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 journalist posts 11th issue of Inspire magazine; Member of Parliament al Batra denies involvement in South Africans’ kidnapping; al Houthi spokesman confirms death of movement founder; popular committees foil suicide bomb attack near Lawder, Abyan; al Houthis raid homes and close shops in Saqain, Sa’ada governorate; militants attack head of local police department in Abyan

Horn of Africa: Somali government delegation denied entry to Kismayo; U.S. government sends rapid response team to Djibouti; unknown gunmen kill senior official in the Howlwadag district administration, Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region; Somali troops conduct security operations in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region; Saudi Arabian government gives $24 million in aid to Somalia; AMISOM officials propose plan to train Somali police; U.S. State Department releases Country Reports on Terrorism 2012

Yemen Security Brief

  • The 11th issue of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s magazine, Inspire, was released in Arabic and English by Yemeni journalist Abdul Razzaq al Jamal on his Facebook page on May 30. The magazine includes praise for attacks in the Unites States and Europe in April and May of 2013, with particular focus on the April 15 Boston Marathon attack. The issue also includes an article from AQAP military commander Qasim al Raymi. Jamal had posted smaller portions of the magazine on his Facebook page before uploading the entire issue on the same day.[1]
  • Member of Parliament Abd al Hamid al Batra denied reports that he was responsible for the May 27 kidnapping of two South African nationals in Taiz to the press on May 29.[2]
  • Mohammed Abdul Salam, spokesman for the al Houthi movement, announced that the death of the movement’s founder Hussein Badr al Din al Houthi had been confirmed by DNA testing in Beirut and Germany.[3]
  • Popular committee members in al Ayn near Lawder, Abyan governorate detained a suspected AQAP member carrying explosive materials and a suicide vest, reportedly in the hopes of attacking Lawder city. [4]
  • Al Houthi armed forces reportedly raided homes to arrest civilians and forcibly closed businesses in Saqain district of Sa’ada on May 25, 27, and 28. Some of the detained individuals were taken to an al Houthi-run jail al Ghajjar, also in Sa’ada district.[5]
  • Militants shot at the car of Major Riyad Mujahhar, head of the local department of police patrols, in Abyan on May 31. No one was injured.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A Somali government delegation headed by Defense Minister Abdihakim Mohamud Haji Fiqi was denied entry to the city of Kismayo, Lower Jubba region and held at the airport for three days. The delegation was eventually let into the city but only under the care of Ras Kamboni fighters.[7]
  • The United States government sent a rapid response team made up of U.S. Army personnel to Djibouti in April 2013. The team consisted of 129 soldiers whose mission was to prevent terrorist attacks targeting U.S. officials abroad.[8]
  • Unknown gunmen killed the senior official in the Howlwadag district administration in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region on May 30. The gunmen were able to flee and no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.[9]
  • Somali troops conducted security operations in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region on May 31, arresting 60 suspected militants.[10]
  • The Saudi Arabian government agreed to give Somalia $24 million in aid for development projects and assistance for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country.[11]
  • AMISOM officials put forth a proposal to train 871 Somali police officers inside the country. Leaders hope to expand the project if it is accepted by the Somali government.[12]
  • The United States Department of State released its Country Reports on Terrorism 2012 on May 30. The report states that troops from AMISOM, Kenya and Ethiopia were instrumental in rolling back al Shabaab but that terrorist attacks still plagued the weak Somali governmnet forces.13]  

[1] “Yemeni Journalist Previews 11th Issue of AQAP’s Inspire Magazine,” SITE Intelligence Group, May 30, 2013. Available at SITE.
“Yemeni Journalist Posts 11th Issue of AQAP's Inspire Magazine,” SITE Intelligence Group, May 30, 2013. Available at SITE.
[2] “Yemen: Lawmaker Denies Connection to Kidnappings,” Associated Press, May 29, 2013. Available:
[3] “Al Houthi movement officially announces death of the organization’s founder and issues invitation to share in his burial,” Barakish Net, May 31, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Abyan: Popular committees foil plot to carry out suicide in al Ayn,” Mareb Press, May 31, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Al Houthi armed men wage arrest campaign and raid homes in Sa’ada, close stores,” Mareb Press, May 28, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Escape of security official from assassination attempt in Abyan,” Barakish Net, May 31, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Meeting the Jubaland Elders,” Shabelle, May 31, 2013. Available:
[8] “Army Sets Up Response Team in East Africa Months after Benghazi Attack,” Washington Times, May 30, 2013. Available:
[9] “Top Admin of Howl Wadag District in Jowhar Killed by Unknown Men,” Shabelle, May 31, 2013. Available:
[10] “60 Detained Following Major Security Crackdown in Jowhar,” Bar Kulan, May 31, 2013. Available:
[11] “Somalia: Saudi Arabia to Give Somalia U.S. $24 Million in Aid,” Shabelle, May 31, 2013. Available:
[12] “AMISOM Police Requests to Train Somalia’s Police,” Shabelle, May 31, 2013. Available:
[13] “Country Reports on Terrorism 2012,” United States Department of State, May 30, 2013. Available:
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