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: Fighting in Arhab kills at least 40 people; security forces fire on protestors in al Hudaydah governorate; U.S. official says AQAP seeks to use biological weapons against homeland; AQAP bomb-making article connected to Fort Hood terror plot

Horn of Africa: Somali government troops secure new areas of Mogadishu; European Union extends training mission for Somali troops; man throws grenade at al Shabaab fighters in Afgoi, wounding two; new refugee camp opens in northeast Kenya

Yemen Security Brief

  • Clashes between Yemeni soldiers and armed tribesmen in Arhab district in Sana’a killed at least 40 people in the past two days.  The dead include at least 17 soldiers and 23 tribesmen.  Army airstrikes also killed five civilians and injured another thirty.[1]
  • Yemeni security forces fired on anti-government protestors in al Hudaydah governorate, injuring at least ten people.[2]
  • Mike Leiter, former director of the National Counterterrorism center, said al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) still seeks to acquire biological weapons to use against the United States.  He said, “We still have pockets of al-Qaida around the world who see this as a key way to fight us…The potential threat from al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula is very real…The most likely ... are simple forms of chemical or biological weapons…Is it going to kill many people? No. Is it going to scare people? Yes…Anwar al-Awlaki gets that…Smaller scale terrorist attacks are with us for at least the foreseeable future.”[3]
  • An Army private, Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo, admitted that he had planned an attack on Fort Hood. An article on bomb-making from the first edition of AQAP’s English-language magazine, Inspire, was found in his apartment.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Government troops backed by AMISOM and Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a forces have secured several new territories in Mogadishu, including Florence Junction, Hamar Bille neighborhood and “parts of Bakara market and its vicinities.”  Heavy fighting has left at least 20 people dead and 50 injured over the past two days.  Government officials said they have killed dozens of al Shabaab fighters.[5]
  • The European Union extended it mission to train Somali security forces for another two six-month periods.  The mission will be led by Colonel Michael Berry and will primarily take place in Uganda.  The council also agreed to consider measures that would bolster the Somali government’s naval capabilities.[6]
  • An unidentified person threw a hand grenade at al Shabaab fighters in Afgoi corridor of Mogadishu, wounding at least two of them.  Sources reported that al Shabaab arrested several teenage suspects.[7]
  • A new refugee camp opened in northeast Kenya and is receiving thousands of Somalis fleeing from violence in Mogadishu.  UN Refugee Agency staff is working to relocate refugees that have settled along the outskirts of the overcrowded Dadaab refugee complex.[8]

[1] “Soldiers and Tribesmen Clash in Yemen,” AP, July 28, 2011. Available:
“Yemeni Revolution Slowly entering Phase of War,” Yemen Post, July 29, 2011. Available:
“Army Steps up Operations in Arhab after Tribe Seize Camp,” Yemen Post, July 28, 2011. Available:
[2] “Protestors Wounded as Severe Crises Persist in Yemen,” Yemen Post, July 28, 2011. Available:
[3] “Former US officials warn that chemical or biological attack by al-Qaida remains a threat,” AP, July 28, 2011. Available:
[4] J. David Goodman, “Soldier Held Amid Claim of Terror Plot at Fort Hood,” New York Times, July 28, 2011. Available:
[5] “20 killed, 35 hurt in fierce Mogadishu battle,” Shabelle Media Network, July 29, 2011. Available:
Abdalle Ahmed, “SOMALIA: Mogadishu battle death toll rises,” RBC Radio, July 29, 2011. Available:
“Nightfall shells kill 4, injuries 13 in Mogadishu,” Mareeg Online. Available:
“Rocket hurts 8 family members in Darkenley, Mogadishu,” Bar Kulan, July 29, 2011. Available:
[6] “EU extends Somalia military mission by one year,” Reuters, July 28, 2011. Available:
[7] “SOMALIA: Bomb explosion targets Al-Shabab members,” RBC Radio, July 29, 2011. Available:
[8] “UNHCR transfers Somalis to new camp as fresh fighting erupts in Mogadishu,” UNHCR, July 29, 2011. Available:
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