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: AQAP releases the first episode of new video series “Convoy of Martyrs”;  at least 22 Houthis killed in bomb blast in Sa’ada governorate; Hadi appoints three new officials in posts in southern Yemen; exiled southern leaders accused of arming the Southern Movement in Aden; exchange of fire between First Armored Division and Central Security Forces in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: TFG and AMISOM troops clash with al Shabaab militants in northern Mogadishu; Kenya Air Force claims responsibility for airstrike on Burdhubo

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) posted the first video of its new series, “Convoy of Martyrs”, on February 22 on jihadist forums. The series will highlight and praise “martyrs” who have died in operations against the Yemeni military. The video shows the bodies of twenty slain militants, as well as footage of attacks carried out against Yemeni forces. Short clips from the video were leaked on jihadist websites on October 10, 2011.[1]
  • The leader  of the al Houthis, Abdul Malik al Houthi, said that at least 22 of his rebels were injured in a bomb blast targeting an anti-American protest in Sa’ada governorate. Al Houthi did not accuse anyone of carrying out the attack.[2]
  • In his first presidential decree, on March 1 Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi appointed three new officials to posts in southern Yemen: Waheed Ahmed Rashid as governor of Aden, Salam Qatan as the commander of Yemen’s southern forces, and Saleh Hameed as the security chief of Aden.[3]
  • On March 1, Anees Yahya, the leader of the Yemeni Socialist Party, accused exiled southern leaders of distributing weapons to the Southern Movement in Aden for the purpose of disrupting the February 21 elections.[4]
  • There was an exchange of fire between soldiers of the First Armored Division, under the command of the defected General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar, and members of the Central Security forces under Yahya Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, the nephew of the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.  The March 1 incident occurred outside of the presidential palace of Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi in Sana’a. No casualties were reported.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Transitional Federal Government (TFG) troops backed by African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces launched an attack to clear al Shabaab militants from Maslah in northern Mogadishu.[6]
  • The Kenyan Air Force has claimed responsibility for the airstrike that occurred on February 29 in Burdhubo.[7]      

[1] “AQAP Releases First Episode in ‘Convoy of Martyrs’ Series,” SITE Intelligence Group, March 1, 2012. Available at SITE.
Gulf of Aden Security Review, AEI Critical Threats Project, October 12, 2011. Available:
[2] “Yemen Rebels Say Bomb Wounds 22 at Protest in North,” Reuters, March 2, 2012. Available:
[3] “Yemen’s New President Appoints Military Commander, Governor, and Security Chief,” Yemen Post, March 2, 2012. Available:
[4] “Exiled Leaders Distribute Weapons in Aden,” Yemen Post, March 1, 2012. Available:
[5] “Rival Yemen Army Units briefly Clash Near Hadi Residence,” Reuters, March 1, 2012. Available:
[6] “Somalia, AU Troops Attack Al-Shabab Bases in Mogadishu,” Voice of America Blog, March 2, 2012. Available:
“AMISOM Repulses Al Shabaab Attack, Moves to Capture Maslah,” AMISOM Forces HQ, March 2, 2012. Available:
[7] Tweets by Major Emmanuel Chirchir, February 29, 2012. Available:!/MajorEChirchir/status/174850788227682304
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