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: Officials deny attack near U.S. embassy; Yemeni officer survives assassination attempt in Ibb; security forces arrest high-ranking officer for conspiring with AQAP; AQAP releases video warning Yemeni security forces; Yemeni foreign minister announces construction of rehabilitation facility

Horn of Africa: Somali Interior Minister confirms U.S. drone strike killed al Shabaab explosives commander Ibrahim Ali Abdi; al Shabaab assassinates senior military officer in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region; Somali president meets with Dutch delegation and travels to Turkey

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni security officials reported an explosion and the sounds of gunfire near the U.S. embassy in Sana’a on October 28. Officials later said the noise was only fireworks from a wedding celebration. The U.S. State Department denied any knowledge about an attack near or on the embassy.[1]
  • A lieutenant colonel survived an assassination attempt in Ibb city on October 28. Motorcycle-mounted gunmen shot at the officer while he was returning home, but he escaped uninjured.[2]
  • Security forces arrested Colonel Saleh al Hiyam in al Bayda governorate on October 28. Yemeni security forces had received information of al Hiyam’s involvement with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Local security personnel protested against his arrest, insisting that al Hiyam was innocent.[3]
  • AQAP released a video on October 27 that called the Yemeni army a proxy in America’s war and warned Yemeni soldiers that they must rebel against President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi if they do not want to be targeted. AQAP leader in Abyan Jalal al Beledai said that attacks against Yemeni security forces were within the framework of combating America.[4]
  • Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al Qirbi announced on October 28 that Yemen will construct a rehabilitation facility to house the 55 Guantanamo Bay detainees that the U.S. has agreed to release. Specialists from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and the EU met to discuss the planned facility.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali Interior Minister Abdikarin Hussein Guled confirmed a U.S. drone strike succeeded in killing al Shabaab commander and explosives expert Ibrahim Ali Abdi (also known as Anta Anta and Adeer Ali) in Jilib, Middle Shabelle on October 28. The strike was confirmed by U.S. Defense Department officials. Guled also added that the Somali Federal Government assisted in the strike.[6]
  • Al Shabaab militants assassinated a senior Somali Military Officer in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region on October 29.[7]
  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud discussed the “New Deal” and development with Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in Villa Somalia, Mogadishu on October 27. The Minister and Dutch business leaders also discussed trade relations with Somali ministers and the Somali Chamber of Commerce.[8]
  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud traveled to Turkey to discuss bilateral relations on October 28.[9]

[1] “Blast Heard Near Yemen U.S. Embassy; Attack Denied,” AP, October 28, 2013. Available:
[2] “Officer Survives Assassination Attempt in Downtown Ibb,” Barakish, October 29, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Arrest of the Commander of Saraya Security in al Bayda on Charges of AQAP involvement,” al Khabar Now, October 28, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “AQAP Official Gives Update on Recent Military Operations in Yemen,” SITE, October 27, 2013. Available at SITE.
[5] “Yemen to Construct Rehabilitation Facility for Guantanamo Detainees, al Qirbi Says,” October 28, 2013. Available:
[6] “Pentagon Says Shabaab Bomb Specialist is Killed in Missile Strike in Somalia,” October 28, 2013. Available:
“Somali interior ministers: Government was part of Jilib strike,” Bar Kulan, October 29, 2013. Available:
[7] “Armed men gunned down senior Somali military officer in Jowhar town,” Dalsan Radio, October 29, 2013. Available:
[8] “Somali president meets Dutch foreign minister,” Bar Kulan, October 28, 2013. Available:
[9] “Somalia: President Hassan jets off to Turkey,” Garowe, October 28, 2013. Available:
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