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: Suicide bomb attack in Lahij; AQAP assassinates officer in Hadramawt; militants blow up pipeline in Ma’rib

Horn of Africa: al Shabaab kills five civilians outside Kismayo in Lower Jubba region; AMISOM raids al Shabaab compound in El-Dhun Adegow town, Bay region; Kenyan intelligence reports “White Widow’s” connection to al Shabaab

Yemen Security Brief

  • A suicide bomber blew himself up in a market in Yafa’a, Lahij governorate on October 11. The attack wounded seven people, three seriously. Some sources reported that the bomber was targeting Southern Movement activists. A relative denied that rumor, saying that he was an activist himself and had participated in several southern movement demonstrations. Yafa’a was the site of clashes between tribesmen and Ansar al Sharia last month. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.[1]
  • Two suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants on a motorcycle assassinated an army colonel in Ghayl Ba Wazir, Hadramawt governorate on October 11. He was the third military officer to be targeted in Hadramawt in two days.[2]
  • Militants blew up an oil pipeline in Sirwah, Ma’rib governorate on October 11. The governor of Ma’rib reportedly paid $2 million to the militants in exchange for them to allow technical teams to repair the pipelines.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A roadside bomb struck an armored vehicle in Fiya Afmadow village, outside of Kismayo, Lower Jubba region, on October 10. Jubbaland security forces conducted search operations following the blast and opened fire. At least five people were killed. Al Shabaab is believed to be behind the bombing.[4]
  • AMISOM and Somali National Army troops raided an al Shabaab compound and killed 10 people in El-Dhun Adegow town of Bay region on October 10.[5]
  • Kenyan intelligence reports indicated that Samantha Lewthwaite, also known as the “White Widow,” is believed to be a logistician with an al Shabaab cell coordinated by the U.S. Navy SEALs Barawe raid target Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir or “Ikrima,” on October 11.[6]

[1] “Who is the Suicide Bomber that Blew Himself Up in Yafa’a? Picture,.” Yaspr, October 11, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Suicide Bomber Blows Himself Up in al Askariyya, Yafa’a and Wounds 7 People,” Wefaq Press, October 11, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Relative of the Slain in al Askariyya Denies What Was Published About the Youth (bin Halmous) Undertaking a Suicide Operation,” Hadrmout Press, October 11, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Suicide Bomber Targets Yemen Southern Separatists,” AFP, October 11, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Assassination of Colonel Farihan East of al Mukalla,” al Motamar, October 11, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “New Explosion Targets Oil Pipeline,” al Watan Ye, October 11, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Somalia: At least five people died after bomb explosion, shooting in Kismayo,” Raxanreeb, October 10, 2013. Available:
[5] “Somalia: Battle occurs in Bay region, Federal Govt welcomes Barawe raid,” Garowe Online, October 10, 2013. Available:
[6] “’White Widow’ Lewthwaite ‘Key’ in al Shabaab,” Sky News, October 11, 2013. Available:
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