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: Two explosives-laden cars target gas station in Belhaf, Shabwah; two drone strikes target cars carrying AQAP members in al Mahfad, Abyan; car bomb kills police colonel in Sayun, Hadramawt; militants assassinate commander of Sayun Airbase police in Hadramawt; militants attack home of sheikh with RPGs in Taiz, Taiz governorate; AQAP releases biography video of Abu Khalid al Asiri; al Malahem releases article inciting scholars to fight U.S. and Yemen governments; Jamal Benomar arrives in Sana’a; Yemeni defense minister meets with Chinese ambassador and military attaché in Sana’a; Yemeni human rights minister starts hunger strike for detained protesters; mine and IED found and defused in al Wuday, Abyan governorate; power lines in Ma’rib attacked again
Horn of Africa: U.S. drone crashes near Qaw, Bari region; al Shabaab militants ambush AMISOM convoy near Wanlaweyn, Lower Shabelle region; Somali and AMISOM troops conduct security operations in Wardhigley district, Mogadishu; Somali troops impose curfew on Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region; unknown gunmen kill three in Kismayo, Lower Shabelle region; soldier kills another soldier in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region; al Shabaab displays two Kenyan police officers in Jilib, Lower Jubba region; Somali defense minister says civilians in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region support the federal government; 100 Sierra Leonean troops arrive in Mogadishu; Somali president meets UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in Yokohama, Japan; discontent with regional government reported in Beledweyne, Hiraan region; Puntland president meets U.S. ambassador in Nairobi, Kenya; Japan pledges direct aid to Somalia
Yemen Security Brief
- Two al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants attempted to drive a bomb-laden vehicle into a gas station in Belhaf, Shabwah governorate on June 2. Yemeni soldiers foiled the attack, shooting one car which then exploded before reaching the facility. The other attacker escaped. Mareb Press reported that at least five soldiers were killed in the blast, but the Army claimed that only three soldiers were injured with no deaths.
- Two air strikes thought to be U.S. drones struck two cars in al Mahfad, Abyan governorate and killed seven suspected AQAP members on June 1.
- A car bomb killed Colonel Abdel Rahman Bashkeel, head of Sayun criminal investigations, in Hadramawt governorate on June 1.
- Militants killed Brigadier General Yahya al Omaisi, the commander of Sayun Airbase police, in Hadramawt governorate on June 1.
- Unknown militants wounded three in a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attack on the house of Sheikh Bjash Ali Bjash in Taiz on June 2. Local sources suspect the attack was part of a long-standing land dispute. 
- The AQAP propaganda wing al Malahem Media Foundation released a documentary video about the commander Abu Khalid al Asiri, who was killed in a drone strike in July 2011. The video focuses on his life and jihadist activities.
- Al Malahem Media Foundation released an article titled, “Scholars of Yemen and the Duties of the Stage,” which urges Yemeni scholars to declare jihad against the U.S. and Yemen governments. The stated reason for the jihad is the government’s refusal of a February 2013 deal which stipulated implementing shari’a as a condition for peace.
- Jamal Benomar, UN Special Advisor to Yemen, arrived in Sana’a on June 2 and attended a meeting of the Conciliation Committee of the National Dialogue chaired by President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
- Defense Minister Major General Mohammed Nasser Ahmed met the Chinese Ambassador to Yemen Chang Hua and the Military Attaché to Yemen Liyong Xing in Sana’a on June 3.
- Yemeni Human Rights Minister Horya Mashour went on a hunger strike starting on June 2 to press for the release of youth protesters detained since the 2011 uprising against former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
- Security forces found and defused an anti-tank mine and an improvised explosive device (IED) near a high school in al Wuday district in Abyan governorate, according to a May 31 report from the Yemeni Defense Ministry’s media center.
- A new attack on power lines in Ma’rib governorate knocked the Ma’rib gas station offline on June 3.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Puntland authorities reported that a United States surveillance drone crashed in Qaw, Bari region on June 1. The cause of the crash is not known and the U.S. government has not commented on the incident.
- Al Shabaab militants ambushed an AMISOM convoy near Wanlaweyn, Lower Shabelle region on June 1. Heavy fighting followed the ambush and at least 11 people were killed from both sides, while several more were injured. AMISOM claimed that they rebuffed the attack and forced al Shabaab militants to flee.
- Somali and AMISOM troops conducted security operations in Wardhigley district, Mogadishu on June 1, arresting nearly 500 suspected militants. Only 40 people remained in custody for questioning.
- Somali government troops imposed a curfew on Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region on June 1 while they carried out ongoing security operations in the town.
- Unknown gunmen killed three people in separate incidences in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on May 31. The shooters have not yet been caught.
- A soldier in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region shot another soldier on May 31 for unknown reasons. The shooter was taken into custody following the incident.
- Al Shabaab showed off two Kenyan police officers to the citizens in Jilib, Lower Jubba region on June 2. The police officers were taken during a raid on a Kenyan police post in Garissa, Kenya on May 25.
- Somali Defense Minister Abdihakim Mohamud Haji Fiqi made an announcement following his visit to Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on June 1. Minister Fiqi said that the citizens in the city support the federal government and dismiss Ahmed Madobe and his Ras Kamboni forces.
- Around 100 troops from Sierra Leone arrived in Mogadishu on June 1 to join the AMISOM soldiers fighting throughout Somalia. The Sierra Leonean troops will soon be redeployed to other areas in the country.
- Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud met United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in Yokohama, Japan on June 2. Ki Moon called for the peace process in Somalia to move at a faster pace. He also announced his support for the Kenyan plan to send Somali refugees living in Kenya back to Somalia.
- Locals in Beledweyne, Hiraan region are reporting discontent with the new regional government installed by the central Somali government, citing a misrepresentation of local clans in the administration.
- President of Puntland Abdirahman Mohamud Farole held a meeting with United States Ambassador James Swan in Nairobi, Kenya on May 29.
- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to provide Somalia with direct foreign aid while meeting with Somali President Mohamud in Yokohama, Japan on May 31.