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: Grenades targeting a government building injure three policemen in Aden; security services arrest Ansar al Sharia militants suspected of planning the May suicide attack in Sana’a; Yemeni official says Yemen requested U.S. drone strikes against al Qaeda-linked leaders and militants; ten Saudis sentenced for suspected al Khafi link

Horn of Africa: TFG, ENDF clash with al Shabaab in Baidoa; AMISOM seizes weapons from al Shabaab in recently captured town north of Mogadishu; Mombasa terror suspect rearrested; UAE pledges $1 million in aid to beef up Somalia’s navy and coast guard

Yemen Security Brief

  • Three policemen were wounded when unknown men tossed hand grenades at a government building in Mualla district in Aden. The armed assailants are suspected of belonging to the Southern Movement, according to a local security official.[1]
  • Yemeni security services arrested Ansar al Sharia militants who allegedly plotted the suicide bombing in al Sab’een Square in Sanaa that killed more than 100 soldiers on May 21. National Security Chief of the Defense Ministry Ali Mohammed al Ansi gave no information about the arrests, but noted that operations to find additional terrorist cells and militants will continue.[2]
  • Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al Qirbi said Yemen had requested that the U.S. use drones “in some cases” to target al Qaeda-linked leaders and militants. Qirbi also cited concerns over the movement of terrorists from Somalia into Yemen in remarks at a counter-piracy conference.[3]
  • Ten Saudis linked to the al Khafji terrorist cell were tried and sentenced to prison by a court in Saudi Arabia for planning attacks on U.S. targets in Kuwait and Saudi Aramco facilities, among other charges. An 11th suspect reportedly did not appear at the sentencing.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali officials and witnesses said that clashes broke out between Transitional Federal Government (TFG) soldiers, backed by Ethiopian troops, and al Shabaab militants in Baidoa in Bay region on June 27. TFG commanders claimed victory and reported that three militants were killed in the attack.[5]
  • Paul Lokech, the commander of African Union Mission in Somalia’s (AMISOM) Ugandan contingent, reported that several weapons were seized from al Shabaab militants after their withdrawal from Bal’ad town, north of Mogadishu in Middle Shabelle region, on June 26. Lokech said that AMISOM troops captured one al Shabaab militant alive and seized eight submachine guns, one PK machine gun, and one rocket-propelled grenade (RPG). Lokech added that some al Shabaab militants were killed as they were fleeing.[6]
  • Athuman Salim, a suspect in the June 24 grenade attack in Mombasa, was rearrested by Kenya’s Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU), an official said. Regional police commander Aggrey Adoli said that Salim was initially freed on June 26, but new court orders permit Salim’s detainment for one week. Head of the ATPU in Kenya’s coastal region Elijah Rop stated that detectives were originally interested in Salim because of the nature of his leg injuries, which may indicate that the grenade detonated prematurely.[7]
  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) pledged $1 million to help Somalia bolster its naval forces to better combat piracy following the two-day global anti-piracy conference in Dubai. Despite the UAE’s contribution, TFG President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed accused the international community of refusing to effectively fund Somalia’s ground forces: “The international community spends millions of dollars (because of piracy) and when you ask them to contribute to building forces on the ground they evade our request.” Ahmed added that if countries are worried that contributions will be embezzled, then countries should train and pay the soldiers themselves.[8]         

[1] “Hand-Grenade Attack Injures 3 Policemen in Yemen’s Aden,” Xinhuan Net, June 28. 2012. Available:
[2] “Yemen Arrests Al Qaeda Militants Behind Parade Suicide Bombing,” Xinhuan Net, June 28, 2012. Available: “Yemen Arrests Terror Cell,” AFP, June 28, 2012. Available:
[3] Lynne Nahhas, “Yemen FM Admits US Drones Against Al Qaeda,” AFP June 27, 2012. Available:
[4] Habib Toumi, “Ten Saudis Sentenced On Terror-Link Charges,” Gulf News, June 27, 2012. Available:
[5] “Al Shabab Ambush Somali, Ethiopian Forces in Baidoa Town, Killing 3,” Shabelle Media Network, June 27, 2012. Available:
[6] “UPDF Captures more Weapons from Al-Shabaab,” The New Vision, June 28, 2012. Available:
[7] “Coast Police Detain Mombasa Terror Suspect Athuman Salim,” Xinhua, June 28, 2012. Available:
[8] “UAE Pledges $1 mn to Somalia for Countering Piracy,” PTI, June 28, 2012. Available:
Mahmoud Habboush, “Somali President Accuses World of Balking at Aid,” Reuters, June 27, 2012. Available:
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