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 electric system faces collapse; security director in Mukayras, al Bayda survives assassination attempt; increased security planned for Dhamar; gunmen detain oil tankers in Taiz; Yemeni Air Force launches raids in Ma’rib governorate; General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar threatens to overthrow President Hadi; gunmen kidnap relative of Sadiq al Ahmar

Horn of Africa: Explosion targets Somali police officers in Bakara Market, Mogadishu; grenade attack targets Somali soldier in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region; Somali defense minister denies holding talks with Sheikh Mukhtar Robow; hijacked cargo ship sinks off coast of Somalia; Somali president travels to Juba, South Sudan; Somali prime minister travels to Baidoa, Bay region; Somali interior minister meets with Somaliland trade minister in Istanbul, Turkey

Yemen Security Brief

  • The director general of the Yemeni Electricity Foundation, Abdul Rahman Saif Aqlan, announced on July 9 that the company was facing bankruptcy due to continued attacks on power lines. He went on to say that Yemen’s electric infrastructure is in danger of collapsing.[1]
  • The security director in Mukayras, al Bayda governorate survived an assassination attempt in Umshabah village on July 8. Gunmen ambushed his car, killing one bodyguard and wounding another.[2]
  • The security director in Dhamar announced a security plan including an increased state of readiness and more patrols to protect citizens during the month of Ramadan.[3]
  • Tribal gunmen detained dozens of tank trucks in al Rahida city, Taiz governorate on July 9. The action is due to a conflict between the al Sabbeiha and al Saloo tribes.[4]
  • Yemeni fighter planes launched raids against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) hideouts in Ma’rib and Abyan on July 9. U.S. drones reportedly provided low-altitude reconnaissance of the terrorists.[5]
  • Major General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar threatened to expel President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi from his palace like Mohammad Morsi after President Hadi congratulated Egyptians on overthrowing Morsi on July 9.[6]
  • Gunmen from the Jehm tribe kidnapped a relative of Sadiq al Ahmar in Ma’rib on July 7. They said al Ahmar had stopped paying them.[7]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • An explosion targeted a car carrying Somali policemen in Bakara Market, Mogadishu on July 9. Al Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for the attack but the cause of the blast is disputed, with some sources reporting a grenade and others an improvised explosive device. Casualty counts from the explosion vary. Al Shabaab claims to have killed three Somali officers and injured three others. Witnesses report one dead policeman and at least four more wounded.[8]
  • A grenade attack injured a Somali government soldier in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region on July 8. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.[9]
  • Somali Defense Minister Abdihakim Haji Mohamud Fiqi denied reports stating that the Somali government was conducting talks with senior al Shabaab official Sheikh Mukhtar Robow.[10]
  • A Malaysian-owned cargo ship that was hijacked by Somali pirates in November 2010 sank off the coast of Somalia on July 8. Four crew member and seven pirates were killed. Thirteen crew members are reported missing.[11]
  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud traveled to Juba, South Sudan in order to discuss bilateral relations and celebrate South Sudan’s second anniversary.[12]
  • Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon traveled to Baidoa, Bay region on July 8 in order to discuss security measures in the region.[13]
  • Somali Interior Minister Abdikarin Hussein Guled met with Somaliland Trade Minister Muhammad Omar in Istanbul on July 7 for reconciliation talks.[14]     

[1] “Disaster Coming With Continued Attacks on Electric Systems in Yemen,” al Masdar Online, July 9, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Security Director of Makayras Survives Assassination Attempt and One of his Guards Martyred in al Baydah,” Mareb Press, July 8, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “New Security Plan for the Month of Ramadan in Dhamar Governorate,” 26 Sep, July 9, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Fighter Planes Launch Raids Against Saboteurs’ Locations in Ma’rib,” Mohammash, July 9, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: 
[6] “Major General Ali Mohsen Threatens to Detain President Hadi Like Morsi After He Congratulated the Egyptian Interim President,” Yemen Press, July 9, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Ma’rib: Soldiers in the Interior Kidnap Relative of Tribal Leader “al Ahmar” and Accuse Him of Cutting Off Their Wages,” al Masdar Online, July 9, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Somali Car Explodes in Mogadishu’s Bakara Market,” BBC, July 9, 2013. Available:
[9] Grenade Attack Injures Government Soldier in Jowhar,” Bar Kulan, July 9, 2013. Available:
[10] “Somali Government Denies Abu Mansur Talks,” Bar Kulan, July 9, 2013. Available:
[11] “At Least 11 Dead as Ship Held by Pirates Sink off Somalia,” Reuters, July 8, 2013. Available:
[12] “Somalia: President Hassan in Diplomatic Visit to Republic of South Sudan,” July 9, 2013. Available:
[13] “Somali PM Visits Baidoa Town,” Bar Kulan, July 8, 2013. Available:
[14] “Turkey Hosts Somalia, Somaliland Region Unity Talks,” Sabahi Online, July 8, 2013. Available:
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