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: Jihadist posts biographies of two deceased AQAP fighters on Twitter; Yemeni Human Rights Minister says Yemen to receive 58 detainees from Guantanamo; fifth Friends of Yemen meeting begins in London; detainees escape from prison in Mudia, Abyan; gunmen kill security officer in al Qatan, Hadramawt governorate; man killed while planting roadside bomb in Lawder, Abyan governorate; vehicle-borne improvised explosive device found undetonated in Jaar, Abyan governorate; senior al Houthi leader beats up man in Mustaba, Hajjah governorate; Yemeni chief of general staff visits Washington, D.C. to meet with U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff; tribesmen clash in Dhamar city, Dhamar governorate

Horn of Africa: Ballot counting enters third day in Kenyan elections; Somali government and Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a reach a deal in Abudwak, Galgudud; Sierra Leone to train Somali police officers; AMISOM holds induction course for 14 police officers in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • A jihadist, identified as “Nafa’ al Teeb,” posted biographies of two al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) personnel, Abu Ali Abdullah al Suweed, and Abu al Zubeir al Qassimi, on his Twitter account on  March 4 and 5. Both al Suweed and al Qassimi were killed in airstrikes in Ma’rib governorate.[1]
  • Yemeni Minister of Human Rights Horya Mashour said that Yemen would soon receive 58 out of 94 Yemeni detainees from Guantanamo Bay detention camp, after a March 6 meeting of the special committee to deal with Yemeni prisoners detained abroad.[2]
  • The fifth Friends of Yemen meeting began on March 7 in London. The meeting is jointly chaired by the Yemeni, British, and Saudi foreign ministries, and includes delegations from 30 countries, as well as international organizations.[3]
  • Three AQAP prisoners escaped from a military intelligence prison in Mudia, Abyan governorate, after gunmen attacked the prison on March 6.[4]
  • Unknown gunmen fired upon and killed Sergeant Yasser Hamdan, a security official in al Qatan, Hadramawt governorate, on March 6.[5]
  • A man was killed while planting a roadside bomb next to a market in Lawder, Abyan governorate on March 7. Security sources suspect that the man was affiliated with AQAP.[6]
  • A vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) was found undetonated near the home of popular committee members in Jaar, Abyan governorate on March 6.[7]
  • A senior al Houthi operational leader, Abu Hashem, beat a man with the butt of his rifle in Mustaba, Hajjah governorate on March 6. The incident comes among reports of an increased al Houthi presence around “Ram” Mountain, near Mustaba, Hajjah governorate.[8]
  • The Chief of the Yemeni General Staff, Staff Major General Ahmed Ali Ashwal, traveled to Washington, D.C. on March 7 to meet with the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.[9]
  • Tribesmen from al Qayfa clashed with tribesmen from Mayfa’at ‘Ans in Dhamar city, Dhamar governorate on March 6. Two children were killed in the incident.[10]

Horn of Africa

  • The ballot counting in the Kenyan elections reached its third day on March 7. Kalonzo Musyoka, running mate of current second place candidate Raila Odinga, claimed that there was evidence that the ballots were doctored. He did not call for protest, but asked the vote counting be stopped. [11]
  • Unknown attackers threw a grenade at police officers guarding a polling station in Wajir, Kenya injuring one of the officers on March 5.[12]
  • Three members of separatist group the Mombasa Republican Committee were charged on March 5 with murdering four police officers in a March 4 attack in Mombasa, Kenya.[13]
  • The Somali interior and national security and defense ministers met with top leaders of Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a in Abudwak, Galgudud on March 6. The two parties reached an agreement in which Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a will be incorporated into the Somali forces.[14]
  • Sierra Leonean Vice President Alhaji Samuel Sam Sumana announced in Freetown, Sierra Leone on March 7 that his government will train an unspecified number of Somali police officers.[15]
  • AMISOM began a one-week induction course for 14 Somali police officers in Mogadishu on March 7.[16]         

[1] “Jihadist Gives Biographies of Slain AQAP Fighter, Official,” SITE Intel Group, March 6, 2013. Available at SITE.
[2] “Mashour: Yemen Will Soon Receive 58 Guantanamo Prisoners,” Barakish Net, March 7, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Beginning of the Fifth Friends of Yemen Meeting in London,” Saba News, March 7, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “3 al-Qaida members escape from prison in southern Yemen,” Xinhua, March 7, 2013. Available:
[5] “Unidentified Men in a Car Assassinate Security Officer in Qatan, Hadramawt,” al Masdar Online, March 6, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Security Source: al Qaeda Asset Killed While Planting Bomb in Lawder, South Yemen,” al Masdar Online, March 7, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Car Bomb Found in Downtown Jaar,” Barakish Net, March 7, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “Al Houthi Leader Attacks Civilian in Hajjah,” al Masdar Online, March 6, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[9] “Chief of General Staff Goes to Washington,” Mareb Press, March 7, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[10] “Dhamar: Two Children Killed in Clashes Between Tribal Militants Downtown,” March 6, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[11]  “Kenya Election: Raila Odinga Camp Says Vote ‘Doctored,’” BBC, March 7, 2013. Available:
[12] “Kenyan Police Officer Injured in Wajir Grenade Attack,” Sabahi Online, March 6, 2013. Available:
[13] “Kenya Election: Raila Odinga Camp Says Vote ‘Doctored,’” BBC, March 7, 2013. Available:
 “3 Suspected MRC Members Charged with Police Deaths,” Sabahi Online, March 6, 2013. Available:
[14] “Somali Government Strikes Deal with Sufi Group,” Shabelle, March 6, 2013. Available:
[15] “Sierra Leone Offers to Train Somali Police Force,” Bar Kulan, March 7, 2013. Available:
[16] “Induction Course for AMISOM IPO’s Kicks Off in Mogadishu,” Bar Kulan, March 7, 2013. Available:
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