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: Explosive ordnance disposal teams disarm explosive device in Aden governorate; PSO soldiers and officers block 60th Street in Sana’a; security forces reveal name of suicide bomber that targeted PRC leader Abdul Latif Sayyed; al Houthi representative says Ambassador Feierstein is not a friend of Yemenis; senior port official survives an assassination attempt in Aden governorate; Southern Movement activist kidnapped in Aden governorate

Horn of Africa: U.S. government issues a travel warning for Burundi due to al Shabaab threats; nine al Shabaab militants defect in Afmadow, Lower Jubba; five Somalis are arrested by Kenyan officials for carrying out terrorist attacks; Turkey, UK, and UN congratulate the approval of the Somali cabinet; Puntland president creates new political party

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams disarmed an explosive device in Aden governorate on November 13. The explosive device was reportedly planted under a tree near the main entrance of a local council headquarters. Local sources added that the explosive device was timed to go off during the night.[1]
  • Several soldiers and officers from the Political Security Organization (PSO), Yemen’s main intelligence agency, protested and blocked a key street in Sana’a on November 14. Local sources reported that the PSO soldiers and officers are demanding to return to their positions after being removed by the government during heavy civil unrest in 2011. Local sources added that the protests occurred at 60th Street in Sana’a.[2]
  • Yemeni security forces revealed the name of a suicide bomber that attempted to assassinate Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) leader Abdul Latif Sayyed in Aden governorate on September 22. The suicide bomber, identified as Haytham Ali Hassan Abdulmalik al Barkani, was reportedly carrying 600 grams of TNT explosive material at the time of the blast. The failed assassination attempt of Abdul Latif Sayyed injured four individuals.[3]
  • A representative for al Houthi rebels in the National Dialogue Preparation Committee, Mohammad al Bukhaiti, stated on November 13 that U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein is not a friend of Yemenis. Bukhaiti added that Ambassador Feierstein has caused hundreds of Yemenis to die, referencing a number of suspected U.S. targeted airstrikes in Yemen.[4]
  • A senior port security official survived an assassination attempt in Aden governorate on November 14. Local sources reported that senior port security official, identified as Aref al Sha’abi, was injured after unidentified gunmen opened fire on his vehicle in Khormaksar district.[5]
  • A Southern Movement activist was reportedly kidnapped in Aden governorate on November 13. The activist, identified as Nasser Shatheli, disappeared mysteriously after traveling with friends to Sirah district in Aden.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The United States government has issued a new travel warning for Burundi saying that American citizens are at risk for being potential targets of the terrorist organization al Shabaab on November 8. Al Shabaab has threatened to carry out terrorist attacks in Burundi because of Burundi troop presence in Somalia. The U.S. travel warning cautions U.S. citizens planning to travel to Burundi, and also limits the movement of American personnel already in the country.[7]
  • Nine fighters from al Shabaab have given themselves up to the Somali military in Afmadow, Lower Jubba on November 14. Somali military officials said the former militants defected without any promises from the government. The nine defectors are reported to have left because they had been misled by the terrorist organization. The young men came from both Lower Jubba and Middle Jubba.[8]
  • Five Somali suspects accused of carrying out terrorist attacks against churches and security personnel in Kenya were arrested by Kenyan authorities in Garissa on November 12. The five detained Somalis were captured at a house during a meeting but a sixth accomplice was able to flee the scene. All six entered the country posing as Somali refugees.[9]
  • The Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, flew into Mogadishu on November 14 to congratulate and pledge his support to the newly endorsed Somali cabinet. United Nation Special Representative of the Secretary General, Augustine P. Mahiga, and the United Kingdom foreign ministry have also welcomed the creation of the new cabinet.[10]
  • Puntland President Abdirahman Farole has formally announced his political party as Horsed. It is the first political party to be formed the self-declared autonomous state. Farole said every government official in Puntland is a part of the political party Horsed.[11]   

[1] “Bomb Defused Near Government Compound in Aden,” NZWeek, November 14, 2012. Available:
[2] “Breaking… Officers and Soldiers of the Political Security Organization Escalate Their Protests and Block Off 60th Street with Tents,” Barakish, November 14, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Security Forces in Aden Discover the Identity of a Suicide Bomber Who Blew Himself Up Last September,” SABA, November 13, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Al Houthi Leader: American Ambassador Is Not a Friend to Yemenis and Our Motto Is an Invitation for Life,” al Masdar Online, November 13, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Breaking: Senior Official in Aden Port Escapes an Assassination Attempt,” Aden al Ghad, November 14, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Kidnapping of Southern Movement Activist in Mysterious Circumstances,” Aden al Ghad, November 14, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[7]“Travel Warning, US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs: Burundi,” U.S. State Department, November 8, 2012. Available:
“State Department Warns of Possible Al Shabaab Attacks in Burundi,” Government Security News, November 12, 2012. Available:
“US Warns of Retaliation by Somali Islamists in Burundi,” The Hill, November 8, 2012. Available:
[8] “Afmadow: Nine Militants Give Themselves Up,” Bar Kulan, November 14, 2012. Available:
[9] “Police Interrogate Five Suspects Linked to Garissa Attacks,” Standard Digital, November 14, 2012. Available:
[10] “Turkish FM Visits Mogadishu, Pledges Continued Support for Somalia,” Shabelle, November 14, 2012. Available:
“UK Welcomes The Approval by Somalia’s Cabinet,” Shabelle, November 14, 2012. Available:
“UN hails the Endorsement of Somali New cabinet,” Shabelle, November 13, 2012. Available:
[11] “Puntland President Declares His Political Party,” Bar Kulan, November 14, 2012. Available:
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