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 troops kill seven al Qaeda-linked militants in Aden; security forces arrest five suspected al Qaeda-linked militants in Aden hotel raid

Horn of Africa: Kenyan, Ugandan, and Somali presidents meet over security issues; al Shabaab denounces Kenya-Israel partnership; major fighting in Busar; IED destroys police vehicle in Dadaab refugee camp; TFG police seize explosives in Mogadishu; five people wounded in Mogadishu IED attack; fighting continues in Daynile and Heliwa districts; grenade attack on house in Mogadishu; al Shabaab arrests two people in Beledweyne for spying

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni security officials reported that Yemeni troops killed seven al Qaeda-linked militants in Zinjibar and al Kod in Abyan governorate. Among the militants killed were an Iranian, a Pakistani, and two Somali nationals.[1]
  • Yemeni security forces arrested five suspected al Qaeda-linked militants in a hotel raid in Sheikh Othman district in Aden. The militants may be linked to the recent attacks against Yemeni security officials in Aden. The raids came after Yemeni authorities received a tip about the presence of hotel guests with links to al Qaeda. The militants reportedly snuck into Aden from neighboring Abyan governorate.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, Somali President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, and Ugandan President Yoweri Musaveni met in Nairobi, Kenya and “expressed confidence that the joint Kenya-Somali operations presents the region with a historic opportunity to restore stability and security in Somalia.”[3]
  • Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamed Rage denounced the recent agreement between Kenya and Israel to train and equip Kenyan security forces against al Shabaab militants within Kenya.  Rage characterized the agreement as Kenya seeking assistance in “destroying Muslim people and their religion.”  He further warned Kenya that “things have not begun in earnest,” and that there was still time to withdraw their forces.[4]
  • Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces attacked several al Shabaab bases around the town of Busar in Gedo region 40 km from Elwaq.  Clashes between the TFG and al Shabaab over the last day resulted in 27 deaths.  TFG spokesman Warfa Sheikh Adan said that government forces captured the bases in Qura’a Lafole and Sadehda Jirod in Busar. Al Shabaab claimed to have successfully defended its strongholds from TFG attacks.[5]
  • A Kenyan police vehicle escorting a UN convoy from Hagadera camp in Dadaab refugee camp was destroyed by an improvised explosive device (IED). The attack wounded two police officers and two private security guards.  A driver in the convoy said, “The police car was at the front of the convoy.  As we drove out of Hagadera we saw an explosion at the rear end of the landcruiser."  Kenyan Police Spokesman Eric Kiraithe released a statement saying that two refugees were detained in connection to the incident.[6]
  • TFG police seized a minivan loaded with explosives and eight passengers at the Tarabunka junction in Hodan district in Mogadishu. It is unclear what the target of the van was.  Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attempted attack.[7]
  • Five people were wounded when an IED exploded near an armed TFG vehicle in Dharkenlay district in Mogadishu near a police station.  The deputy district commissioner was on board the vehicle at the time of the attack but escaped injury.  The wounded include both soldiers and civilians.[8]
  • Fighting between al Shabaab militants and TFG forces backed by African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops continued in Daynila and Heliwa districts, and spread to the Dharkenlay district, in Mogadishu.  Al Shabaab attacked using grenades and artillery.  Two people were killed and five more wounded during the course of the fighting.[9]
  • Unknown assailants threw a hand grenade into a house wounding five people, including two children.  No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.[10]
  • Al Shabaab militants arrested two people in Beledweyne in Hiraan region for allegedly spying against al Shabaab for Ethiopia.  The arrest comes after militants fled from a base in the area when they spotted a light on top of a building that they thought might be a signal for an airstrike.[11]

[1]Jamal al Jashini, “Yemeni forces kill 7 al-Qaida fighters in south,” AP, November 16, 2011. Available:
“Yemen troops kill seven suspected Qaeda militants,” AFP, November 16, 2011. Available:
[2] “Security forces arrest 5 suspected al-Qaida militants in Yemen's Aden,” Xinhua, November 16, 2011. Available:
[3] David McKenzie, “African leaders: Al-Shabaab operation ‘historic opportunity’ for security,” CNN, November 16, 2011. Available:
[4] “Somali militant bashes Kenya-Israel security pact, tells Kenya it still has time to withdraw,” AP, November 15, 2011. Available:
[5] “27 killed in a clash between TFG troops and Al-Shabaab rebel fighters in Busar, Gedo region.,” Radio Bar-Kulan, November 16, 2011. Available:
[6] Daud Yussuf and Noor Ali, “Bomb destroys Kenya police car in refugee camp,” Reuters, November 15, 2011. Available:
[7] “Police nab suspects and explosives in Mogadishu,” SONNA, November 16, 2011. Available:
[8] “Roadside bomb in the Somali capital Mogadishu injuries 5,” Mareeg Online, November 15, 2011. Available:
[9] “Violence continues in Mogadishu,” Mareeg Online, November 16, 2011. Available:
[10] “Several injured in an explosion targeting a house in Darkenley, Mogadishu,” Radio Bar-Kulan, November 16, 2011. Available:
[11] “Al-Shabaab arrests two in Beledweyne for alleged espionage,” Radio Bar-Kulan, November 16, 2011. Available:
View Citations
Arrow down red
Dec '11
Nov '11
Oct '11