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: Senior AQAP leader releases audio message; Yemeni government asks U.S. for aid to create Guantanamo detainee rehabilitation center; Iran denies claims of supporting Yemeni militias; U.S. Senator John McCain gives an interview to Yemen Times; UNHCR agrees to build medical center for IDPs in Sa’ada governorate

Horn of Africa: U.S. Department of Defense admits to drone crash in Somalia; unknown gunmen shoot journalist in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region; al Shabaab militants attack Somali base in El Barde, Bakool region; man accidentally blows himself up in Garissa, Kenya; families flee fighting in Bakool and Bay regions; Muslim Youth Center releases two message on its blog and Twitter; Somali interior and national security minister says Somali troops have thwarted al Shabaab attacks; Kenyan defense secretary says Kenyan troops are capable of defending Kenya from al Shabaab attacks; East African business leaders say investing in Somalia looks promising; Somali president travels to Japan; Kenyan police reject claims of human rights abuses; European Union agrees to let Somalia sign the Cotonou Agreement

Yemen Security Brief

  • Senior al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) official, Ibrahim al Rubaish, released an audio message to jihadist forums on May 25. In the message, al Rubaish talked about the necessity for Islamic scholars to participate in jihad.[1]
  • The Yemeni government asked the United States government for $20 million in order to set up a rehabilitation clinic for Guantanamo detainees returning to Yemen.[2]
  • An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson denied claims that Iran was giving support to Iran-friendly militias in Yemen.[3]
  • United States Senator John McCain gave an interview to the Yemen Times saying “he had a newfound admiration for Yemen,” and that the country was “viewed with great importance” by the U.S. government.[4]
  • The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) agreed to help Yemen’s internally displaced persons (IDPs) by setting up a new health clinic in al Mazrak camp, Sa’ada governorate.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The United States Department of Defense said that an American drone had crashed in Somalia on May 28, but did not clarify whether it was shot down.[6]
  • Unknown gunmen shot a journalist in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on May 29. The journalist was still alive when he was taken to the hospital and the two shooters were captured by Somali troops. Reportedly, this journalist had previously been threatened by officials in the Ras Kamboni militia.[7]
  • Al Shabaab militants attacked Somali bases in El Barde, Bakool region on May 29. Somali troops were able to repulse the attack but exact casualty numbers are not known. This is the third al Shabaab attack on the town this month.[8]
  • A man was killed when an improvised explosive device (IED) he was trying to plant accidentally detonated in Garissa, Kenya on May 29. No other casualties were reported.[9]
  • Over 380 families fled recent fighting in the Bay and Bakool regions between al Shabaab militants and Somali troops. All the families were moved to Luq, Gedo region in the last two weeks.[10]
  • The Kenyan-based Muslim Youth Center (MYC) released two messages on its blog and Twitter account on May 28. The first posting described the death of Kenyan jihadist fighter Felix Nyangaga Otuko, who was killed by Kenyan police on May 19. The second message said that the group’s jihadists were “broadening their Jihad experience.”[11]
  • Somali Interior and National Security Minister Abdikarin Hussein Guled announced in Mogadishu on May 30 that Somali troops had successfully thwarted al Shabaab attacks in the country.[12]
  • Kenyan Secretary of Defense Raychelle Omamo announced in Gigiri, Kenya on May 29 that the Kenyan Army was adequately prepared to defend the country against al Shabaab aggression.[13]
  • During a Somali investors’ conference in Nairobi on May 29, different business leaders said Somalia was an increasingly attractive economic market because of its need for infrastructure projects.[14]
  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud traveled to Japan on May 30 in order to attend the Tokyo International Conference on Africa’s Development.[15]
  • Kenyan police rejected claims made by the Human Rights Watch stating that Kenyan police carried out human rights abuses in Nairobi from November 2012 to January 2013.[16]
  • The European Union agreed on May 28 to allow Somalia to sign the Cotonou Agreement. The Cotonou Agreement outlines a broad relationship between the EU and developing countries.[17]

[1] “AQAP Official Lectures on Historical Involvement of Scholars in Jihad,” SITE Intelligence Group, May 29, 2013. Available at SITE.
[2] “Rebel Rehab: Former Gitmo Prisoners to be ‘De-Programmed’ in Yemen,” RT, May 30, 2013. Available:
[3] “Iran Rejects Yet Again Claims of Political Interferences in Yemen,” Yemen Post, May 28, 2013. Available:
[4] “John McCain to the Yemen Times: ‘Consequences of Failure Here Will Come Home to America,’” Yemen Times, May 30, 2013. Available:
[5] “UNHCR to Help Yemen Deal With its IDPs Crisis,” Yemen Post, May 28, 2013. Available:
[6] “American Drone Crashes in Somalia,” Sabahi Online, May 29, 2013. Available:
[7] “A Journalist Wounded in Kismayu,” Shabelle, May 30, 2013. Available:
[8] “Al Shabaab Ambushed Somali Government Bases,” Bar Kulan, May 30, 2013. Available:
[9] “Man Dies While Trying Planting Improvised Explosive Device in Garissa,” Daily Standard, May 30, 2013. Available:
[10] Families Flee to Luq After Fighting in Bay and Bakool Regions,” Radio Ergo, May 30, 2013. Available:
[11] “MYC Announces Death of Fighter in Nairobi, Activity in another Jihadi Front,” SITE Intelligence Group, May 29, 2013. Available at SITE.
[12] “Guled: AMISOM and Government Troops Have Stopped Planned Attacks from al Shabaab,” Shabelle, May 30, 2013. Available:
[13] “Kenya Ready to Defend Itself Says Defense Cabinet Secretary Omamo,” Daily Nation, May 29, 2013. Available:
[14] “East African Firms Set Sights on Somalia as Recovery Takes Root,” Reuters, May 29, 2013. Available:
[15] “President Hassan Jets Off to Japan,” Shabelle, May 30, 2013. Available:
[16] “Police Dismiss HRW Report, Term it Populist,” Daily Standard, May 30, 2013. Available:
[17] “Somalia to Sign the Cotonou Agreement,” Shabelle, May 29, 2013. Available:
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