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: Ansar al Sharia steals government cars; Hussein Badr al Din al Houthi laid to rest; The Standardization, Metrology and Quality Control Organization seizes Israeli goods; 17th Brigade seizes weapons shipments; two al Qaeda leaders die in attack; clash erupts in Taiz; tribal clashes renewed in Qunawis; army repels attack on government compound

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab claims attack on AMISOM base outside Mogadishu; pirates kill police chief in Hobyo, Mudug region; fire destroys Somali community center in London, England; Barre Hirale accuses Puntland president of interference in Jubbaland region; Somali president refutes claims that he ordered Kenyan troops to withdraw from Jubbaland region; Djiboutian government arrests political oppositionists

Yemen Security Brief

  • Members of Ansar al Sharia, the insurgent arm of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), stole five government vehicles in the past three months, according to the Security Director of Taiz governorate Mohammed al Shaeri. Government plates allow them to travel freely through security checkpoints.[1]
  • Hussein Badr al Din al Houthi was laid to rest June 5. Hundreds of thousands attended his funeral.[2]
  • The Standardization, Metrology and Quality Control Organization seized shipping containers in the port of Aden carrying merchandise destined for Israel. The goods came from an unnamed neighboring country with diplomatic and trade relations with Israel.[3]
  • The 17th Infantry Brigade seized two boats off the coast of Dhabab, Taiz carrying shipments of weapons and chemical pesticides. Sources reported to Mareb Press that three more boats carrying weapons destined for Yemen were preparing to depart from Djibouti.[4]
  • Two AQAP leaders died in an attack on army forces in Sirwah, Ma’rib governorate on June 5. Military sources said they came from Hadramawt and were among the most wanted.[5]
  • A violent clash in al Hawban, Taiz governorate, erupted between security forces and gunmen on board dozens of cars. The gunmen were attempting to enter the region to seek revenge for a relative killed on Tuesday.[6]
  • The al Khashami and al Azzan tribes renewed clashes in Qunawis, al Hudaydah governorate. The conflict stems from a land dispute which began last year.[7]
  • Gunmen attacked a government compound in al Dhaleh on June 5 to prevent celebration of the National Unity holiday in the governorate. Security forces repelled the attackers and reported no injuries.[8]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab posted messages to its Twitter page on June 3 claiming that on May 31 the terrorist organization captured a Ugandan commander during a raid on an AMISOM base outside of Mogadishu. Al Shabaab also claimed to have killed 14 Ugandan soldiers in the attack.[9]
  • Suspected pirates shot and killed the police chief in Hobyo, Mudug region on June 6. The police chief was killed in a shootout that erupted during a raid on a pirate hideout.[10]
  • A Somali community center was destroyed by a fire in London, England on June 5. British counterterrorism police are looking into whether anti-Muslim motives were behind the fire. A right-wing activists groups’ name was found spray painted on the building.[11]
  • One of the pronounced Jubbaland presidents, Barre Hirale, accused Puntland President Abdirahman Farole of interfering in the Jubbaland political process and inciting clan rivalries.[12]
  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud refuted claims that he asked Kenyan forces in Jubbaland region to withdraw.[13]
  • The government of Djibouti raided a hideout of a political opposition group on June 2 in Balbala, Djibouti. Thirteen people were arrested including the president of the political opposition group Union for National Salvation (USN). USN says that the Djiboutian government has at least 600 political prisoners.[14]   

[1] “Al Qaeda Steals Government Cars in Taiz,” Yemen Times, June 6, 2013. Available:
[2] “Houthi Leader Laid to Rest,” Yemen Times, June 6, 2013. Available:
[3] “The Standardization and Metrology Organization in Aden Seizes Container Carrying Israeli Merchandise,” Al Masdar Online, June 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Taiz… Seizure of New Weapons Shipment by The 17th Brigade in Dhabab Directorate,” Mareb Press, June 6, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Ma’rib… Two From Al Qaeda Leadership Killed and One Wounded,” Mareb Press, June 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Taiz… Wounded in Clashes Between Security Forces and Armed Groups Trying to Enter the Governorate,” Mareb Press, June 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Al Hudaydah- Renewed Armed Clashes in Qunawis,” Barakish Net, June 6, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “Clashes Between Gunmen and The Army Near Government Compound in Dhaleh,” Barkish Net, June 6, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[9] “Shabaab Claims Capturing Ugandan Base Commander,” SITE Intelligence Group, June 5, 2013. Available at SITE.
[10] “Hobyo Police Chief Shot Dead by Pirates,” Bar Kulan, June 6, 2013. Available:
[11] “Suspicious Fire Guts Islamic Center in London,” AP, June 5, 2013. Available:
[12] “Bare Hiraale: Punland President Should Stop Interfering with Jubalands Issues,” Shabelle, June 6, 2013. Available:
[13] “Somali President Dismissed Allegations of Ordering the Withdrawal of Kenyan Forces,” Bar Kulan, June 5, 2013. Available:
[14] “Djibouti Continues Crackdown on Opposition,” Sabahi Online, June 5, 2013. Available:
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