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: Gunmen assassinate colonel in al Qatan, Hadramawt; Southern Movement protests on anniversary of end of 1994 civil war; gunmen attack checkpoint in Taiz; President Hadi meets with Qatari ambassador; officials announce high alert in Abyan; two weapons shipments intercepted in the Red Sea; Ma’rib-Sana’a power lines attacked; IED kills three in Sana’a; AQAP releases video of fighters killed in Yemen

Horn of Africa: Bakool governor reports Sheikh Mukhtar Robow is negotiating with Somali government; Somali troops attack al Shabaab positions in Hudur, Bakool region; plane carrying Somali president makes emergency landing; Ahmed Madobe travels to Garowe, Nugaal region; al Shabaab militants fire mortars at Kenyan positions at Kismayo airport, Lower Jubba region; al Shabaab executes three teenagers in Lower Shabelle region; al Shabaab militants clash with Somali fighters in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region; unknown gunmen kill journalist in Galkayo, Mudug region; protesters in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region demonstrate against Kenyan involvement in Kismayo; al Shabaab militants abduct 40 in Garissa county, Kenya; al Shabaab militants traveling to fight in Democratic Republic of Congo; Somali prime minister announces new military plan; Muslim Youth Center announces forthcoming interview; Tanzanian authorities arrest wanted British citizen in Mbeya region, Tanzania

Yemen Security Brief

  • Gunmen in a car killed a 37th Armored Brigade colonel outside his home in al Qatan, Hadramawt governorate on July 8.[1]
  • Southern Movement leader Hassan Baoum called for civil disobedience on the anniversary of the 1994 civil war. Protesters paralyzed cities across the south, including al Mukalla and Aden, and closed borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman on July 8.[2]
  • Gunmen attacked a security checkpoint in al Harir, Salah district, Taiz governorate on July 8. They killed one soldier and wounded another before fleeing.[3]
  • The Qatari ambassador to Yemen delivered a letter from the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, to President Hadi on July 8.[4]
  • Security officials announced a state of high alert in Abyan governorate on July 6. Officials expressed concerned that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was attempting to re-infiltrate the territory. The secretary journalist of the Interior Ministry told Yemen Times that intelligence had confirmed militants’ plans to attack Lawder district.[5]
  • Security forces intercepted an arms shipment near Zoqar Island in the Red Sea on July 7. They captured another ship shortly after between Taiz and al Hudaydah.[6]
  • Saboteurs attacked the Ma’rib-Sana’a power lines in al Hansha, Nihm district, Sana’a governorate on July 6.[7] 
  • An improvised explosive device (IED) killed three soldiers and wounded two in al Hasaba district, Sana’a on July 6.[8]
  • The Malahem Media Foundation, AQAP’s media wing, released a second installment of its “Convoy of Martyrs” series containing clips of eleven fighters, both foreign and Yemeni, who died in Yemen.[9]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Governor of the Bakool region reported that senior al Shabaab leader Mukhtar Robow is currently negotiating with the Somali government in El Barde, Bakool region. Somalia’s central government has not confirmed this statement.[10]
  • Somali troops attacked al Shabaab positions in Hudur, Bakool region on July 5. Seven people total were reportedly killed, three of whom were al Shabaab fighters. The attack was unsuccessful and government troops were repelled from the area.[11]
  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was traveling to Sudan when his plane caught fire and had to make an emergency landing 30 minutes after takeoff in Mogadishu on July 8. The cause of the fire is not known but no one on board was injured. Al Shabaab live tweeted the incident saying, “Next time it would [be] a missile.”[12]
  • Ahmed Madobe traveled to Garowe, Nugaal region on July 6 to meet with Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole. Madobe referred to Puntland as the “mother” of Jubbaland and said it was a political model. Politicians in Jubbaland warned Puntland to stop interfering in the Jubbaland political process.[13]
  • Al Shabaab militants fired mortars at a Kenyan base at the Kismayo airport, Lower Jubba region on July 7. Al Shabaab claimed to have killed seven Kenyan soldiers but casualty numbers are unconfirmed.[14]
  • Al Shabaab officials in Lower Shabelle region said that the group executed three teenagers believed to be spying for the Somali government on July 6.[15]
  • Al Shabaab militants and Somali government troops fought outside Jowhar, Lower Shabelle region on July 6. Somali officials claimed that they killed three al Shabaab militants but there was no total casualty count.[16]
  • Unknown gunmen killed a journalist in Galkayo, Mudug region on July 7. The reporter was traveling home when the gunmen attacked. The reason behind the shooting is not known and no group has claimed responsibility.[17]
  • Demonstrators protested in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region on July 7 against Kenyan involvement and human rights violations in the recent Kismayo violence.[18]
  • Al Shabaab militants abducted 40 people driving in Garissa county, Kenya on July 6. The al Shabaab fighters were looking for government employees and released the hostages when they found no Kenyan government personnel.[19]
  • Shabelle Media Network reported claims by government officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that al Shabaab militants are traveling to the DRC to fight with the Alliance of Democratic Forces of the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda.[20]
  • Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon announced a new military plan called “Shabeel” aimed at eradicating al Shabaab from all of Somalia.[21]
  • Kenya-based Muslim Youth Center (MYC) said on July 3 that it was preparing to release an interview with MYC leader Ahmad Iman Ali, supporting al Shabaab leader Mukhtar Abu Zubair.[22]     
  • Tanzanian authorities arrested a British citizen, wanted by the British government on terrorism related charges, in the Mbeya region of Tanzania on July 6.[23]

[1] “Yemeni Colonel Shot Dead in Ambush Near Home: Defense Ministry,” Reuters, July 8, 2013. Available:
[2] “Forced Disobedience Under Threat and Wide Dissatisfaction Fills Shabwah,” Mareb Press, July 7, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Civil Disobedience Paralyzes Southern Provinces,” Yemen Observer, July 8, 2013. Available:
[3] “Breaking: Gunmen at al Harir checkpoint in Taiz Kill Soldier and Wound Another; Large Military Campaign Comes to the Region,” Sahafah, July 8, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “President Receives Letter from Qatar’s Emir,” Saba News, July 8, 2013. Available:
[5] “Al Qaeda Back in Abyan?” Yemen Times, July 8, 2013. Available:
[6] “Yemen Seizes New Ship Carrying Weapons,” Saba News, July 7, 2013. Available:
“Capture of Weapons Ship in al Khawkhah and Dozens of Boats Ready to Set Sail from Djibouti to Yemen,” Mareb Press, July 7, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Al Qatrani Attacks Power Lines in Nihm and Ma’rib Station Loses Service,” Sep 26, July 6, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] Samar Al-Ariqi, “2 Dead, 5 Injured In Hasaba Blast,” Yemen Times, July 8, 2013. Available:
“Bomb Blast Kills Three Soldiers in Yemeni Capital,” Reuters, July 6, 2013. Available:
[9] “AQAP Releases Second Episode in Convoy of Martyrs Series,” SITE Intel Group, July 5, 2013.  Available:
[10]“Somalia: 7 Killed in Bakool Battle, al Shabaab Official in Talk Government,” Garowe Online, July 6, 2013. Available:
“Senior al Shabaab Leader Robow in Talks with Governmnet,” Sabahi Online, July 7, 2013. Available:
[11] “Senior al Shabaab Leader Robow in Talks with Governmnet,” Sabahi Online, July 7, 2013. Available:
“Somalia: 7 Killed in Bakool Battle, al Shabaab Official in Talk Government,” Garowe Online, July 6, 2013. Available:
[12] “Somali President Plane’s Catches Fire,” Bar Kulan, July 8, 2013. Available:
“President of Somalia Escapes Unhurt after Crash Scare,” Shabelle, July 8, 2013. Available:
“HSMPress1 Tweet about Somali President Plane Fire,” Twitter, July 8, 2013. Available:
[13] “Somalia: Jubaland President Arrives to Big Welcome in Puntland,” Garowe Online, July 6, 2013. Available:
“Jubaland Politicians Warn the President of Puntland to Stop Instigatin War Between Clans,” Shabelle, July 7, 2013. Available:
[14] “Al Shabaab Attacks Kenyan Troops in Kismayo,” Radio Mustaqbal, July 7, 2013. Available:
[15] “Al Shabaab Killed 3 Persons in Lower Shabelle Region,” Radio Mustaqbal, July 6, 2013. Available:
[16] “Confrontation Erupts the Outskirt of Jowhar Town,” Shabelle, July 6, 2013. Available:
[17] “Mogadishu- A Somali Journalist was Shot Dead By Unidentified gunmen on Sunday, The Fifth Media Worker to Be Killed in Somalia this Year, a Colleague and Witness Said,” Shabelle, July 8, 2013. Available:
[18] “Demonstration against Kenyan Troops in Kismayo, Occurred in Jowhar Town,” Radio Mustaqbal, July 7, 2013. Available:
[19] “Armed Militia Release Abducted People in Northern Kenya,” Bar Kulan, July 6, 2013. Available:
[20] “Congo Democratic Denounces Presence of Somali Mercenaries,” Shabelle, July 8, 2013. Available:
[21] “Galgudud Administration Welcomes New Military Operation Declared by Somali PM,” Bar Kulan, July 6, 2013. Available:
[22] “MYC Says Interview Forthcoming with Leader, Defends al Shabaab,” SITE Intel Group, July 3, 2013. Available at SITE.
[23] “Tanzania Says Arrests Briton Wanted by UK on Terror Charges,” Reuters, July 6, 2013. Available:
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