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: Yemeni military interdicts boat smuggling weapons off the coast of Taiz governorate; Abyani military and security forces monitor boat suspected of carrying weapons for AQAP; Yemeni military delegation visits the U.S.; al Houthi delegation sent to mediate between tribes in Khawlan district, Sana’a governorate; Yemeni National Security Bureau discovers plot to overthrow President Hadi

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab launches attack on Somali and AMISOM bases at Kismayo airport, Lower Jubba region; Mogadishu roads are closed for third day; Somali troops arrest three suspected al Shabaab militants in Wanlaweyn, Lower Shabelle region; government removes roadblocks in Lower Shabelle region; Somali president addresses Somali Parliament in Mogadishu; AMISOM soldiers shut down radio station in Beledweyne, Hiraan region; Ethiopian foreign minister meets with U.S. secretary of state in Washington, D.C.; al Shabaab terror suspects on trial in Brooklyn, New York had links to two American-born suicide bombers in Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

  • The 17th Infantry Brigade interdicted a boat in the Mandab Strait smuggling weapons on May 2. The soldiers clashed with the crew after boarding the boat, which was seized off the coast of Taiz governorate. According to a report, Yemeni authorities received information about plans to smuggle weapons into the country and heightened coastal security in response.[1]
  • Military and security forces in Abyan governorate are reportedly tracking a ship carrying weapons destined for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).[2]
  • A Yemeni military delegation, led by Deputy Interior Minister Ali Nasser Lakhsha’, is currently visiting Washington, D.C. to meet with U.S. defense officials. The delegation met with Michael Sheehan, assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, on May 2.[3]
  • A 500-person al Houthi delegation, led by prominent al Houthi leader Mubarak al Meshn al Zaydi, was sent to Khawlan district, Sana’a governorate on May 2 to mediate between tribesmen from Bani Dabyan and Bani Hushaysh. The tribes have been clashing since four Bani Dabyan tribesmen were killed last year.[4]
  • The Yemeni National Security Bureau has discovered a plot to overthrow President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, according to a report published on May 2, although the details have not been released. Several people have been arrested in connection with the plot.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab launched an attack on a Somali and AMISOM base at Kismayo airport, Lower Jubba region on May 1. The al Shabaab militants used mortars to attack the bases but were quickly repelled by Somali and AMISOM forces. Casualties from the incident are not known.[6]
  • Roads throughout Mogadishu are closed for the third day in a row on May 2 due to concerns over a possible terrorist attack.[7]
  • Somali troops arrested three suspected al Shabaab militants in Wanlaweyn, Lower Shabelle region on April 30.[8]
  • The governor of Lower Shabelle region announced on May 1 that his administration was successful in removing most of the illegal roadblocks in the region, and will continue to eradicate the remaining impediments.[9]
  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud addressed the Somali Parliament in Mogadishu on May 2. During his speech he addressed the upcoming London conference, as well as the acceptable way to create regional governments for the Jubba and Gedo regions.[10]
  • AMISOM officials shut down the radio station Mustaqbal in Beledweyne, Hiraan region on May 1. AMISOM troops arrested both the director and the editor of the radio station.[11]
  • Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington, D.C. on May 2 to discuss ongoing security concerns in the Horn of Africa.[12]
  • Three Somali terror suspects currently being tried in Brooklyn, New York were found to have links to two Minnesota-born suicide bombers who carried out attacks in Somalia in 2008 and 2011.[13]     

[1] “Yemeni military source: Boat carrying weapons seized in Bab el Mandab,” Al Shorouk, May 2, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Sources: Boat carrying weapons seized off the coast of Dhubab district in Taiz,” Al Masdar Online, May 2, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Saudi newspaper: Tight security on the Yemeni coast, fearing Iranian weapons smuggling attempts,” Mareb Press, May 2, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “ Abyani security monitoring ship in Shaqra suspected of carrying weapons for AQAP,” Akhbar al Yom, May 2, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Yemeni military delegation meets with Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations,” Saba Net, May 2, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Al Houthis send 500 people to arbitrate between the Bani Dabyan, including the son of Sheikh Hussein Ahmed al Qadi,” Barakish, May 2, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “National Security discovers plot to overthrow President Hadi,” Barakish, May 2, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Al Shabaab Raids Kismayo Airport with Mortars,” Bar Kulan, May 1, 2013. Available:
[7] “Roads Closed for the Third Day Running,” Shabelle, May 2, 2013. Available:
[8] “Somali Government Forces Seized Suspected Figthers of al Shabaab in Lower Shabelle Region,” Mustaqbal Radio, April 30, 2013. Available:
[9] “Lower Shabelle Started to Removed Illegal Road Blocks,” Mareeg, May 1, 2013. Available:
[10] “Presidents Hassan Gives His Speech at the Parliament,” Shabelle, May 2, 2013. Available:
[11] “AMISOM Closes Radio Station in Central Somalia, Confiscate Equipment and Arrests it Director and Editor,” Raxanreeb, May 1, 2013. Available:
[13] “Bomber from Minnesota Tied to al Shabaab Case, U.S. Says,” Bloomberg, May 1, 2013. Available:
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