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: Security forces raid a home in Aden governorate; armed gunmen kidnap Saudi citizens in Aden governorate; Secretary General of Southern Movement denies claims of assassination attempt; unidentified gunmen open fire on a house in Taiz governorate; security forces remove tribal blockade in Ibb governorate

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants attack the home of a Somali district commissioner in Bay region; unknown gunmen kill media worker in Mogadishu; police in Galkayo seize explosives; Somali and AMISOM troops carry out search operations in Kismayo; security in Mombasa tightens due to looming terrorist threats; 40 police officers receive investigative training in Mogadishu; Kenyan president supports Eritrea’s bid to join IGAD

Yemen Security Brief

  • Security forces raided a home in al Arish neighborhood in Aden governorate on October 30. Local sources reported that security forces raided the home in search of an individual named Hassan Saleh al Qaren. Five unidentified individuals were arrested following the raid; however, Qaren was not one of them. Security forces claimed that Qaren was a member of al Qaeda and explosive devices were found in the home. Qaren refuted these claims later, stating that he is an active member of the Southern Mobility Movement.[1]
  • Five unidentified gunman kidnapped an unspecified number of Saudi citizens from a hotel in Aden governorate on October 30. Local sources reported that security forces were able to track down the five kidnappers to an area in Sheikh Othman in Aden governorate. Security forces then surrounded the kidnappers, and arrested and confiscated their weapons. The kidnapped Saudi citizens were freed by security forces.[2]
  • Abdullah al Nakhebi, Secretary General of the Southern Mobility Movement (SMM), denied rumors of an assassination attempt in a statement to local media on October 30. Nakhebi refuted claims that an unknown party poisoned his food in attempt to kill him. Nakhebi, who was recently being treated a local hospital, reported he was having health issues related to his diabetes.[3]
  • Unidentified gunmen shot at a house of a local citizen in Taiz governorate on October 29. Local sources reported that unidentified gunmen fired several rounds at the house and then fled the scene. The attack did not result in any casualties. Residents in the area blamed security forces for their failure to respond to the incident.[4]
  • Security forces removed a tribal blockade in Naqil Samara region of Ibb governorate on October 28. Local sources reported that the blockade was formed by tribes in Ibb governorate and other individuals from Dhamar governorate. Brig. Fuwad al Atab, Director of Security in Ibb governorate, reported that the blockade has been fully removed and the area is now secure.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants attacked the home of Dahir Hassan Hussein, the district commissioner in the Deynile district of Bardale, Bay region on October 29. Al Shabaab troops stormed the house and engaged in a firefight with Hussein’s guards. One bodyguard and four al Shabaab militants were killed in the shootout. An unknown number of people were injured. The al Shabaab soldiers fled the scene and have so far eluded capture.[6]
  • Unknown gunmen shot and killed a well-known poet in Waberi district of Mogadishu on October 29. Warsame Shire Awalle was killed as he was walking to his home. Awalle was, at the time, working for Kulmiye News Network, bringing the total number of media workers killed this year in Somalia to 18. The gunmen have not yet been caught and the reason behind the attack is not known.[7]
  • Police in Galkayo, Mudug region seized grenades and two explosive vests during a raid on a home on October 29. Two men inside the home escaped and have not yet been caught by police.[8]
  • Somali and AMISOM troops carried out searches in Kismayo on October 30. During the searches the Somali and AMISOM forces found landmines planted in a road and a house.[9]
  • Security in Mombasa has been tightened following intelligence reports that there is a looming terrorist attack planned for the city. The reports show evidence of simultaneous attacks planned by terror suspect Fuad Abubakar Manswab, who is out of jail on bail. There are two suspected groups involved in the potential attack, one of which is F1, a group run by Kenyan terrorist Maalim Khalid and responsible for a string of grenade attacks along the Kenyan coast. Kenyan police are attempting to secure the city in preparation for an attack.[10]
  • Forty police officers have begun investigative training at the General Kahiye Police Academy in Mogadishu on October 29. This is the second group of officers this month to receive the training.[11]
  • President of Kenya Mwai Kibaki has supported Eritrea’s bid to become part of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). Eritrea has so far been banned from IGAD for its support of extremists in the region. Kibaki did caveat his support by saying Eritrea had to support peace operations in the region in order to receive membership.[12]


Updated November 19, 2012

[1] “Security Forces Raid Home in al Arish Neighborhood and Arrest Five People,” Aden al Ghad, October 30, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
“Security Source: Person Whose House Was Raided Was a Member of al Qaeda, and He Refutes [the claim],” Aden al Ghad, October 30, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Release of Saudis That Were Kidnapped in Aden by an Armed Gang,” Aden al Ghad, October 30, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “In an Exclusive Statement to Ma’rib Press – Secretary General of Southern Mobility Movement Leaves Hospital and Denies Rumors of His Assassination Attempt,” Ma’rib Press, October 30, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Return of the Spread of Armed Gunmen in a Number of Neighborhoods,” Ma’rib Press, October 29, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Removal of Tribal Blockade in Naqil Samara and Arrest of Wanted Individual,” 26 September, October 28, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Somalia: Al Shabab Fighters Attack a District Commissioner Home in Bardale of Bai Region,” Raxanreeb, October 29, 2012. Available:
“Somali Distrit Commissioner Says He Survived Assassination Bid,” Shabelle, October 30, 2012. Available:
[7] “NUSOJ Condemns the Murder of Another Media Worker in Mogadishu,” Jowhar Online, October 29, 2012. Available:
[8] “Galmudug Police Seize Explosives in Galkayo,” Bar Kulan, October 29, 2012. Available:
[9] “Somali, AU Forces Launch Sweep in Kismayo,” Shabelle, October 30, 2012. Available:
[10] “Terror Threat Looms in Mombasa,” Shabelle, October 30, 2012. Available:
[11] “Police Officers Start Trainings in Mogadishu,” Bar Kulan, October 29, 2012. Available:
[12] “Renounce Extremism in Horn of Africa Before IGAD Recall, Eritrea Urged,” Bar Kulan, October 30, 2012. Available:
The Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement on October 31, 2012 that corrected original reports of the meeting between Kenyan President Kibaki and Eritrea's Ambassador. The correction reads, "Instead, His Excellency the President asked the Ambassador of the State of Eritrea to reassure his President, His Excellency President Isaias Afwerki of Kenya’s desire to maintain warm, friendly and forthright relations with the State of Eritrea and welcomed Eritrea’s return to IGAD." Please see:
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