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: Security forces arrest owner of Turkish arms shipment; security forces seize large stockpile of weapons and ammunition in al Hudaydah governorate; security forces arrest three people in possession of weapons in Lahij governorate; Brig. Gen. Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh says he does not engage in political conflicts; security forces arrest Sheikh Alban in Lahij governorate

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab clashes with Somali government forces in Lower Shabelle; Somali police arrest 11 suspected al Shabaab militants in Mogadishu; IED explosion injures three people in Nairobi, Kenya; Puntland forces kill senior al Shabaab commander; security forces carry out extensive search in Yaqshid district, Mogadishu; Somalis living in Uganda urge government to keep peacekeeping troops in Somalia; senior U.S. State Department official expects Uganda to keep peacekeeping forces in Somalia; UN delegation tours Kismayo city; residents in Garissa, Kenya protest against extrajudicial killing of taxi driver

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni security forces reportedly arrested the owner of a Turkish arms shipment that was seized in Aden port on November 3. Local sources have not reported the identity of the suspect. The Turkish government issued a statement on November 5 denying any involvement in the arms shipment. The Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement, “We certainly have not authorized such a shipment of weapons. It is not thinkable to OK such arms exports to countries where conflict risks are high and where it could result in more deaths.”[1]
  • Security forces seized a large stockpile of weapons and ammunition at a checkpoint in al Hudaydah governorate on November 6. Local sources reported that rifles, grenades, and roughly a thousand rounds of ammunition were seized from a vehicle. Four men, reportedly from Ma’rib governorate, were in the vehicle at the time of the seizure. They have been transferred to al Hudaydah city for further questioning.[2]
  • Security forces arrested three individuals in possession of automatic rifles, bombs, and machine gun ammunition at a security checkpoint in Lahij governorate. Local sources reported that the arrest occurred at al Husseini checkpoint at the entrance of al Hawta city. Security forces reported that the vehicle was traveling to Aden governorate.[3]
  • Brig. Gen. Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, Commander of Yemen’s Republican Guards and the son of the former president, said in a statement that he is a military leader and does not engage in political conflicts. Brig. Gen. Saleh denied any attacks on the Southern Mobility Movement (SMM) political party and hoped that all political entities engage in the Yemeni National Dialogue.[4]
  • Security forces arrested Sheikh Ali Hussein Alban from his home in Lahij governorate on November 6. Sheikh Alban was later returned to his home hours after the arrest. Security forces tracking militant groups in al Hamra city of Lahij governorate may have received false tips that led to the arrest of Sheikh Alban.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab clashed with Somali government forces between Shalambood and el Wareegow regions in Lower Shabelle on November 5. The clashes started after al Shabaab forces attacked a government military base in the region. Local sources reported that at least ten al Shabaab militants were killed in the clashes.[6]
  • Somali police arrested 11 suspected al Shabaab militants in Mogadishu on November 6. National Security Service (NSS) head Khalif Ahmed Ereg reported that the 11 suspected militants were under surveillance for several days before the arrest. The suspected al Shabaab militants were reportedly part of the Amniyad brigade, a unit responsible for targeted assassinations.[7]
  • Three people were injured by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Nairobi, Kenya on November 5. The IED explosion occurred near a bridge in Eastleigh neighborhood of Nairobi. The three wounded individuals have been transferred to a hospital for treatment.[8]
  • Puntland security forces reportedly killed a senior al Shabaab commander in Dahar town on November 6. Hassan Ismail Sardheye, a senior al Shabaab commander from the Golis Mountain Range, was shot dead after refusing arrest.[9]
  • Security forces carried out an extensive search operation in Yaqshid district of Mogadishu on November 6. The massive crackdown by security forces reportedly resulted in the capture of several al Shabaab militants and the seizure of their weapons.[10]
  • Somalis living in Uganda urged President Yoweri Museveni to reconsider Uganda’s threat to withdraw forces from Somalia. According to a local report on November 5, Somalis living in Uganda stated that many Somali refugees are now returning to Somalia after AMISOM removed al Shabaab from major cities. Several Somali refugees stated that AMISOM’s mission would not be possible without Uganda and al Shabaab would likely recapture areas if Ugandan forces withdraw.[11]
  • U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman stated on November 5 that she expects Uganda to continue peacekeeping operations in Somalia. The Ugandan government has threatened to withdraw its forces unless the UN amends a report that implicated the Ugandan government with M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[12]
  • A delegation of UN officials toured Kismayo city on November 6. Local sources reported that the UN delegation held meetings with government officials to discuss the ongoing humanitarian and security situations.[13]
  • Residents in Garissa, Kenya protested the killing of a taxi driver by security forces on November 6. The protesters are calling the killing of the taxi driver, identified as Adan Gabow Ibrahim, as an extrajudicial killing.[14]

[1] “Yemen Arrest Owner of Weapon Shipment,” al Sahwa, November 6, 2012. Available:
“Lahij Security: Three Suspects are Arrested for Seized Arms Shipment in Aden,” 26 September, November 6, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Seizure of Weapons and Munitions at a Security Checkpoint in al Hudaydah and Another [Incident] in Lahij,” SABA, November 6, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Seizure of Weapons and Munitions at a Security Checkpoint in al Hudaydah and Another [Incident] in Lahij,” SABA, November 6, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Commander of Guard: I Haven’t Attacked al Hiraak and I Don’t Engage in Political Conflict,” al Watan, November 6, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Breaking: The Release of Sheikh Alban after Hours from His Arrest by Lahij Security,” Aden al Ghad, November 6, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “10 Killed in Lower Shabelle Clash,” Bar Kulan, November 6, 2012. Available:
[7] “11 Arrested in Mogadishu Police Raid,” Bar Kulan, November 6, 2012. Available:
[8] “3 Injured in Eastleigh Explosion,” Bar Kulan, November 6, 2012. Available:
[9] “Puntland Claims Killing Terrorist in Dahar,” Bar Kulan, November 6, 2012. Available:
[10] “Govt. Forces Carry Out Massive Crackdown in Mogadishu,” Shabelle, November 6, 2012. Available:
[11] “Somalis Implore Uganda Not to Withdraw Troops,” The Africa Report, November 5, 2012. Available:
[12] “U.S. Expects Ugandan Peacekeepers to Stay in Somalia,” Reuters Africa, November 5, 2012. Available:
[13] “UN Delegation Visits Kismayo,” Bar Kulan, November 6, 2012. Available:
[14] “Protest in Garissa over Police Extrajudicial Killings,” Bar Kulan, November 6, 2012. Available:
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