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 security forces kill driver in Taiz governorate; al Bayda governor inspects CSF base in Rada’a city; Defense Minister Ahmed meets with foreign military advisors in Sana’a; police officers storm Interior Ministry building in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Somali government official survives assassination attempt; police arrest 364 in Mogadishu; al Shabaab ambushes Somali and AMISOM convoy near Marka, Lower Shabelle; Somali and AMISOM troops capture Jamea, Bay; Somali soldier shoots businessman in Beled Hawo, Gedo; American journalist kidnapped by pirates fears he will be sold to al Shabaab; President Kibaki and President Mohamud meet, Kenyan mandate in Somalia ends on October 31

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni security forces killed a driver attempting to bypass a security checkpoint in southwestern Taiz governorate on October 10. Yemeni security forces reported that the vehicle had Saudi license plates.[1]
  • Al Thaheri al Shaddadi, governor of al Bayda, inspected a Central Security Forces (CSF) military base in Rada’a city on October 10. Governor al Shaddadi, former commander of the Middle Military District, reviewed the readiness and level of discipline of the CSF soldiers.[2]
  • Yemeni Defense Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed met with foreign military advisors in Sana’a on October 10 to discuss restructuring the Yemeni armed forces. Yemeni Chief of General Staff Maj. Gen. Ahmed Ali al Ashwal, U.S. counterterrorism advisor Michael Sheehan, and Jordanian military advisor Maj. Gen. Mohammad Suleiman Farghal attended the meeting. During the meeting, Defense Minister Ahmed stressed the need to restructure the Yemeni armed forces according to modern military doctrine.[3]
  • Yemeni police officers in Sana’a stormed the Interior Ministry building on October 7 to protest the deployment of Sana’a police officers to southern regions. According to local sources, 400 police officers participated in the storming. Deputy Interior Minister Abdul Rahman Abdul Khaleq Hanash promised the officers that they will remain in Sana’a capital.[4] 

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A Somali official in the Lower Shabelle regional government survived an assassination attempt on October 9. Gunmen armed with AK-47s attacked the home of Mohammed Elmi Arabey but Arabey’s guards were able to repel the assailants, and he was unhurt. Arabey blames al Shabaab militants for carrying out the attack but no group has claimed responsibility.[5]
  • Police in Mogadishu arrested 364 people on October 10 during security operations aimed at finding al Shabaab militants. Shortly after, 304 of the people arrested were released. Police additionally found 36 hand grenades in a residence, but the owners of the grenades have so far evaded capture.[6]
  • Al Shabaab militants ambushed a convoy carrying Somali and AMISOM troops in the Bufow area near Marka, Lower Shabelle, on October 9.  Heavy fighting ensued between the two sides. Casualties from the incident are not yet known.[7]
  • Somali and AMISOM troops captured the town of Jamea, Bay on October 9. Al Shabaab militants had already fled the town, and the Somali and AMISOM takeover was peaceful.[8]
  • A Somali soldier shot a local businessman in the town of Beled Hawo, Gedo near the Kenya-Somalia border on October 10. The businessman was rushed to a hospital while the soldier was taken into custody. The reason for the attack is unknown.[9]
  • An American journalist, who was abducted by Somali pirates in January 2012, says he fears that he will be sold to al Shabaab if his ransom is not paid by October 13.[10]
  • Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki during a meeting with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said he wishes to see those al Shabaab militants who surrender disarmed and reintegrated into society. He also assured President Mohamud that Kenya only wishes to see Somalia become a peaceful and stable country. Kenya’s mandate in Somalia ends on October 31.[11]  

[1] “Driver Killed by Security Forces Gunshots in Taiz,” al Masdar Online, October 10, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Al Bayda Governor Inspects Central Security Base in Radaa city,” SABA News, October 10, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Defense Minister Chairs Meeting with Technical Advisor Team in Restructuring the Ministry of Defense,” SABA News, October 10, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Hundreds of Police Storm Yemen Interior Ministry,” Yemen Observer, October 7, 2012. Available:
[5] “Somalia: Government Official Survives an Assignation Attempt,” Shabelle, October 10, 2012. Available:
[6] “Police Arrest 364 in Mogadishu Crackdown,” Bar Kulan, October 10, 2012. Available:
[7] “Al Shabaab Ambushes Somali, AU Troops Outside Mogadishu,” Shabelle, October 9, 2012. Available:
[8] “Allied Forces Capture Jamea, near Bur-Hakaba,” Bar Kulan, October 10, 2012. Available:
[9] “Government Soldier Shoots Businessman in Beled-hawo,” Bar Kulan, October 10, 2012. Available:
[10] “US Journalist Fears to be Handed to Al Shabaab,” Shabelle, October 10, 2012, Available:
[11] “KDF Mandate in Somalia Nearing its End,” Standard Media, October 10, 2012. Available:
“Kibaki Wants Al Shabaab Disarmed,” Standard Media, October 10, 2012. Available:
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