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: Military regains control of al Mukalla headquarters; Yemeni military will not attempt to rescue captured soldiers in Abyan; seven military officers arrested for collaborating with AQAP; four people arrested for belonging to AQAP in Aden; Yemeni Foreign Minister announces possible extension of NDC; tribesmen blow up pipeline in Ma’rib; tribesmen attack socialists in Taiz

Horn of Africa: al Shabaab attacks AMISOM base and engages troops in Qoqani, Lower Jubba region; al Shabaab bombs AMISOM convoy in Marka town, Lower Shabelle region; al Shabaab bombs Johar, Middle Shabelle; Somali forces arrest five militants in Beledweyne, Hiraan region; Jubbaland pulls forces from cities in preparation for large operation; al Shabaab bombs residences in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region; German-born al Shabaab militant enters Uganda

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni counter terrorism units regained control of the Second Military District headquarters in al Mukalla, Hadramawt governorate on October 2. The military shelled the building with artillery before the assault. Officials reported that all the terrorists and some of the hostages were killed, but they did not specify how many. A local hospital reported that it received ten corpses, five of which were soldiers. Yemeni intelligence arrested seven officers employed at the Second Military District headquarters on October 3. A source said that they had spied for AQAP and facilitated the attack on the building.[1]
  • The Yemeni military said it would be too dangerous to attempt to rescue twenty kidnapped soldiers being held at an AQAP stronghold in Abyan governorate. Officials suspect the soldiers are being held on al Maraqesha Mountain. The military will rely on tribal mediation to free the soldiers. AQAP captured the soldiers during attacks in Shabwah on September 20.[2]
  • Security forces arrested four people in al Mansoura, Aden governorate on October 3. They accused the detainees of belonging to AQAP. Witnesses said that one of those arrested was a small child.[3]
  • Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al Qirbi announced on October 2 that the end of the National Dialogue Conference (NDC) might be delayed by up to three months. The NDC was supposed to end on September 18. Delegates have not been able to reach an agreement over the Southern Issue.[4]
  • Unidentified tribesmen blew up an oil pipeline in Wadi Abeidah, Ma’rib governorate on October 3.[5]
  • Clashes broke out between tribesmen belonging to Sheikh Muhammad Mansour al Shawafi and members of the Socialist Party in al Rahidah, Taiz governorate on October 3. The clashes wounded several people and cut off the road between Taiz and Aden.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants sparked a clash involving gunfire and mortars with Somali and Kenyan troops after attacking the AMISOM base in Qoqani, Lower Jubba region on October 3. Casualty figures were not released.[7]
  • Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting an AMISOM convoy as it passed through Marka town, Lower Shabelle region on October 3. Marka district commissioner stated there were no AMISOM casualties.[8]
  • Suspected al Shabaab militants detonated a bomb in Jowhar town, Middle Shabelle region on October 3. Residents heard gunfire following the explosion but Somali authorities did not release information on the event.[9]
  • Somali police forces arrested five al Shabaab militants in Beledweyne, Hiraan region during a security sweep operation on October 3.[10]
  • The Jubbaland administration pulled security forces from Kismayo in preparation for a large-scale security operation to remove al Shabaab from remote strongholds throughout Lower Jubba region, on October 2. Jubbaland forces will specifically target Jamame, Jibil, and Bu’ale districts of Lower and Middle Jubba regions, according to the administration’s spokesperson.[11]
  • Suspected al Shabaab militants detonated an IED outside the residences of Somali elders and Jubbaland officials in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on October 2. No casualties were reported, but the attack came hours after Jubbaland authorities announced an upcoming operation against al Shabaab.[12]
  • German-born Andreas Martin Mueller (Ahmed Khaled), wanted in connection to al Shabaab’s 2010 Kampala bombing, reportedly snuck into Uganda on October 1.[13]

[1] “Al Arabiya: Dozens of Killed and Wounded in Retaking of the Second Military District Command in al Mukalla by Security Forces,” al Ain Online, October 3, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Arrest of Seven Officers Accused of Spying with al Qaeda and Facilitating Storming of the Second Military District,” Barakish, October 3, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Security Forces Leave Captured Soldiers’ Release to Tribal Mediation,” Yemen Times, October 3, 2013. Available:
[3] “Security Services in Aden Arrest Four Elements Suspected of Belonging to al Qaeda,” Barakish, October 3, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “NDC Could Be Delayed by a Couple Months or More,” Yemen Post, October 3, 2013. Available:
[5] “Oil Pipe Explosion in Wadi Abeidah, Ma’rib,” Yaspr, October 3, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Breaking: Violent Clashes in al Rahada Cut Off the Road after Sheikh al Shawafi Attacks Youth of the Socialist Party,” Huna Aden, October 3, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Heavy battle between Allied troops and Alshabab occur in the lower Juba region of Somalia,” Shabelle, October 3, 2013. Available:
[8] “Officials speak out of Bomb explosion in Marka town,” Dalsan Radio, October 3, 2013. Available:
[9] “Heavy blasts occur in Jowhar town,” Shabelle, October 3, 2013. Available:
[10] “Somali police arrests al Shabaab suspects in central Somalia,” Somalia Media Monitoring, October 3, 2013. Available:
[11] “Jubba administration prepares for major operation against al-Shabaab,” Bar Kulan, October 3, 2013. Available:
[12] “Landmine explosion targets residential area in Kismayo,” Raxanreeb, October 2, 2013. Available:
[13] “Wanted Al-Shabaab terrorist enters Uganda,” October 2, 2013. Available:
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