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: Suspected AQAP gunmen attack a military checkpoint in southwestern Lahij governorate; armed tribesmen block engineer team attempting to fix electricity lines in Ma’rib governorate; the Southern Movement condemns the killing of a Yemeni CSF soldier in Lahij governorate; al Malahem Media foundation releases video will of Lufti Baher

Horn of Africa: Multiple blasts go off in Kismayo; Turkish official attacked and injured in Galkayo; fire kills three in police station in Garissa, Kenya; al Shabaab releases a video about its public restoration projects around Kismayo; nighttime curfew imposed on the Himan and Heb district; President Mohamud announces he will attend Ugandan jubilee

Yemen Security Brief

  • Suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) gunmen attacked a military checkpoint in southwestern Lahij governorate on October 3, killing two Yemeni soldiers and wounding three. According to local sources, the three wounded Yemeni soldiers are currently in critical condition.[1]
  • Armed tribesmen from Shabwah governorate blocked a team of engineers attempting to fix damaged electricity lines in the al Damashqa region of Ma’rib governorate on October 3. According to local tribesmen, the engineers were blocked because of a government decision to execute suspected AQAP operatives. The local tribesman added that tribal mediations are ongoing to allow the engineer team to repair the damaged electricity lines.[2]
  • The Southern Movement condemned the killing of a Yemeni Central Security Forces (CSF) soldier in Habilayn city of southwestern Lahij governorate on October 2. The unidentified CSF solider was reportedly from northern Yemen and was shot after refusing to surrender his weapons to local guards. According to the Southern Movement, armed gangs loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh were responsible for the killing.[3]
  • Al Malahem Media Foundation, the media wing of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), released a martyr video will of Lufti Baher on October 2. Lufti Baher was one of seven militants killed in an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a on September 17, 2008. In the video, Lufti Baher says jihadist fighters will continue to attack the United States as long as they maintain military bases in Muslim countries.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Multiple blasts went off in Kismayo following the AMISOM take-over of the city on October 2. One explosion went off at an administrative building at the K-2 junction reportedly injuring one civilian. One blast is reported to have injured two AMISOM soldiers at a police building that was housing AMISOM troops. In another attack, a grenade was thrown at a tea shop and wounded seven civilians. Two other blasts were said to have been detonated by bomb experts with AMISOM. So far, AMISOM and Somali officials have denied any casualties. After the initial explosion at the K-2 junction, al Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying there would be more to come.[5]
  • A Turkish official, Mustafa Hashimi Pulat, was injured on October 2 when a group of armed men attacked him and his security guards at a checkpoint outside of Galkayo in the Mudug region. There was a shootout between Pulat’s security and armed militants. One of the militants was reported dead and three were arrested. Pulat is the Head of East Africa Operations for the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency.[6]
  • A fire of unknown origin burned down a police station in Garissa, Kenya on October 2. Three people were killed in the fire, including the regional police commander. One day earlier, another police station was attacked in Garissa with no reported casualties. Kenyan officials believe these are the latest in a series of attacks from the terrorist organization al Shabaab, in retaliation for the Kenyan army’s part in the capture of Kismayo. [7]
  • Al Shabaab released a video showing its restoration projects in and around the city of Kismayo. The video shows men working on a road and two different bridges. Hussein Yaqub, al Shabaab’s governor in Kismayo, who was reported dead by AMISOM officials on September 29, was seen on the video talking about the public hospital in Kismayo which he said provided aid to many in the city.[8]
  • The local Himan and Heeb administration in central Somalia has imposed a curfew on the areas under its control on October 2. The curfew which is in effect for one week from 9pm to 5am was implemented due to the increased security threats in the region.[9]
  • President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud announced on October 2 that he will attend Uganda’s golden jubilee. Fourteen other heads of state will attend the event in Kampala, Uganda, along with ten international organizations including the United Nations and World Bank.[10]  

[1] “Al Qaeda Suspects Attack Army Post in Southern Yemen, 2 Dead,” Xinhua, October 3, 2012. Available:
[2] “Gunmen in Ma’rib Block the Arrival of Engineer Teams Fixing Electricity Lines,” al Watan, October 3, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Southern Movement in Radfan Condemns the Killing of a Northern Soldier and Denies its Involvement in the Event,” Aden al Ghad, October 3, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “AQAP Releases 2008 Embassy Bomber’s Will in Support of Uprisings,” SITE Intelligence Group, October 2, 2012. Available at SITE.
[5] “Blasts Rock Kismayo as African Union Forces Move In,” AFP, October 3, 2012. Available: “Explosions Hit Newly Liberated Kismayo City,” Bar Kulan, October 2, 2012. Available:
“Peaceful Situation in Somalia’s Port City of Kismayo,” Shabelle, October 3, 2012. Available:
[6] “Senior Turkish Official Injured in Central Somalia,” Shabelle, October 2, 2012. Available:
“An Official Injured in Baadweyne District in Mudug Province,” Risaala, October 2, 2012. Available:
[7] “Kenya on Renewed Terror Alert,” Capital FM, October 3, 2012. Available:
“Mysterious Fire Guts Down Police Station in Garissa,” Shabelle, October 3, 2012. Available:
[8] “Shabaab Video Shows Bridge, Road Restoration Projects in Lower Jubba,” SITE Intelligence Group, October 2, 2012. Available at SITE.
“Reuters Somalis’s al Shabaab Rebels Pull Out of Kismayu Bastion,” Reuters, September 29, 2012. Available:
[9] “A Weeklong Curfew Imposed on Himan and Heb Administered Areas,” Bar Kulan, October 3, 2012. Available:
[10] “President Mohamud to Attend Uganda’s Golden Jubilee in Kampala,” Bar Kulan, October 3, 2012. Available:
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