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: Clashes erupt between Saleh’s forces and Ahmar loyalists; heavy shelling reported in Aden; tribesmen vow revenge for Awlaki killing; opposition calls Saleh’s guarantees request a “sham”

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab displays bodies of AMISOM troops; fighting in Mogadishu kills three people; Kenyan authorities arrest two doctors in Nairobi suburb; al Shabaab executes two people for spying

 Yemen Security Brief

  • Violent clashes erupted between government forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and tribesmen loyal to Hashid tribal confederation leader Sheikh Sadiq al Ahmar in al Hasaba district in north Sana’a. Witnesses and residents reported that explosions were heard and gunfire was exchanged between both sides in the Soufan district in north Sana’a, as well. Local media reported that two people, as well as tribesmen and government forces, were injured in the fighting. The renewed violence breaks a ceasefire truce between the two sides that was issued Tuesday evening.[1]
  • Local residents reported that heavy shelling struck the Crater district of Aden. Residents also report that there have been ongoing gun battles between Aden residents and gunmen dressed in civilian clothing in other parts of Aden.[2]
  • Tribesmen from the Awlaki tribe, the tribe of radical Islamist cleric Anwar al Awlaki, threatened retaliation against the American and Yemeni governments for the killing of Awlaki by U.S. drone strike on September 30. He said in a phone interview from Shabwah governorate that, "If they killed Anwar, I would assure them there would be thousand Anwars, and if they kill Fahd Al Qusu, there will be thousand Fahds.” He added that "there will be retaliatory operations inside the United States,” in retaliation for the killing. Al Qaeda has threatened retaliation for the killing, as well.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab displayed nearly seventy bodies it claims were African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops killed in the fighting in Mogadishu.  The bodies were displayed in the Alamada refugee camp just outside of Mogadishu.  The African Union denied that the bodies on display were AMISOM troops, reporting only ten soldiers killed and two missing.[4]
  • Fighting broke out again in the Daynile district of Mogadishu between Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces backed by AMISOM troops and al Shabaab militants.  Each side shelled the other and exchanged machine gun fire.  The battle claimed three lives.  Al Shabaab has retaken most of the district following a recent TFG and AMISOM assault into the district to push the group out.[5]
  • Kenyan authorities arrested two doctors of Somali origin in the Eastleigh suburb of Nairobi over the alleged recruitment for al Shabaab.  Dr Ali Omar and Dr Ali Adan are also charged with entering Kenya illegally.  Kenya’s assistant minister of internal security, Orwa Ojode, said that he was going to begin the “mother of all operations” to remove al Shabaab from Nairobi.  He also said that they would focus on the Eastleigh suburb which consists of mostly ethnic Somalis.[6]
  • Al Shabaab executed two men accused of spying for Kenyan and TFG forces in Afmadow in Lower Jubba region.  Kenyan and TFG forces are advancing towards the town.[7]

[1]“Yemeni forces, tribesmen clash in capital,” Reuters, October 20, 2011. Available:
[2] “Aden under Attack,” Yemen Post, October 20, 2011. Available:
[4] “Al shabaab displays bodies of AMISOM soldiers after intense fighting,” Shabelle Media Network, October 21, 2011. Available:
“AU rejects al-Shabab bodies 'stunt' in Somalia,” BBC, October 21, 2011. Available:
[5] “Fighting restarts in Mogadishu’s Daynile, 3 killed,” Shabelle Media Network, October 21, 2011. Available:
“Reports: Al-Shabab Strikes Back in Mogadishu District,” VOA, October 21, 2011. Available:
[6] “Kenya arrest two Somalis in Nairobi over Al-Shabaab links,” Radio Bar-Kulan, October 21, 2011. Available:
[7] “Al-Shabaab kills two for espionage in Afmadow,” Radio Bar-Kulan, October 21, 2011. Available:
View Citations
Arrow down red
Nov '11
Oct '11
Sep '11