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: Yemeni Air Force launches raids in Abyan; prison director survives assassination attempt in Dhamar; IED targets prison truck in al Bayda; Southern Movement protests in al Mukalla; Zaydi cleric calls al Houthis infidels; rocket fire kills four people in Damaj, Sa’ada

Horn of Africa: Ugandan police arrest suspected al Shabaab attempting to enter Democratic Republic of Congo; IED kills two Somali soldiers in Mogadishu; al Shabaab militants ambush AMISOM convoy in Dhobley, Lower Jubba region; Somali President urges UN support; Somali police arrest 36 journalists

Yemen Security Brief

  • The Yemeni Air Force launched raids on al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) hideouts in al Mahfad, Abyan governorate on October 30.[1]
  • The director of the central prison in Dhamar survived an assassination attempt in Dhamar city on October 30. Men on a motorcycle opened fire on his car and fled. One bodyguard was injured.[2]
  • An improvised explosive device (IED) exploded inside a food truck destined for the central prison in al Bayda governorate on October 30. Officials said it was probably meant to explode inside the prison to facilitate an escape.[3]
  • Southern Movement activists engaged in civil disobedience protests by burning tires and blocking roads in al Mukalla, Hadramawt governorate on October 30. Security forces shot and killed at least one protestor. One soldier and another civilian were also wounded.[4]
  • A prominent Zaydi cleric, Sheikh Abdulazim al Houthi, announced that jihad against al Houthi militants was better than jihad against the Jews and it makes no sense to fight the Jews as long as al Houthi rebels exist. He said al Houthis were enemies of God, the prophet, and believers because they shed Muslim blood.[5]
  • A Salafist spokesman in Damaj, Abu Ismail al Hajouri, reported that four Salafists were killed when Katyusha rockets struck a mosque during midday prayers in Damaj, near the Saudi border in Sa’ada governorate.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Ugandan police arrested a suspected al Shabaab member attempting to enter the Democratic Republic of Congo in Bunagana, Uganda on October 29. The suspect reportedly carried al Shabaab logistical documents.[7]
  • An IED explosion killed two Somali National Army soldiers in Yaqshid district, Mogadishu on October 29. Al Shabaab is responsible for the attack.[8]
  • Al Shabaab militants ambushed an AMISOM convoy in Dhobley, Lower Jubba region on October 29. Casualty figures were not released.[9]
  • President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud urged the UN Security Council to vote for an increase the number of AMISOM troops during the UN meeting scheduled for October 30.[10]
  • Somali police forces arrested 36 journalists during the raid on Radio Shabelle on October 26.[11]

[1] “Breaking: Air Raids on al Qaeda Sites in al Mahfad and News About Casualties,” Barakish, October 30, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Director of Central Prison in Dhamar Survives Assassination Attempt,” Mareb Press, October 30, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Explosion of Truck Belonging to the Central Prison in al Bayda,” al Khabar Now, October 30, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Death of Young Man and a Soldier Wounded and Another Wounded in al Mukalla Today During Civil Disobedience,” Hadrmout Press, October 30, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Houthi Scholar: al Houthis Are Infidels and Jihad Against Them is Better Than Jihad Against the Jews,” Aden Post, October 30, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Four People Killed in Sectarian Violence in North Yemen,” Reuters, October 30, 2013. Available:
[7] “Suspected al-Shabab terrorist arrested in Kisoro,” Monitor, October 29, 2013. Available:
[8] “Somalia: Roadside bomb hits on Gov’t soldiers in Mogadishu,” Shabelle, October 29, 2013. Available:
[9] “al shabaab ambushes on AMISOM vehicle in Dhoobley,” Shabelle, October 29, 2013. Available:
[10] “President encourages UN Security Council to back Somali National Army,” Bar Kulan, October 29, 2013. Available:
[11] “Mogadishu, Forcibly closed two radios that denounce corruption and weakness of the new government,” Shabelle, October 29, 2013. Available:
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