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: At least ten al Qaeda-linked militants killed in Abyan; Ansar al Sharia says that a film documenting Awlaki’s life will be produced and AQAP claims assassination of counterterrorism head

Horn of Africa: TFG parliament member assassinated; Somali gunmen attack Kenyan police station and vehicle; grenade attacks in Mogadishu; Kenyan Army begins door-to-door searches in captured territory; al Shabaab asks clans for fighters in Jubba regions; al Shabaab arrests locals in Elbur; al Shabaab convict 13 people in Jalalaqsi; unidentified body found in Karan district in Mogadishu  

Yemen Security Brief  

  • A Yemeni official reported that fierce fighting between Yemeni security forces and al Qaeda-linked militants in a town near Zinjibar has drawn the number of al Qaeda-linked militants killed to ten. Another official also reported that the Yemeni air force bombed several militant-held positions in Jaar as well.[1]  
  • The al Qaeda-linked militant group Ansar al Sharia announced that a film documenting the life of slain radical Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al Awlaki will be produced by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) media arm, Sada al Malahem (Echo of the Epics). The statement was distributed in Rawda in Shabwah governorate. Additionally, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility for the October 28 assassination of the head of the counterterrorism police force for Abyan governorate, Colonel Ali al Hajji, in a statement that was distributed during Eid al Adha celebrations in the towns of Azzan and Radwa in Shabwah governorate. The statement also included threats against Yemeni military officials operating in the southern governorates.[2]  

Horn of Africa Security Brief  

  • Gunmen ambushed the vehicle of Transitional Federal Government (TFG) member of parliament Adan bule Mohamed and shot him dead before fleeing the scene in Medina district in Mogadishu.  Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the assassination.[3]  
  • Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for several grenade attacks in Mogadishu.  The attacks targeted military compounds and the home of a TFG parliament member Abdirahman Mohamed Farah Janaqow.  The attack targeting the MP occurred in Wadajir district, killing a civilian and wounding another civilian and a soldier.  Another grenade exploded in Wadajir’s market targeting TFG soldiers and wounding two people.  A third attack occurred at a military base at Hawl Wadag and Fagah junction, wounding two officers.[4]  
  • Several unidentified gunmen attacked a Kenyan police station in Elwaq in Gedo region.  Mahmoud Ali Shire, commander of TFG forces in the area, said that two gunmen were killed during the gun battle and the remaining gunmen fled back into Somalia.  The police commander for Kenya’s North Eastern province, Leo Nyongesa, said, “Our officers were vigilant ... they fought the attackers. A team of military and police close to the border joined them and repulsed the thugs, who ran back into Somalia.”  He commented that he was not aware of any Kenyan casualties.  North Eastern Provincial Director of Education Adan Sheikh reported that a group of unknown gunmen ambushed a civilian vehicle heading to Liboi and exchanged fire with its police escort before leaving.  No casualties were reported.[5]  
  • Kenyan Military Spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir announced that Kenyan troops have begun conducting door-to-door search in villages under their control to search for al Shabaab militants and weapons.  “Today, the KDF [Kenyan Defense Force] forces at the battlefront were involved in patrols and pacification in the liberated areas and Al-Shabaab pockets . . . this pacification patrols reinforce the operation objectives and facilitate access by international aid organizations in the liberated areas.”[6]  
  • In a closed door meeting with more than sixty local clan elders from the Jubba regions, al Shabaab regional leader Sheikh Hassan Yakub Ali asked for fighters and weapons for the militant group.  Reports say that elders refused the request, citing that they wanted peace.[7]  
  • Al Shabaab arrested nine business and religious leaders in Elbur in Galgudud region for “being anti-al Shabaab” and for breaking unspecified rules.  Residents are claiming that those arrested are innocent.[8]  
  • Al Shabaab militants convicted 13 people, both male and female, of various crimes including “illegal seductions” and theft in Jalalaqsi district in Hiraan region.  They also arrested two imams who criticized the convictions.[9]  
  • The body of an unidentified 22-year-old male was found in Karan district in Mogadishu.  Residents report gunshot wounds on the body indicating that unknown gunmen killed him.  Prior to their withdrawal from Mogadishu, Karan district was an al Shabaab stronghold.[10]  

[1]“Yemeni official says army kills at least 10 militants in restive southern town,” AP, November 8, 2011. Available:
“Yemen's al-Qaida claims responsibility for anti-terror chief's death,” Xinhua, November 9, 2011. Available:
[3] “Somali MP shot dead by armed gunmen in Mogadishu,” SONNA, November 9, 2011. Available:
[4] “Several injured in grenade attacks in Mogadishu,” Radio Bar-Kulan, November 9, 2011. Available:
[5] Noor Ali, “Somali gunmen suspected of more attacks on Kenya,” Reuters, November 8, 2011. Available:
[6] “Allies hunt Shabaab fighters door-to-door,” Daily Nation, November 8, 2011. Available:
[7] “Al-Shabaab asks for weapons and young fighters from traditional elders,” Radio Bar-Kulan, November 9, 2011. Available:
[9] “Al-Shabaab punishes 13 for alleged criminal activities in Jalalaqsi, Hiran region,” Radio Bar-Kulan, November 8, 2011. Available:
[10] “Somalia: body of young boy found in Mogadishu,” Shabelle Media Network, November 9, 2011. Available:
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