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: Gunmen open fire near the Interior Minister building in Sana’a; gunmen kill political security officer in Hadramawt; locals turn to Ansar al Sharia for dispute resolution in al Rada’a, al Bayda; al Houthis continue shelling Damaj, Sa’ada

Horn of Africa: al Shabaab arrests businessman connected to Navy SEALs; Somali forces and AMISOM free hostages in Bardale, Bay region; al Shabaab bans Kismayo charcoal exporting; Chairman of House Homeland Security Committee calls on President Obama to address al Shabaab threat

Yemen Security Brief

  • Gunmen opened fire in front of the Ministry of the Interior and Rescue Police buildings, targeting a house next door owned by an individual named al Kassar in Hadda, Sana’a city on October 9. Local sources have reported that security forces have increased their presence in the capital.[1]
  • Gunmen on a motorcycle killed a political security officer in al Mukalla, Hadramawt governorate on October 10.[2]
  • Security officials in al Rada’a, al Bayda governorate said that because of a security vacuum in the district, locals have turned to Ansar al Sharia, the insurgent arm of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), to mediate disputes.[3]
  • Al Houthis shelled Damaj, Sa’ada governorate for the third consecutive day on October 10. Two civilians died and five were wounded.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab arrested Barawe businessman Kasim Gandeele for allegedly assisting and communicating with U.S. Navy SEALs prior to the Barawe raid, on October 9.[5]
  • Somali National Army forces and AMISOM rescued multiple civilian hostages during a clash with al Shabaab in Qanasax-Omane village in the Bardale area of Bay region on October 9.[6]
  • An al Shabaab spokesperson announced a ban on exporting charcoal from Kismayo in Lower Jubba region and threatened persons caught exporting charcoal from the AMISOM controlled Kismayo port on October 10.[7]
  • The Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Representative Michael McCaul called on President Barack Obama to address the al Shabaab threat to the U.S.[8]

[1] “Breaking: Shooting in the Capital Sana’a, Security Encircles the Capital, and News About a Coup Plot,” Adsah Y, October 10, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Death of Officer in Political Security in al Mukalla City, Shot by Gunmen Riding a Motorcycle,” Hadrmout Press, October 10, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Rada’a Locals Turn to al Qaeda for Conflict Mediation,” Yemen Times, October 10, 2013. Available:
[4] “Al Houthis Continue Bombing Damaj With Heavy Weapons, and a toll of 7 Dead and Wounded in an Attack, and Cut Off SabaFone Service from the Area,” Hour News, October 10, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Al-Shabab arrests a business man in connection to Barawe’s attack in Lower Shabelle region,” Shabelle, October 9, 2013. Available:
[6] “Calm returns to Bardale areas after fierce fighting,” Bar Kulan, October 10, 2013. Available: 
[7] “Al-Shabaab bans exporting charcoal through Kismayo port,” Dalsan Radio, October 10, 2013. Available:
[8] “Rep. McCaul: Obama must confront growing threat from al-Shabaab,” Washington Times, October 9, 2013. Available:
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