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: Security forces kidnap 62nd Brigade commander after salary suspension; Yemeni man arrested outside Saudi embassy for carrying weapons in his car; Ansar al Sharia-linked media reports on meeting of tribes in al Bayda; Yemen losing at least $10 million per day in oil revenue due to insecurity in Ma’rib; Scotland Yard investigation into murder of British citizen reveals insurance fraud connection

Horn of Africa: Four Norwegian aid workers kidnapped near Dadaab refugee camp; IED detonates in recently captured town north of Mogadishu; IED targets Ethiopian soldiers in Beledweyne; Somali officials meet in Mogadishu to discuss ways to bolster security in Mogadishu; al Shabaab reportedly withdrawing from areas in Hiraan region; TFG and Somaliland presidents meet in Dubai to discuss future relations

Yemen Security Brief

  • A group of Republican Guard troops and Central Security Forces kidnapped the Republican Guard’s 62nd Brigade commander Major General Murad al Awbali in Jahana Market on the outskirts of Sana'a. The forces, dissatisfied with the suspension on their salaries, took Awbali to an unknown location. A local official said that the kidnapping increased fears over the unity of the fighting forces in combating al Qaeda-linked militants in Yemen.[1]
  • A 38-year-old Yemeni man was arrested outside the Saudi Arabian embassy in Sana’a when a police officer pulled him over and found several machine guns, four hand grenades, homemade bombs, and at least 300 bullets.[2]
  • Madad News Agency, an outlet linked to Ansar al Sharia, posted a report on jihadist forums on June 11 claiming that three tribes from al Bayda governorate met on May 28 where they pledged to wage jihad in the Arabian Peninsula and agreed to fight the Yemeni government if airstrikes against their tribes or al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula did not cease.[3]
  • Yemen reportedly loses at least $10 million per day due to violence preventing oil production and exportation from Ma’rib governorate. Terrorists have continuously targeted the pipelines in the city since the political uprising began in 2011.[4]
  • The murder of British Captain David Mockett, who was killed after a bomb strapped to his Lexus detonated in Aden in 2011, was carried out by an insurance fraud network. Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism squad was sent to Aden to investigate the death and assessed that the motive behind the bombing was an insurance claim for a reported tanker attack being investigated by Mockett. Investigators added that it was unlikely that anyone would be brought to justice for the bombing.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Review

  • A Kenyan security official reported that four aid workers from the Norwegian Refugee Council were kidnapped after being attacked while travelling through a refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya. The driver was reportedly killed in the incident.[6]
  • Mohamed Jinow, the governor of Middle Shabelle region, reported that a bomb detonated in a coffee shop in Bal’ad town. The number of casualties or injuries is not yet known. African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops and Transitional Federal Government (TFG) soldiers recently captured Bal’ad from al Shabaab on June 26.[7]
  • Local residents reported that an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting Ethiopian soldiers detonated in Beledweyne in Hiraan region. An unidentified number of soldiers were killed or injured in the attack.[8
  • Somali army officials and district commissioners attended a meeting in Mogadishu on June 28 to discuss ways to bolster security in the Somali capital. Somalia’s Defense Minister Hussein Arab Isse headed the meeting.[9]
  • Al Shabaab has reportedly begun withdrawing from areas in Hiraan region, including Bulobarde. A day earlier, al Shabaab said that it would not defend Jowhar in Middle Shabelle region from advancing AMISOM and TFG forces.[10]
  • Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo met with TFG President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed in Dubai on June 28 to discuss future relations. After the meeting, Sheikh Ahmed called on Somaliland to end its requests for secession from Somalia.[11]   

[1] “Military Commander Kidnapped By Angry Soldiers in Yemen,” Yemen Post, June 28, 2012. Available:
“Yemeni Soldiers Kidnap Top Officer in Pay Dispute,” Reuters, June 28, 2012. Available:,0,3398654.story
[2] “Control of Weapons and Bombs and Explosives by Taxi in Sana’a,” 26 September, June 28, 2012. Available:
[3] “Group Madad Reports US Strategy Against Jihad Media, Tribal Sympathy for AQAP,” SITE, June 28, 2012. Available: See Site Intel Group
[4] “Yemen Loses $10-$15 Mln/day As Oil Exports Halted,” Reuters, June 29, 2012. Available:
[5] “Yemen Car Bomb Victim David Mockett ‘Killed by Fraudsters’,” BBC, June 28, 2012. Available:
[6] “Kenyan Police Pursuing Kidnappers of 4 Aid Workers,” AP, June 29, 2012. Available:
[7] “Blast Targets Somali Troops in Bal’ad Town,” Shablle Media Network, June 29, 2012. Available:
[8] “Roadside Bomb Hits Ethiopian Troops in Beledweyne, Central Somalia,” Shabelle Media Network, June 29, 2012. Available:
[9] “Somali Government Beefs up Mogadishu Security,” Shabelle Media Network, June 29, 2012. Available:
[10] “Al-Shabaab Retreating from Parts of Hiran Region,” Bar Kulan, June 29, 2012. Available:
[11] “President Sharif Calls on Somaliland People Not to Stick onto Secession Demands,” Bar Kulan, June 29, 2012. Available:
View Citations
Arrow down red
Jul '12
Jun '12
May '12