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: Authorities acquit accused AQAP leader; tribal mediation stops clash in Sa’ada; police bust organ trafficking ring in Sana’a; tribesmen return stolen cars in Lahij; security director of Shabwah will not forbid weapons in Ataq, Shabwah; tribesmen blow up oil pipeline in Sirwah, Ma’rib; protests against new deputy governor in Ibb; American citizen planned to join AQAP; Ministry of the Interior announces several appointments; AQAP changes communication techniques after NSA leak

Horn of Africa: Ras Kamboni and Marehan fighters clash in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region; troops loyal to Mukhtar Abu Zubair reportedly kill Ibrahim al Afghani; Somali members of parliament meet with Hassan Dahir Aweys; explosion targets Kenyan troops in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region; Sierra Leonean troops capture two al Shabaab militants in Taabta, Lower Jubba region; Somali troops peacefully take Badhadhe, Lower Jubba region from al Shabaab ; Ras Kamboni fighter kills two civilians in Kismayo, Lower Jubba; al Shabaab releases video showing attack on Kenyan and Somali troops; Somali government and European Union plan conference in Brussels, Belgium

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni authorities acquitted Omar Ashour Salman and his son on June 27 of heading al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Hadramawt. Security sources said that the real leader is actually Salman’s other son Ashour Omar Ashour, who is still at large.[1]
  • Tribal mediation stopped a clash between Salafists and al Houthis in Damaj, Sa’ada governorate on June 26.[2]
  • Police arrested four members of an organ trafficking gang in Sana’a on June 27. The gang would lure victims and send them to Egypt to sell organs.[3]
  • The al Humaydah tribe returned two stolen cars and two pickups to the 201st Mechanized Infantry Brigade in Lahij governorate on June 26. The tribe had stolen the vehicles three days earlier when they took over the military checkpoint.[4]
  • The security director of Shabwah governorate refused to forbid tribesmen from carrying weapons in the capital Ataq. He claimed that security forces will not be able to protect them from tribal vendettas.[5]
  • Tribesmen blew up the oil pipeline in Sirwah, Ma’rib governorate on June 26. Engineer teams went to repair the damage, but armed tribesmen prevented them.[6]
  • Court documents released on June 26 revealed that Justin Kaliebe, an American citizen, planned to travel to Yemen to join AQAP.[7]
  • The Yemeni Ministry of the Interior announced the appointment of several officers to posts within the ministry on June 26.[8]
  • U.S. intelligence officials said on June 26 that AQAP members changed their communication methods in light of information Edward Snowden leaked about NSA surveillance.[9]
  • Hundreds protested the new deputy governor in Ibb on June 27. Locals say the new deputy governor was involved in acts of violence in the governorate.[10]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Ras Kamboni forces and Marehan tribesman loyal to Barre Hirale fought in central Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on June 26. The clashes erupted after Ras Kamboni fighters shot at a Marehan vehicle. Ten people were reportedly killed in the skirmish and businesses in Kismayo were closed on June 27.[11]
  • A single source is reporting that troops loyal to Mukhtar Abu Zubair killed senior al Shabaab official Ibrahim al Afghani in Barawe, Lower Shabelle region on June 19. The same source reported that clashes in Barawe are ongoing.[12]
  • Several Somali ministers of parliament traveled to Adado, Mudug region to speak with recently captured Hassan Dahir Aweys and coordinate his transfer to Mogadishu. A spokesman for the Somali president said that the government is willing to accept any Somali militants who surrender.[13]
  • An explosion targeted Kenyan troops in Fanoole market, Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on May 27. The Kenyan troops fired into the crowd following the explosion. Exact casualty numbers are not known but at least 15 civilians were injured. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.[14]
  • Sierra Leonean troops conducted security operations in Taabta, Lower Jubba region on June 23. Two al Shabaab militants were captured.[15]
  • Somali and AMISOM troops peacefully captured Badhadhe, Lower Jubba region from al Shabaab on June 23.[16]
  • A Ras Kamboni fighter shot and killed two civilians in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on June 25. The reason behind the killing is not known.[17]
  • Al Shabaab released a video on jihadist forums on June 26 showing a battle between its militants and Kenyan and Somali soldiers in Fafadun, Gedo region. The video also shows footage of a Somali soldier captured during the fighting.[18]
  • The Somali government and the European Union are planning a conference to be held in Brussels, Belgium on September 16. “The New Deal for Somalia Conference” will set an agenda for reconstruction in Somalia.[19]     

[1] “Yemeni Authorities Release Omar Ashour, and the Head of al Qaeda (Ashour) Still at Large,” Barakish, June 27, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Tensions Return to Dammaj Between the Salafists and al Houthis, and Efforts to Contain the Situation,” Barakish, June 27, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Four Members of Organ Trafficking Gang Led by a Woman in Sana’a Were Seized,” 26 Sep, June 27, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Tribes Return Two Cars and Two Trucks They Stole to the 201st Mechanized Infantry in Lahij,” Mareb Press, June 26, 2013. Available:
[5] “Resentment After Security Director in Shabwah Refused to Forbid Weapons in the Capital of the Governorate,” Mareb Press, June 26, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “New Explosion of Oil Pipeline in Sirwah and Tribesmen Prevent Teams Access for Repairs,” June 26, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “New York Man Admits Planning to Join Yemen Terror Group,” CNN, June 26, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “Hadi and Basendwah Issued Resolutions Today, Wednesday,” Yemen Live, June 26, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[9] “al Qaeda Said to be Changing its Ways After Leaks,” CNN, June 26, 2013. Available:
[10] “Hundreds Protest Appointment of new Deputy Governor in Ibb,” Yemen Times, June 27, 2013. Available:
“Tension in Kismayo Remains High,” Bar Kulan, June 27, 2013. Available:
[12] “Report Claims Top al Shabaab Leaders Assassinate in Movement’s Worst Internal Crisis,” Warsheekh, June 20, 2013. Available:
[13] “If He Surrenders, We Welcome Him Says the Federal Government of Somalia,” Shabelle, June 27, 2013. Available:
[14] “Kenyan Army Targeted in the Kismayu Land Mine Attack,” Shabelle, June 27, 2013. Available:
[15] “Sierra Leone Troops Capture al Shabaab Fighters,” Sierra Express Media, June 26, 2013. Available:
[16] “Government Army Seizes Several Areas in Lower Jubba Region from al Shabaab,” Gedoweb, June 23, 2013. Available:
[17] “Somalia: Ras Kamboni Soldier Reportedly Kills Two Civilians in Kismayo,” Warqaad, June 25, 2013. Available:
[18] “Shabaab Video Shows Clash with Kenyan, Somali Forces in Gedo Region,” SITE Intel Group, June 26, 2013. Available at SITE.
[19] “Brussels to Host International Conference on Somalia in September,” Kuna, June 26, 2013. Available:
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