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: Ansar al Sharia attacks Batis village in Abyan; President Hadi orders the deployment of additional troops to Abyan; President Hadi to meet with Iranian envoy next week; AQAP cleric urging Muslims in cities to carry out attacks

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants rob and kill businessman near Dhusamareb; Ethiopian troops arrest two top security officials for releasing prisoners from Baidoa central station; NCA members convene for nine days in Mogadishu to adopt new constitution

Yemen Security Brief

  • The head of a local militia in Batis in Abyan governorate said that Ansar al Sharia militants attacked the village on July 25. Armed tribesmen succeeded in repelling the attack and killed two Ansar al Sharia militants.[1]
  • Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi reportedly ordered the Defense Ministry and Interior Ministry to send additional troops to Abyan governorate. Sources from the President Hadi’s office indicated that the troops were being sent to counter any resurgence of al Qaeda-linked militants in the area.[2]
  • A Yemeni military newspaper reported that an Iranian envoy is expected to travel to Sana’a next week in order to deliver a message on regional developments and bilateral relations from Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to President Hadi. Over the last week, President Hadi has warned Iran against meddling in Yemeni politics after he announced the dismantling of an Iranian spy network in Yemen.[3]
  • Al Malahem Foundation, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) media wing, released a speech by “scholar” Harith bin Ghazi al Nadhari, also known as Muhammad al Murshidi, on jihadist forums on July 25. In the speech titled, “Mujahideen in the Cities,” Nadhari incites Muslims living “amongst the enemy” to “seek killing and dying out of love for Allah and longing for Him...” Nadhari also urges Muslims who have found it difficult to formally contact and join jihadist movements to conduct lone-wolf attacks.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Suspected al Shabaab militants shot and killed renowned business man Hirsi Mohamed Gulleid near Dhusamareb district in Galgudud region. Local residents reported that the assailants fled the scene after stealing money from Gulleid’s office.[5]
  • Ethiopian troops arrested two top security officials, Chief of Police in Bay and Bakool region Adan Doodshe and Chief of Police in Baidoa Aden Biid, on July 24 after the officials released prisoners from Baidoa central station in Bay region.[6]
  • A 26-day training program for 180 Somali police began in Beledweyne town in Hiraan regoin. Beledweyene officer Ali Abdi Mahad reported that once the training is complete the officers will be in charge of securing the city. Turkish security forces are simultaneously training more than 60 police officers in Turkey.[7]
  • Somalia’s National Constituent Assembly (NCA) convened on July 24 for nine days to adopt a new provisional constitution ahead of a national referendum in Mogadishu. The 825 delegates, chosen by elders across Somalia clans, are meeting at a former police academy in Mogadishu. Troops from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) are providing security for the convention.[8]   

[1] “Al Qaeda-tied Militants Attack South Yemen Village,” Reuters, July 25, 2012. Available:
[2] “Hadi Orders to Send Military Reinforcements to Abyan,” Yemen Post, July 26, 2012. Available:
[3] “Military Newspaper: Iranian Envoy to Arrive to Sana’a Next Week,” Al Masdar Online, July 26, 2012. Available:
[4] “AQAP Scholar Gives Advice to Fighters, Lone-Wolves,” SITE Intelligence Group, July 25, 2012. Available at SITE.
[5] “Militants Kill Prominent Businessman in Lebi-Dule, Outside Dusamareb,” Bar Kulan, July, 26, 2012. Available:
[6] “Two Security Officials Arrested by Ethiopian Forces in Central Somalia,” Garowe Online, July 25, 2012. Available:
“Ethiopian Troops Arrest Somali Army Officers in Baidoa Town,” Shabelle Media Network, July 25, 2012. Available:
[7] “180 Police Officers to Receive Trainings in Beledweyne,” Bar Kulan, July 26, 2012. Available:
[8] “Somalia’s National Constitution Assembly Convenes in Mogadishu,” Shabelle Media Network, July 25, 2012. Available:


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