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: Three airstrikes in Azzan kill at least 30 militants; Ansar al Sharia reports on activities in its 21st news report; Madad reports on Ansar al Sharia’s withdrawal from Jaar and Zinjibar on June 12; UNSC adopts resolution on Yemen to continue the political transition process

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab detains seven people for collaborating with Ahlu Sunna in Elbur; TFG claims victory over al Shabaab in Qoqani; German terrorist suspected of planning the bomb in Nairobi in May arrested

Yemen Security Brief

  • Head of Shabwah security Col. Ahmed al Maqdashi said that three airstrikes targeting al Qaeda-linked militants in Azzan in Shabwah governorate killed at least 30 fighters. A Yemeni official reported that at least one strike was carried out by a drone. Ansar al Sharia released a statement claiming that there were five U.S. drone strikes on Azzan and that none of its fighters were wounded or killed in the attacks.[1]
  • Ansar al Sharia’s media arm Madad News Agency released its 21st news issue on jihadist forums on May 31. The report focuses on Ayman al Zawahiri’s speech titled, “Yemen Between a Departing Agent and a Deputy Agent,” released on May 15, and a video featuring an appeal from Abdullah al Khalidi, a Saudi diplomat who was kidnapped on March 28. Madad also reports on the “Triangle of Evil,” stating that Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the U.S. have all collaborated in the killing of civilians in Abyan. Additionally, the report states that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) killed a “magician” in Hadramawt governorate and threatened others practicing similar acts.[2]
  • Madad News Agency reported on Ansar al Sharia’s withdrawal from Zinjibar and Jaar in Abyan governorate on jihadist forums on June 12. A media source from Ansar al Sharia stated that the militants withdrew from the cities in order to “spare the bloodshed” of Muslims in fear of Yemeni military attacks and strikes.[3]
  • The U.S. State Department reported that the UN Security Council (UNSC) adopted Resolution 2051 on Yemen on June 12, “reaffirming the need for the full and timely implementation of the democratic reforms laid out in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Initiative and Implementation Mechanism.” In the resolution, the GCC threatens spoilers of Yemen’s political transition process and states that “further measures” would be considered for anyone seeking to “derail political progress.” The Implementation Mechanism consists of four priorities: moving forward with the National Dialogue conference, restructuring and unifying the Yemeni military, establishing transitional justice, implementing constitution reform and holding elections in February 2014.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • At least seven people were detained by al Shabaab for allegedly collaborating with Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a in Wabho town in Galgudud region. The detainees were captured and secured in rebel vehicles headed towards Elbur town.[5]
  • The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) claimed victory over al Shabaab in Qoqani in Lower Jubba region following a battle with al Shabaab militants on June 12. A Somali military official reported that many militant fighters were killed in the battle and some of their vehicles were also damaged. He added that Qoqani is now controlled by Kenyan forces.[6]
  • German Emrah Erdogan was arrested by Kenyan police forces in Tanzania for planning the May 28 bomb attack in Nairobi. Erdogan allegedly became a member of al Shabaab after a 2011 trip to Somalia.[7]     

[1] “Yemen Presses Ahead with Offensive on Militants,” Reuters, June 13, 2012. Available:
“30 Terrorists Killed in Three Airstrikes in Azzan in Shabwah,” 26 September Net, June 13, 2012. Available:
[2] “Madad Reports on Media Releases, AQAP Activities,” SITE Intelligence Group, June 12, 2012. Available at SITE.
[3] “Madad Reports Ansar al-Shariah Withdrawing from Ja’ar, Zinjibar,” SITE Intelligence Group, June 12, 2012. Available at SITE.
[4] “UNSCR Resolution 2051 on Yemen,” Department of State, June 12, 2012. Available:
[5] “Al Shabaab Detains Seven in Wabho, Galgadud Region,” Bar Kulan, June 13, 2012. Available:
[6] “Somali Govt Forces Claim Victory Over Al Shabaab Battle,” Shabelle Media Network, June 13, 2012. Available:
“Ethiopian Troops Abandon Some Somali Towns,” AP, June 12, 2012. Available:
[7] Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala “Top German Terrorist Suspect Arrested in Tanzania-Police,” Reuters, June 12, 2012. Available:
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