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 vice president meets with U.S. ambassador to Yemen; suicide bombing in Aden kills policeman; jihadists post unreleased clips of AQAP videos

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab releases three men from custody in Jowhar; al Shabaab commander dies in grenade attack; al Shabaab reinforces positions around Mogadishu  

Yemen Security Brief  

  • Vice President Abdul Rab Mansour al Hadi met with U.S. ambassador to Yemen, Gerald Feierstein, in Sana’a. Feierstein praised Hadi’s efforts towards ending the conflict safely, but reaffirmed the stance of the U.S. and international community that the solution to ending the Yemen conflict is political. Hadi thanked the U.S. for its assistance in finding a democratic way to ending the conflict. He reaffirmed Yemen’s commitment to battling al Qaeda in south Yemen and also said that over 70 al Qaeda militants have been killed in the most recent clashes with Yemeni security forces.[1]
  • Police reported that a suicide bombing killed one policeman and injured two more in al Tawahi district in Aden governorate. The bomber detonated his explosives outside the local Ministry of Tourism office. Witnesses report that intense gunfire followed the attack.[2]
  • Jihadists posted clips of unreleased al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) videos on the radical Islamist web forum, Shumukh al Islam, on October 10. The two videos are called "Convoy of Martyrs," and "The Mujahideen's Tolerance in Their Treatment of the Captives." In the first video, AQAP military commander Qasim al Raymi, also known as Abu Hurayrah al Sana'ani, is featured calling upon the Muslim youth to come “ride on the streets of Allah,” referring to participating in jihad. In the second video, al Qaeda militants are shown releasing captured Yemeni soldiers who repented in an attempt to spread their message that despite what the media reports, anyone who surrenders or repents will not be harmed by them. Abu Ali al Harithi, an al Qaeda operative connected to the USS Cole bombing and killed in a November 2002 drone strike, was also a topic of discussion.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief  

  • Al Shabaab militants in Jowhar in Middle Shabelle region freed three men following pleas from their families for clemency.  The three had been held for several months and were arrested for breaking unspecified rules set by the group.[4]  
  • An al Shabaab group attacked another with grenades in Elasha Biyaha near Afgoi.  The attack killed the “top al Shabaab commander.”  The name of the commander killed was not given nor were there reports of other casualties.[5]  
  • Al Shabaab militants halted all traffic on the road leading from Mogadishu to the towns of Afgoi and Elasha Biyaha and began erecting defenses.  The move comes after Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces, supported by ) African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) peacekeepers, pushed al Shabaab out of their remaining stronghold in Mogadishu. Locals have reported seeing hundreds of al Shabaab militants from Kismayo and the Bay region entering Elasha Biyaha, just south of Mogadishu.  The group has also begun digging trenches and emplacing sandbags in preparation to defend the positions.[6]


[1] “USA believes policy is the way to end Yemeni crisis, US diplomats says,” SABA News Agency, October 11, 2011. Available:
[2] “Colonel, policeman killed in Yemen attacks,” AFP, October 11, 2011. Available:
[3] “Jihadists Distribute Clips from Unreleased AQAP Videos,” SITE Intelligence Group, October 10, 2011. Available at SITE.
[4] “Al-Shabaab releases three from Jowhar custody,” Radio Bar-Kulan, October 12, 2011. Available:
[5] “Al-Shabaab top Commander dies in a grenade attack,” SONNA, October 12, 2011. Available:
[6] Abdi Abtidoon “Al-Shabaab Cuts Off Afgoye Road,” SomaliaReport, October 11, 2011. Available:
“Shabab Militia Reinforcement heads to the Somali capital,” Mareeg Online, October 12, 2011. Available:
Abdi Guled “Packing up home: Mogadishu residents flee warfare,” AP, October 12, 2011. Available:
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