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: Red Cross spokeswoman announces three, not two, workers kidnapped in Abyan governorate; Yemeni chief of general staff meets with U.S. ambassador in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants ambush Somali troops outside Caracas, Gedo region; car bomb detonates in Mogadishu; armed robbers raid Dahabshil branch in Mogadishu; Islamic World Issues Study Center releases interview with Omar Hammami; Ras Kamboni leader Ahmed Madobe is elected president of Jubbaland; Somali prime minister announces commission tasked with investigating Jubbaland formation disputes; four Somali-American men are sentenced to prison in Minneapolis, Minnesota; European Union Training Mission headquarters moves from Uganda to Mogadishu; Canadian government resumes diplomatic ties with Somalia; Somali ministers of parliament sign motion to remove Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon; Somaliland government bans United Nations flights

Yemen Security Brief

  • A spokeswoman from the International Committee of the Red Cross announced that three, not two, workers were kidnapped in Abyan governorate on May 13. A Swiss, Yemeni, and the third captive, a Kenyan national, are reportedly in good health. The kidnappers called on authorities to arrest a member of the al Bin Dahan who killed one of their tribesmen.[1]
  • Yemeni Chief of General Staff Ahmed Ali al Ashwal met with U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein in Sana’a on May 14. The two discussed bilateral security relations, including combating terrorism and training for security forces.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants ambushed Somali troops outside Caracas, Gedo region on May 14. Somali officials claim to have killed 13 al Shabaab fighters but did not report their own losses. Al Shabaab has not commented on the incident.[3]
  • Abdi Liman Sharmake, the brother of deceased Somali journalist Ali Liman Sharmake was injured in a car bombing in Mogadishu on May 15. One other civilian was killed. Ali Liman Sharmake was killed in a similar car bombing.[4]
  • Armed robbers attempted to rob a Dahabshil branch in Mogadishu on May 15. One of the gunmen was shot and killed during the robbery, and the remaining five were arrested. One Somali soldier was injured in the shootout.[5]
  • The Islamic World Issues Study Center (IWISC) released audio recordings of an open interview with Omar Hammami on May 11. Hammami responded to questions the IWISC received from jihadist forum users. The IWISC stated that some of the audio recordings were missing since Hammami was, and possibly still is, on the run.[6]
  • Shabelle Media Network is reporting that Ras Kamboni leader Ahmed Madobe was named President of Jubbaland on May 15. He was reportedly elected by members attending the Jubbaland conference in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region. Separately, Somali parliamentarians were reportedly arrested at the Kismayo airport and phone lines in Kismayo have been offline since May 14.[7]
  • Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon appointed a commission on May 15, to investigate disputes arising from the Jubbaland conference in Kismayo, Lower Jubba. The commission will consist of 16 members from the Internal and National Security Committee, as well as the Somali parliament.[8]
  • United States Federal prosecutors sentenced four Somali-American men to prison in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 14. Abdifatah Isse, Salah Ahmed and Ahmed Mahamud all traveled to Somalia and were sentenced three years in prison for providing material support to al Shabaab. Omar Mohamed, who was allegedly an al Shabaab recruiter and leader in Minnesota, was convicted of conspiring to provide material support to al Shabaab and sentenced 12 years in prison.[9]
  • The European Union Training Mission (EUTM) moved its headquarters from Uganda to Mogadishu on April 15. The EUTM is tasked with instructing and training Somali security forces.[10]
  • The Canadian government announced on May 14 that it will resume diplomatic relations with Somalia, naming Canada’s High Commissioner in Kenya, David Angell, as Ambassador to Somalia.[11]
  • Ninety-two members of the Somali Parliament signed a motion to remove Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon from power in Mogadishu on May 14. The motion has not yet been voted on.[12]
  • The Somaliland government banned United Nations flights to and from airports in the breakaway state on May 14. The ban is in protest to the announcement that the Somali federal government will take control of the country’s airspace.[13]     

[1] “New Details Emerged on Yesterday’s Kidnapping,” Yemen Post, May 14, 2013. Available:
[2] “Yemen, US Discuss Military Cooperation,” Saba News, May 14, 2013. Available:
[3] “13 Killed in Gedo Fighting,” Bar Kulan, May 15, 2013. Available:
[4] “Explosion in Mogadishu,” Shabelle, May 15, 2013. Available:
[5] “Armed Robbers Raid Dahabshil Branch in Mogadishu,” Bar Kulan, May 15, 2013. Available:
[6] “IWISC Releases Answers to Open Interview with Omar Hammami (Part 1),” SITE Intelligence Group, May 14, 2013. Available at SITE.
[7] “Ahmed Mohamed Islam Announced Juba Land President,” Shabelle, May 15, 2013. Available:
“Somalia: Kismayo Admin Detains ‘Troublemakers from Mogadishu’” Garowe Online, May 15, 2013. Available:
[8] “Somalia: PM Mandates Joint Committee to Resolve Jubbaland Reconciliation,” Raxanreeb, May 15, 2013. Available:
[9] “Four Jailed in Minnesota over al Shabaab Recruitment,” BBC, May 15, 2013. Available:
[10] “European Union Training Mission to Train Somali Forces in Somalia,” Shabelle, May 15, 2013. Available:
[12] “Somalia: ’92 MPs Sign Motion’ Against Prime Minister Shirdon,” Garowe Online, May 15, 2013. Available:
[13] “Somalia: Somaliland Administration Bans UN Flights,” Raxanreeb, May 14, 2013. Available:
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