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: Four people die and three soldiers are kidnapped during militant attacks in Abyan governorate; suspected al Qaeda terrorists attack military vehicles, killing two soldiers; governor of Aden governorate asks security officials to resign following sports club bombings; former Guantanamo detainee and AQAP members turns self in to Saudi authorities

Horn of Africa: Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed named new Prime Minister of Somalia; British and Somali aid workers abducted in western Somalia; Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a takes control of Adado; one person dead, two others injured after al Shabaab attack in Mogadishu; four people killed and 12 injured in Hizb al Islam attack in Harardhere district; Puntland Information Minister injured by a roadside bomb in Bosaso; Isha human rights chairman escaped from al Shabaab custody

Yemen Security Brief

  • Four people died and three soldiers were kidnapped during a series of militant attacks Thursday in Mudia and Lawder in Abyan governorate.  These attacks followed the assassination of Mudia’s security chief and an assassination attempt on Abyan’s governor earlier in the day.  Deputy police chief in Abyan Brigadier Saleh al Shamsi said the situation is “very dangerous.”[1]
  • Armed men believed to be al Qaeda terrorists attacked a convoy of three military vehicles on their way to Lawder in Abyan governorate, killing two soldiers and injuring others.[2]
  • Adnan al Gaafari, governor of Aden governorate, asked top security officials in his governorate to resign after they failed to stop Monday’s militant attack on a local sports club that killed two people and injured twelve others.[3]
  • Jabir Jubran al Fayfi, a former Guantanamo detainee (#188) who went through the Saudi rehabilitation program and then escaped to Yemen, turned himself into Saudi authorities.  He had been a member of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) since 2008.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed was named Prime Minister of Somalia Thursday.  Mohamed has a master’s degree in political science from SUNY-Buffalo, worked in the Somali Embassy in Washington from 1985-1988, and taught conflict resolution and leadership skills at Erie Community College in New York.  Mohamed replaces Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, who resigned as Prime Minister earlier this month due to feuds with the president.[5]
  • Unidentified gunmen abducted a British aid worker and a Somali working for Save the Children from a compound near the border with Ethiopia.  The organization released a statement saying, “At this point, Save the Children have no further information as to the whereabouts or well-being of their staff.”  The affiliation of the assailants is as of yet unknown.[6]
  • Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a has seized control of the Adado district in Galgudud region in central Somalia.  Eight Adado soldiers were killed and two were wounded in the clashes.[7]
  • An al Shabaab attack on a TFG military base in Hodan district of Mogadishu led to clashes that have left one civilian dead and two injured.[8]
  • Four people were killed and 12 others injured in a Hizb al Islam attack in Harardhere district in Somalia’s central Mudug region.  The fighting occurred when a group of people congregated to protest Hizb al Islam militants’ beating of teenagers for allegedly watching pornographic videos on their cellular phones.[9]
  • Puntland’s Information Minister Abdulhakem Ahmed Guled was injured by a roadside bomb in Boosaaso.  The bomb exploded as the minister’s van drove by the Futama mosque.  It is unknown if anyone has been arrested in connection with the remotely detonated explosion.[10]
  • Alin Mihad Hilowle, Isha Human Rights Chairman, escaped from al Shabaab custody in Baydhabo after being held and tortured by the militants since May.  It is unclear how Hilowle was able to escape from the militants.  An Isha Human Rights Official said, “We received information that our chairman escape from rebel’s hand, we have no idea where he is now, we heard he was wounded.”[11]


[1] “Militants Kill Local Yemeni Security Chief,” AP, October 14, 2010. Available:
[2] “2 Troops Dead as Al-Qaeda Ambushes 3 Military Vehicles in South,” Yemen Post, October 14, 2010. Available:
[3] “Militants Kill Local Yemeni Security Chief,” AP, October 14, 2010. Available:
[4] “Saudi Arrest Ex-Guantanamo Qaeda Suspect,” AFP, October 15, 2010.  Available:
“Jabir Jubran al Fayfi,” New York Times Guantanamo Docket.  Available:
[5] “Somali-American is New Prime Minister in Somalia,” AP, October 14, 2010. Available:
[6] “Somali Gunmen Abduct Briton and Somali Working for Save the Children,” AP, October 15, 2010. Available:
[7] “Ahlu Sunna,s Leader Seizes a Town in Central Somalia,” Mareeg Online, October 15, 2010. Available:
[8] “Clash Kills a Civilian, Injures Two Others in Mogadishu,” Mareeg Online, October 15, 2010. Available:
[9] “Somalia: 4 Die, 12 Injured in Militant Attack,” All Headline News, October 14, 2010. Available:,%2012%20Injured%20In%20Militant%20Attack
[10] “Somalia’s Puntland Minister Hurt by Roadside Bomb,” All Headline News, October 15, 2010. Available:
[11] “Somalia: Isha Human Right Chairman Escaped from al-Shabaab,” Garowe Online, October 13, 2010. Available:
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