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 security forces thwart terrorist attack in Aden; unidentified gunmen assassinate Iraqi military advisor in Sana’a; unidentified assailants attack military police commander’s house in Sana’a; soldiers from the 111th Infantry Brigade rebel against their leadership; unidentified assailants throw grenade inside central prison in Ibb governorate; Yemeni EOD teams disarm explosive device near liquefied natural gas pipeline in Shabwah governorate

Horn of Africa: Somali troops arrest suspected al Shabaab militants in Kismayo, port reopens after two months; Somali police force receives training in Mogadishu; community security leader killed in Dadaab refugee camps, Kenya; CIID in East Africa pledges support to stop Somali gun trafficking

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni security forces thwarted an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) terrorist attack in southern Aden governorate on October 16. According to local sources, Yemeni security forces found a vehicle rigged with explosives after raiding a house in Reemi neighborhood in al Mansoura district of Aden city. Suspected AQAP operatives were able to flee the house following the security raid.[1]
  • Unidentified gunmen riding a motorcycle shot dead Gen. Hatem Mohammed al Hashmi, an Iraqi military advisor, in Sana’a on October 16. According to local sources, Gen. Hatem al Hashmi is one of several Iraqi military experts hired by the Yemen government after 2003. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is suspected of being behind the attack.[2]
  • Unidentified assailants threw a hand grenade at Brig. Majali Mijidia al Moradi’s house in Sana’a on October 15. Brig. Majali al Moradi, a military police commander in Sana’a, was not harmed in the attack. According to local sources, the unidentified assailants also shot at Brig. Majali al Moradi’s house, killing a civilian in the process.[3]
  • Several Yemeni soldiers from 111th Infantry Brigade in Ahwar district of southern Abyan governorate rebelled against their leadership on October 16. According to local sources, the Yemeni soldiers are protesting due to financial issues.[4]
  • Unidentified assailants threw a hand grenade inside the central prison in Yerim district of eastern Ibb governorate on October 16. According to local sources, at least one person was wounded in the attack. The motive behind the attack is currently unclear.[5]
  • Yemeni explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams disarmed an explosive device near a liquefied natural gas pipeline in eastern Shabwah governorate on October 15. According to local sources, the targeted liquefied natural gas pipeline is connected to the Belhaf export terminal in the Gulf of Aden. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is suspected of being behind the failed bombing attempt.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali troops conducted searches throughout the northern part of the city of Kismayo on October 16. Dozens of suspected al Shabaab militants have been arrested and are being detained in local prisons. The searches come a day after Kismayo reopened its port to local traders. The port was shut down two months ago and since then high food prices have put severe economic strain on the city and surrounding areas.[7]
  • The AMISOM police force began training 40 Somali police officers in Mogadishu on October 15. The training is aimed at strengthening initial investigation skills which officials say will help the administration of justice in Somalia, and create a safer atmosphere. AMISOM hopes to train 160 Somali officers by the end of the year.[8]
  • A community security leader in the Dadaab refugee complex in Kenya was shot on October 15. One man who was armed with a pistol shot Mahad Muhumad Said, a peace activist, and fled the scene. The assailant is thought to be linked to the terrorist group al Shabaab, but no group has yet to claim responsibility for the attack.[9]
  • The Directors of Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Directorates (CIID) in East Africa said that they would support Somalia’s efforts to halt gun trafficking through the country. Somalia’s sea ports have been an entry point for gun smuggling to east Africa, but the new government says they are working to secure ports and trafficking routes.[10]  

[1] “Security Forces in Aden Thwart al Qaeda Terrorist Operation and Seize Rigged Vehicle” 26 September, October 16, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Gunmen Kill Military Advisor Working with the Yemeni Military in Sana’a,” Aden al Ghad, October 16, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
“Yemen: Motorcycle Gunman Assassinates Senior Intelligence Officer,” Washington Post, October 16, 2012. Available:
“Assassination of Iraqi Officer in the Capital,” al Watan, October 16, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
“Masked Gunmen Kill Iraqi Military Adviser in Sana’a,” Reuters, October 16, 2012. Available:
[3] “Anonymous People Throw a Bomb Outside the House of Military Police Commander,” 26 September, October 16, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Dozens of 111th Infantry Southern Soldiers Rebel against Their Leadership,” Aden al Ghad, October 16, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Yerim: Wounded Person from a Grenade Thrown by Unidentified People into the Prison,” Ma’rib Press, October 16, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Yemeni Army Foils Bombing Attempt against Gas Pipeline,” Xinhua, October 16, 2012. Available:
[7] “Somali Forces Arrest Dozens in Kismayo Security Sweep,” Shabelle, October 16, 2012. Available:
“Kismayo Seaport Reopens,” Bar Kulan, October 16, 2012. Available:
[8] “AMISOM Police Train Somali Police Force on Criminal Investigation,” AMISOM, October 16, 2012. Available:
[9] “Unknown Gunmen Kill Refugee Leader in Northern Kenya,” Shabelle, October 15, 2012. Available:
[10] “Somalia To Block Gun Trafficking to Uganda,” Shabelle, October 16, 2012. Available:
View Citations
Arrow down red
Nov '12
Oct '12
Sep '12