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: AQAP attacks military camp in Abyan; AQAP attacks checkpoints in al Bayda; gunmen kill officer in Hadramawt; military reinforcements arrive in Ghayl Ba Wazir, Hadramawt; AQAP releases video about Shabwah attacks

Horn of Africa: UN uncovers al Shabaab plot against Mogadishu compound; Kenya identifies a Westgate attacker; Ahlu Sunna threatens Jubbaland forces in Beled Hawo district of Gedo region

Yemen Security Brief

  • A suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) suicide bomber detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device at the gate to the 111th Brigade base in Ahwar, Abyan governorate on October 18. The blast killed at least five soldiers. Other militants attacked the camp simultaneously, wounding fifteen more people. A different source reported that twelve people died. Officers were among the victims.[1]
  • Military sources reported that AQAP launched simultaneous attacks on security checkpoints in al Bayda governorate on October 17. The attacks occurred in al Zahar, ‘Awwayn, and al Sawadiyah. One soldier died and two others were wounded. An official said security forces inflicted heavy casualties on the militants.[2]
  • Unknown gunmen riding a motorcycle shot dead a military police officer in Ghayl Ba Wazir, Hadramawt governorate on October 18.[3]
  • Armored vehicles and troop transports arrived in Ghayl Ba Wazir, Hadramawt governorate on October 18 due to the reported presence of AQAP in Ghayl Ba Wazir suburbs. Militants have threatened to attack government and military facilities there.[4]
  • AQAP released a video on jihadist forums on October 16 describing the September 20 attacks on military bases in Shabwah governorate.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A confidential security assessment shared with UN Security Council members revealed that the UN had uncovered a “credible” al Shabaab plot against the UN compound in Mogadishu, on October 18. Al Shabaab attacked the compound on June 19, 2013.[6]
  • Kenyan authorities reportedly identified one of the al Shabaab Westgate attackers as 23-year-old Norwegian citizen of Somali origin Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow on October 17. The authorities also believed to have found the bodies of two al Shabaab militants in the rubble at Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya.[7]
  • The pro-government Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a militia threatened force against Jubbaland forces for creating bases in the Ahlu Sunna-controlled Beled Hawo district of Gedo region on October 17.[8]

[1] “Breaking: Al Qaeda Launches Attack on the 111th Brigade in Ahwar, and Killed and Wounded,” Barakish, October 18, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“12 Soldiers Killed in Suicide Attack on the 111th Brigade in Abyan,” al Sahwa Yemen, October 18, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Simultaneous Attacks by al Qaeda on Security Points and Camps in al Bayda, and the Defense Ministry Confirms Repelling Them,” Yemen Press, October 18, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Assassination of Aid in Hadramawt and Death of Soldier and Others Wounded in Different Attacks on Security Locations in al Bayda,” Al Ahale, October 18, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Armored Vehicles and Transports Arrive in Ghayl Ba Wazir on the Hadramawt Coast this Evening,” Hadrmout Press, October 18, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “AQAP Releases Video on 9/20 Coordinated Strikes in Shabwah,” SITE Intel Group, October 17, 2013. Available at SITE.
[6] “Exclusive: UN uncovers ‘credible’ new al-Shabab terror plot,” Foreign Policy, October 18, 2013. Available:
[7] “Norwegian suspected of being Kenya mall attacker named,” BBC, October 17, 2013. Available:
“Kenya attack: Westgate mall bodies ‘probably gunmen,’” BBC , October 18, 2013. Available:
[8] “Somalia: Fears of Clashes Loom in Gedo Region,” Garowe Online, October 17, 2013. Available:
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