitoring Group for Somalia and Eritrea,” UN, July 24, 2013. Available:
[18] “Ethiopian FM: No Pan to Withdraw Troops from Somalia,” Bernama, July 24, 2013. Available:
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