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: Al Malahem releases complete version of “Jihad of the Ummah” video offering bounty for Ambassador Feierstein; gunmen kill assistant security director of Jabal al Sharq district, Dhamar governorate; Iranian ambassador to the UN denies allegations of Iranian weapons trafficking to Yemen; tribal gunmen clash in Harib district, Ma’rib governorate; security forces clash with gunmen in Taiz city; police arrest individual accused of hacking Yemeni Ministry of Defense site in Sana’a; new commander of Ghamdan Brigade appointed; gunmen clash with soldiers at checkpoint in central Sana’a; tribal gunmen shoot and kill girl in al Maz’aala village, Hajjah governorate

Horn of Africa: Mogadishu airport shut down after bomb scare; Somali-born British citizen arrested in Africa and standing trial in America; Eritrean national sentenced by U.S. court to nine years in prison; new Sierra Leonean troops to be based out of Kismayo, Lower Jubba region; Somali foreign minister meets with Qatari foreign minister in Doha, Qatar; Somali prime minister tours parts of Kismayo, Lower Jubba region, meets with Ras Kamboni leaders; Human Rights Watch reports abuses in refugee camps in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Malahem Media Foundation released the complete version of a video entitled “Jihad of the Ummah” on March 27. The video was originally released on December 23, 2012 in a redacted form. The new footage includes a bounty offering for U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein and American soldiers in Yemen.[1]
  • Gunmen killed Assistant Security Director of Jabal al Sharq district, Dhamar governorate Lieutenant Abdul Aziz Bafleh and one other soldier in an ambush on his vehicle in the district on March 27.[2]
  • Iranian Ambassador to the UN Mohammad Khazaee denied allegations that Iran had been funneling weapons into Yemen, in a letter on March 27.[3]
  • Gunmen from the al Awidhan and al Jabran tribes clashed in Harib district, Ma’rib governorate on March 28 over a water project. Two were killed and four wounded in the incident.[4]
  • Security forces clashed with gunmen in a market in Taiz city on March 27. Four people, including two children, were wounded in the incident.[5]
  • Police arrested the individual accused of hacking the Yemeni Ministry of Defense site in mid-March, on March 28 in Sana’a.[6]
  • Brigadier General Ahmed al Ansi was appointed commander of the Ghamdan Brigade on March 25.[7]
  • Gunmen clashed with soldiers at a checkpoint near 20th Street in central Sana’a city on March 27. One soldier, Mahfouz Mudhish al Shahab, was killed in the incident and one civilian was wounded.[8]
  • Gunmen from the Badr tribe shot and killed a girl in al Maz’aala village, Hajjah governorate on March 28. The gunmen have reportedly besieged the village for over eight months.[9]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The Aden Adde International Airport in Mogadishu was shut down on March 28 due to a bomb scare. A vehicle containing explosives was reportedly spotted at the airport. Some sources believe the vehicle to be a water tanker while others are reporting it as a small vehicle.[10]
  • Mahdi Hashi, a Somali-born British citizen, was arrested in Africa before being detained in Djibouti and transported to America, where he was charged with supplying material support to al Shabaab in December 2012, according to a CNN report.[11]
  • An Eritrean national was sentenced to nine years in a U.S. federal court for having ties to al Shabaab on March 27 in New York. Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed traveled to Somalia to train with the terrorist group.[12]
  • AMISOM officials announced on March 28 that the Sierra Leonean troops that were deployed to Somalia on March 27 will be based out of Kismayo, Lower Jubba region.[13]
  • Somali Foreign Minister Fowzia Yusuf Haji Aden met with the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed in Doha, Qatar on March 27.[14]
  • Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon toured the business district in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on March 28 before holding his second round of meetings with Ras Kamboni leaders in the city.[15]
  • Human Rights Watch released a report on March 26 saying that the internally displaced persons in Mogadishu refugee camps have been physically hurt, raped, and discriminated against by Somali forces and militias.[16]        

[1] “AQAP Releases Full Version of ‘Jihad of the Ummah’ Video Offering Bounty,” SITE Intelligence Group, March 27, 2013. Available at SITE.
[2] “Breaking: Security Official Assassinated in Dhamar,” Barakish Net, March 27, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Iran Officially Refutes Claims It Is Arming Yemen Militias,” Yemen Post, March 27, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Harib: Six Killed and Wounded in a Dispute Over a Water Project,” Mareb Press, March 28, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Taiz: Four Wounded in Armed Clashes at Popular Market Center,” Mareb Press, March 27, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Sana’a Police Say They Arrested ‘Hacker’ Who Tried to Break Into Defense Ministry Site,” al Masdar Online, March 28, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Military Commission Finishes Giving Ghamdan Brigade to New Commander Ahmad al ‘Ansi, Close to Saleh’s Son,” al Masdar Online, March 28, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “One Soldier Killed and Civilian Wounded in Gunfight Between Officer and Gunmen in Sana’a,” al Masdar Online, March 28, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[9] “Girl Killed by ‘Armed Gang’ Besieging Village in Hajjah for Eight Months Amid Government Silence,” al Masdar Online, March 28, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[10] “Flights Halt at Aden Adde International Airport,” Shabelle, March 28, 2013. Available:
[11] “Somali Family Wants Answers After Son Vanishes Reappears in U.S. Custody,” CNN, March 27, 2013. Available:
[12] “Eritrean-Born Man Tied to Terror Group Sentenced to More Than Nine Years,” Bar Kulan, March 28, 2013. Available:
[13] “AMISOM Announce the New Sierra Leon Troops Bases,” March 28, 2013. Available:
[14] “Somali FM Meets Her UAE Counterpart in Doha,” Bar Kulan, March 28, 2013. Available:
[15] “Prime Minister Visits Strategic Business Areas in Kismayu,” March 28, 2013. Available:
[16] “Somali Forces Abuse Internally Displaced Somalis Report Says,” Sabahi Online, March 27, 2013. Available:
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