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 tribesmen blow up oil pipeline; Saleh seeks guarantees before signing GCC agreement; post claims that AQAP media chief is still alive

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab pushed out of last district in Mogadishu; Kenyan military to target Kismayo; Kenyan forces arrest Somali official; al Shabaab bans teaching sciences in Lower Shabelle; bomb in Mogadishu kills one person; clans clash over water points; al Shabaab conscripts shoe shiners in Bardera district; Kenya to target al Shabaab sympathizers in Nairobi

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni tribesmen blew up a crude oil pipeline running between Ma’rib and Ras Issa, on the Red Sea.[1]
  • Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said that he will sign the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) transition deal on the condition that the he is provided with guarantees, at a meeting with party leaders. He said, “We want Gulf guarantees, first, second, European guarantees and third American guarantees,” in order to implement this initiative and that he will only transfer power to what he calls “safe hands.” Saleh also accused the opposition of having no vision of their own for the future of Yemen and accused them of merely following in the path of other Arab revolutions in the region. Saleh added that the opposition has been using protesters as “human shields.” President Saleh’s address came a day after the spokesman for the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, said that there will be "no impunity" for human rights violations in Yemen. US State Department spokesman Mark Toner noted, regarding President Saleh’s remarks that, “we don't believe any further guarantees are necessary.”[2]
  • A jihadist post on the radical Islamist web forum, Shumukh al Islam, on October 16, claimed that Egyptian-born Ibrahim al Banna, whom Yemen’s Defense Ministry called AQAP’s media chief, was not killed in the U.S. drone strike on October 14. The post confirmed that, of the seven people killed in the strike, three of the dead were from the al Awlaki tribe, three others were from Ma’rib governorate, and the other person was Bassam al Somali.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces, backed by African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops, advanced into the Daynile district in Mogadishu, the last foothold al Shabaab had in the city.  TFG forces captured the district after heavy fighting, driving al Shabaab out. TFG military spokesmen Colonel Aden Kalmoy said, “We have captured the whole district, and the anti-peace elements have fled to the outskirts.”[4]
  • Kenyan army spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir said that Kenyan forces will target Kismayo and will not leave until there “are no Islamic insurgents left.”  “We are going to be there until the (Somali government) has effectively reduced the capacity of al-Shabab to fire a single round ... We want to ensure there is no al-Shabab . . . we want to destroy all their weapons.”  Chirchir said that Kenyan forces have entered Ras Kamboni, saying that al Shabaab had fled the city. [5]
  • Kenyan officials arrested the deputy district commissioner of Elwaq, Sahal Moallim, and his bodyguards.[6]
  • Al Shabaab banned the teaching of scientific subjects in schools in the Lower Shabelle region.  Instead, schools must only teach Islamic subjects, including tawhid, fiqh and the hadith.  The al Shabaab chairman in Lower Shabelle region, Sheikh Mohamed Abu Abdullah, said that the decision was a response to the activities of “Christian organizations.”[7]
  • A bomb exploded in Mogadishu’s Hodan district killing a young man and wounding another.  Local authorities believe that the young man was a suicide bomber.  The bomb detonated shortly after he disembarked from a bus.[8]
  • Herders from two clans fought over control of water points in southern Mudug region in central Somalia.  The fighting killed more than twenty people and wounded several others.  The wounded were taken to hospitals in Galkayo and Adado for treatment.[9]
  • Al Shabaab has ordered shoe shiners in Bardera district in Gedo region to join the fight in southern Somalia.[10]
  • Kenya will launch a “major security operation” to flush al Shabaab sympathizers out of Nairobi once the operation in Somalia is completed.  The operation will focus on Eastleigh neighborhood in Nairobi, a primarily Somali suburb.[11]

[1]“Yemen Tribesmen Blow Up Oil Pipeline-Govt Official,” Reuters, October 19, 2011. Available:
[2] “Yemeni leader says he wants international guarantees to sign agreement to step down,” AP, October 19, 2011. Available:
“Yemen president seeks guarantees on exit,” al Jazeera, October 19, 2011. Available:
[3] “Jihadist Claims AQAP's Media Official is Still Alive,” SITE Intelligence Group, October 19, 2011. Available at SITE.
[4] “Somali national army, AU troops capture remaining areas from Shabab in Mogadishu in a battle,” Mareeg Online, October 20, 2011. Available:
Abdi Guled, “Kenya Advances Towards Somali City of Kismayo,” AP, October 20, 2011. Available:
[5] “Kenyan military: troops will target Somalia’s insurgent stronghold, port city of Kismayo,” AP, October 20, 2011. Available:
[6] “Kenyan forces arrest Somali official in Elwak town,” Shabelle Media Network, October 19, 2011. Available:
[7] “Al shabaab orders southern Somalia schools to teach Islamic subject,” Shabelle Media Network, October 20, 2011. Available:
[8] “Explosion kills presumably ‘suicide bomber’ in Mogadishu,” Radio Bar-Kulan, October 20, 2011. Available:
[9] “Calm returns to parts of Mudug region after a day of deadly fight,” Radio Bar-Kulan, October 20, 2011. Available:
[10] “Al-Shabaab orders ‘young shoe shiners’ in Bardera to join their fight,” Radio Bar-Kulan, October 20, 2011. Available:
[11] “Kenya to target al-Shabab sympathisers in Nairobi,” BBC, October 20, 2011. Available:
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