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 kill three suspected AQAP operatives in southern port city Aden; Yemeni security forces arrest five southern secessionist protesters in Aden; Yemeni Defense Ministry denies reports of an assassination attempt on Defense Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed

Horn of Africa: Explosion in Kismayo force AMISOM troops to leave the city; al Shabaab threatens relief agencies; traditional elder killed in Beledweyne; trial for Somali-American charged with five terror related counts begins; President Mohamud visits two Somali towns 

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni security forces raided a terrorist hideout in Mansoura district of southern port city Aden on October 2, killing three suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives. According to the Yemeni Defense Ministry, several explosive devices were seized in the operation, including suicide vests and rockets. The Yemeni Defense Ministry added that four Yemeni security forces were wounded in the raid.[1]
  • Yemeni security forces arrested five southern secessionist protesters in southern port city Aden on October 1. According to local sources, the arrests took place after Yemeni security forces clashed with secessionist protesters.[2]
  • The Yemeni Defense Ministry denied reports on October 2 that an assassination attempt on Defense Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed took place near his residence in Sana’a. The Yemeni Defense Ministry was quoted as saying, “Defense Minister Ahmed was not involved in any assassination attempt, and if it were to have happened, it would have been announced officially.”[3]
  • A Yemeni Central Security Forces (CSF) solider was killed in Habilayn city in southwestern Lahij governorate on October 2. According to local sources, the CSF solider identified as Rabish al Sabari, was shot by unidentified gunmen at a local restaurant after refusing to surrender his weapon.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The AMISOM troops outside Kismayo entered the city in large numbers on October 2. Hours after AMISOM forces claimed control of Kismayo there was an explosion in an administrative building. Al Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying there would be more to come. AMISOM leaders said there were no casualties but al Shabaab claims that many government soldiers were killed. It is reported that following the blast, AMISOM troops have withdrawn from the city and moved back to its military bases surrounding the city.[5]
  • Al Shabaab has threatened relief agencies bringing food into Somalia. War, drought and now flooding have caused massive famine in throughout the country which has killed tens of thousands of people since last July. Al Shabaab claims relief food is of low quality and decreases Somali farmers’ productivity. The militant group has said they will “decisively deal” with anyone caught bringing in relief aid.[6] 
  • Barre Mohamed Halane, a traditional elder in Beledweyne was killed on October 1. Halane was shot by two men who immediately fled the scene. There is an investigation into the crime but the assailants have not yet been caught. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.[7]
  • The trial for Mahamud Said Omar, the Somali-American convicted of persuading young Somali men to leave Minnesota to join al Shabaab, began on October 2. Omar is charged on five different terror related counts. In some cases Omar helped young men get plane tickets over to Somalia in order to join al Shabaab, a militant group that has been labeled as a terrorist organization by the American federal government.[8]
  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has visited two Somali cities in the past two days. President Mohamud and parliament speaker Mohamed Osman Jawari visited Baidoa on October 1 to talk about the security of the third largest city in Somalia. On October 2, President Mohamud visited Beledweyne, the capital city of the Hiraan province, which has recently suffered from severe flooding.[9]

[1] “Yemen Forces Kill Three Qaeda Leaders in Bomb Factory Raid,” Reuters, October 2, 2012. Available:
“Yemen Forces Kill 3 Qaeda Suspects Plotting Attack,” AFP, October 2, 2012. Available:
[2] “Yemeni Security Forces Arrest 5 Pro-Secession Southern Activists,” Xinhua, October 2, 2012. Available:
[3] “Yemeni Defense Ministry Denies An Assassination Attempt on Mohammed Nasser Ahmed,” SABA, October 2, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Gunmen Kill Soldier after He Refused to Surrender His Weapon,” al Watan, October 2, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “African Troops Face Blast as They Take Somali Port,” Reuters, October 2, 2012. Available:
“Allied Troops Pull Out of Kismayo,” Shabelle, October 2, 2012. Available:
[6] “Al Shabaab Threatens People in Lower Shabelle Over Relief Food,” Bar Kulan, October 2, 2012. Available:
[7] Gunmen Kill an Elder in Beledweyne Town,” Bar Kulan, October, 1, 2012. Available:
[8] “Trial of Somali Man Accused of Helping Send America Fighters to Somalia Starts in U.S.,” Bar Kulan, October 2, 2012. Available:
[9] “Somali President, Speaker Visit Baidoa Town,” Shabelle, October 1, 2012. Available:
“Somali President to Visit Beledweyne,” Shabelle, October 2, 2012. Available:
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