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 Special Forces raid Second Military District headquarters; AQAP attacks checkpoint in Shabwah; Yemeni court sentences AQAP militants involved in 2012 bombing; tribal leaders reject two state federal system for Yemen; France arrests woman in Paris

Horn of Africa: al Shabaab attacks AMISOM base in Mahaday district, Middle Shabelle region; gunmen kill Somali police officer in Mogadishu; Canada pledges $6 million to Somalia; interim Jubbaland leader boycotts national reconciliation conference; al Shabaab threatens Kenya; Somaliland president meets with Turkish leaders; Kenya courts charge Somali nationals with terrorism

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni Special Forces raided the Second Military District headquarters in al Mukalla, Hadramawt governorate on October 2. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants had stormed the headquarters on September 30 and continued to hold Yemeni soldiers hostage on the third floor of the building.[1]
  • AQAP gunmen killed four police officers and wounded three others in an attack on a checkpoint in Mayfa’a Hajar, Shabwah governorate on October 2. The source did not report the attackers’ casualties.[2]
  • A Yemeni court sentenced five AQAP members to jail on October 2 for their involvement in the May 2012 attack on a military parade in Sana’a that killed 86 soldiers. Their sentences ranged from two to ten years. Three of the accused were acquitted and three more were released on time served.[3]
  • Tribal leaders led by Sadiq al Ahmar met with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi on September 30. They announced their complete rejection of any plan which divides Yemen, including a two-state federal system.[4]
  • An AQAP fighter eulogized a suicide bomber on the Shumukh al Islam forum on September 29. The suicide bomber intended to target a tribal sheikh who was limiting AQAP expansion in Ma’rib governorate, but detonated the explosive device prematurely.[5]
  • France’s Central Directorate of Homeland Intelligence (direction centrale du renseignement intérieur or DCRI) arrested a woman in Paris, France, for alleged links to AQAP on October 1.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  •  Al Shabaab militants attacked an AMISOM base in the recently liberated Mahaday district in Middle Shabelle region on October 2. Casualty figures were not released.[7]
  • Two gunmen shot and killed a Somali police officer outside his house in Mogadishu on October 2.[8]
  • Canada pledged over $6 million to promote security and stability in Somalia on October 2. The announcement came after Somalia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Fawzia Yusuf Haji Aden met with her Canadian counterpart.[9]
  • Interim President of Jubbaland Ahmed Madobe announced a boycott of the upcoming Somali Federal Government’s national reconciliation conference on October 2. A Jubbaland administration spokesman said the conference, to be held in Mogadishu, was not part of the recently signed Addis Ababa accords.[10]
  • Al Shabaab released a statement threatening Kenya with graphic imagery on October 2. The statement may be a response to President Uhuru Kenyatta's decision to keep Kenyan troops in Somalia.[11] 
  • Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud “Silanyo” met with Turkish leaders to discuss “issues of shared interest” and “the exploration of minerals” in Ankara, Turkey on October 1.[12]
  • Kenyan courts charged Somali nationals Abdirahman Ahmed Heeyle Mohamud and Nucmaan Mohamed Hassan with terrorism for planting a bomb aboard public transportation on October 2.[13]  

[1] “Breaking: New Raid Operation Begun on the Headquarters of the Second Military District in al Mukalla,” Barakish, October 2, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Seven Soldiers Killed and Wounded in AQAP Attack Near Hadramawt,” Wefaq Press, October 2, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Yemen Jails Five al Qaeda Militants for Deadly Army Suicide Blast,” AFP, October 2, 2013. Available:
[4] “We Will Not Stand Idly In Front of Attempts to Tear Yemen Apart,” Okaz, October 1, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“In Meeting of The Tribes of Yemen: Sadiq al Ahmar Warns President From Playing With Fire,” al Watan Voice, September 30, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Alleged AQAP Fighter Gives Eulogy for Slain Colleague Abu Sajad al Maribi,” SITE, September 30, 2013. Available at SITE.
[6] “France Arrests Paris Woman for ‘al Qaeda Links,’” France 24, October 1, 2013. Available:
[7] “Al shabab attacks newly liberated district in the lower Shabelle region,” Shabelle, October 2, 2013. Available:
[8] “Government police officer shot dead in Mogadishu,” Shabelle, October 2, 2013. Available:
[9] “Canada boosts support for Somalia security,” Bar Kulan, October 2, 2013. Available: “Somali Foreign Affairs Minister arrives in Canada,” Bar Kulan, October 2, 2013. Available:
[10] “Jubba interim administration boycotts reconciliation meeting announced by FG of Somalia,” Mustaqbal Radio, October 2, 2013. Available:
[11] “Al-Shabaab: Kenya will see ‘rivers of blood,’” Shabelle, October 2, 2013. Available:
[12] “Somaliland: Our Sovereignty is Non-Negotiable – President Silanyo,” Somaliland Press, October 1, 2013. Available:
[13] “Two Somalis charged with terrorism in Kenya,” Shabelle, October 2, 2013. Available:
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