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: Yemeni security forces arrest 14 al Qaeda militants; troops fire on demonstrators marching for employment in Hadramawt governorate; U.S. Ambassador to Yemen denies military involvement in the region; September 26 publishes names and photographs of captured terrorists; oil ministry denies allegations that it supports the al Houthi rebels

Horn of Africa: Unknown gunmen kill former deputy police Commissioner of Puntland in Garowe town; Somali and Kenyan forces rescue kidnapped aid workers; Kenyan Prime Minister vows to keep Kenyan troops in Somalia until security conditions improve

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemen’s defense ministry reported that security forces had arrested 14 al Qaeda militants. The militants, nine of whom are foreigners, were allegedly plotting to attack army and civilian leaders as well as foreign targets. The defense ministry reported that the militants were operating in three cells, the largest of which was active the south, and that two of the militants had been recruiters.[1]
  • Yemeni troops fired tear gas and ammunition at demonstrators marching near an oilfield operated by Total in Hadramawt governorate. At least ten people were injured. The demonstrators were calling on Total to hire them.[2]
  • U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein reasserted that only U.S. army instructors were in Yemen to help train the country’s counter-terrorism units and that American troops were not fighting beside Yemeni troops. Ambassador Feierstein underscored that no American military presence would be established outside of the Pentagon military aid program.[3]
  • September 26 published the names and faces of terrorist cell members seized by security services since February 2012. The list included the members of the cell responsible for the May 21 assassination of the commander of the southern military zone.[4]
  • Yemen’s Oil and Minerals Ministry denied allegations that it provides financial support to the al Houthi rebels. News reports accused the ministry of helping the Houthis to organize protests against the U.S. ambassador to Yemen.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Unidentified gunmen killed former deputy police Commissioner of Puntland, Col. Abdullahi Salah Nadalo, near the Bulshale hotel in 1st August village in Garowe town on July 2. The Puntland police department had fired Nadalo the day before without citing reasons. Nadalo may have been killed because he is believed to have been a lead supporter of anti-piracy operations in Puntland.[6]
  • Somali and Kenyan forces rescued the four aid workers after they were seized from a refugee camp in Dadaab on June 29. The workers arrived in Nairobi via helicopter on July 2 after being found in Alu Gulay village. The Norwegian Refugee Council said the four released hostages were: Astrid Sehl of Norway, 33; Glenn Costes of Philippines, 40; Steven Dennis of Canada, 37; and Canadian citizen Qurat-Ul-Ain Sadazai, 38, who is of Pakistani origin.[7]
  • Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, swore to maintain Kenyan troops inside Somalia until stability is restored after 17 civilians died in the two church attacks in Garissa on July 1. Odinga directed a speech at al Shabaab indicating that the Kenyans will not surrender. Kenyan police arrested 36 people in connection to the Garissa church attacks.[8]    


[1] “Yemen Says Smashes Three al Qaeda-linked Cells,” Reuters, July 3, 2012. Available:
[2] “10 Hurt as Yemeni Troops Fire on Protestors,” AFP, July 3, 2012. Available:
[3] “US Ambassador Accuses Sheikh Zindani,” Yemen Observer, July 2, 2012. Available:
[4] ”Exclusive: Publication of Names and Photographs of All Members of Terrorist Cells Seized by Security Forces,” September 26, July 3, 2012. Available:
[5] “Oil Ministry Denies Providing Support for Houthis,” Yemen Post, July 2, 2012. Available:
[6] “Gunmen Kill Former Puntland Deputy Police Chief in Garowe Town;” Shabelle Media Network, July 3, 2012. Available:
[7] “4 Aid Workers Kidnapped From Kenyan Refugee Camp Rescued by Militia Inside Somalia,” Associated Press, July 2, 2012. Available:
Mohamed Ahmed and Drazen Jorgic, “Four Foreign Aid Workers Rescued from Somali Captors,” Reuters, July 2, 2012. Available:
[8] “Kenya Vows No Somalia Pullout After Deadly Attack,” AFP, July 2, 2012. Available:
Bernard Momanyi, “36 Arrested Over Garissa Blasts,” Capital FM, July 3, 2012. Available:
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