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 Hadi chairs GPC meeting

Horn of Africa: Al Qaeda distribute aid to al Shabaab refugee camp; explosive in Mogadishu wounds Somalia MP; TFG forces attack al Shabaab in Taabta; New Zealand Colonel to advise TFG army and police

Yemen Security Brief

  • Vice President Abdul Rab Mansour al Hadi chaired a meeting of the General People’s Committee (GPC) and Alliance Coalition Parties. The purpose of the meeting was to review the most recent developments at the local and international levels in finding a solution based on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative to ending the conflict. Vice President Hadi emphasized the importance of taking national responsibility for the crisis and called for cooperation between the government and the opposition.[1]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Refugees in the al Shabaab-run al Yassir camp were given “Islamic Clothing and Food” supplied by al Qaeda.  Al Qaeda official Sheikh Abu Abdullah al Muhajir, present to oversee aid distribution, read a statement, entitled “The Charity Campaign of the Martyr Bin Laden to Aid Those Affected in Somalia,” In English.  The statement encouraged solidarity and hope between all Muslims and praised al Shabaab who “have made it their priority to help their Muslim brothers and sisters [unclear] dignity [unclear], and have risen above the lies and deceits circulated by the hypocritical Western media.”[2]
  • A vehicle carrying Mohamed Omar Ali, a member of parliament for the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), hit a roadside bomb traveling from Mogadishu to Seybiyano village, just outside of the capital.  Mohamed Omar Ali survived, but was badly wounded in the legs.  The explosion also wounded two civilians in the area.  He was taken to Benadir Hospital, but family members are asking to send him abroad for more effective treatment.[3]
  • TFG forces, backed heavily by Ras Kamboni militia fighters, were attacked by al Shabaab militants from the town of Taabta near the border town of Dhobley in the Lower Jubba region.  TFG soldiers repelled the attack, shelling al Shabaab’s positions and then counter-attacked Taabta village, driving al Shabaab out.  The fighting was heavy; TFG forces claimed to have killed over forty militants while only losing four soldiers.  They also claim to have destroyed two al Shabaab vehicles and captured another with a mounted anti-aircraft missile system.  TFG area commander, Colonel Mohamed Hassan Bule, said that the TFG fully controls the area and have pushed al Shabaab far from the village.  Locals report that a U.S. drone struck the area during the battle but the attack has not been confirmed by authorities.  Al Shabaab is gathering forces in Qoqani in preparation for possible future government attacks.  An unnamed TFG official said that, “We are committed to reach[ing] Kismayo and captur[ing] the rebel group of Shabab, they are running now and we are chasing them.”[4]
  • The UN has assigned New Zealand Army Colonel Anthony Howie to advise TFG military and police forces.  Based in Nairobi, Kenya, he will regularly visit Mogadishu and the rest of the country.  He says that Somalia continues to be a failed state and that the security situation fluctuates while the peacekeeping forces have inadequate resources.[5]

[1] “VP chairs meeting of GPC and alliance parties,” SABA News Agency, October 13, 2011. Available:
[2] “Al-Qaeda Participates in Aid Distribution to Somali Drought Victims,” SITE Intelligence Group, October 14, 2011. Available at SITE.
[3] “Heavy explosion wounds an mp, 2 civilians in the Somali capital, Mogadishu,” Mareeg Online, October 14, 2011. Available:
[4]“ Heavy fighting erupts in parts of Lower Juba,” Bar Kulan, October 13, 2011. Available:
“Heavy battle in southern Somalia kills 10, injures 15 others,” Mareeg Online, October 13, 2011. Available:
“Somali officials: We are commited to capture Kismayo, the rebel’s stronghold,” Mareeg Online, October 14, 2011. Available:
“Government forces place parts of Lower Juba into control,” SONNA, October 14, 2011. Available:
[5] “A New Zealand army colonel to advice Somalia defence force and police,” Bar Kulan, October 14, 2011. Available:
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