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: Increased security in Sana’a following intelligence that suggests an al Qaeda attack; Houra security office in Hadramawt province attacked on Monday; security personnel close transport route in Abyan province in protest of salary cuts, two injured in Southern movement rallies; report released saying Sharif Mobley spoke of militant views while working at U.S. nuclear plants; U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs to visit Yemen; judge threatened in trial of 16 al Qaeda suspects; security officials on offensive in al Saeed district where al Qaeda members are thought to be hiding
Horn of Africa: Uganda says it could raise 20,000 troops needed in Somalia; TFG soldier kills deputy DC in Bondhere; TFG forces have reclaimed al Shabaab posts in Mogadishu; 23 killed and 90 wounded in last three days in Mogadishu
Yemen Security Brief
- Officials report that Yemen has increased security around embassies and government buildings in Sana’a after receiving intelligence indicating that al Qaeda is planning an attack. Security officials have also set up additional check points throughout the city.
- The Houra security office in Hadramawt governorate was attacked by unidentified armed people on Monday. There were no casualties and the attackers have not yet been found.
- Public security personnel shut down the international transport route in Abyan governorate on Monday to protest salary cuts. Central security forces were unable to reopen the route because the protesters were armed. Additionally, police dispersed demonstrations in the cities of Dhaleh and Lahij, injuring two people. Spokesman for the Southern Movement’s Supreme Council, Abdu Maatari, said, “We want to send through this strike a message to the friends and neighbors of Yemen to do sometething to prevent holding the 20th Gulf Cup in the south.”
- According to a report by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, American-born Sharif Mobley, currently in Yemeni custody after trying to shoot a hospital guard in March, spoke openly of militant views while working at American nuclear plants between 2002-2008. Mobley, allegedly a member of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, reportedly told members of his labor union, “We are brothers in the union, but if a holy war comes, look out.” He also reportedly referred to non-Muslims as “infidels.”
- U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Williams Burns will visit Yemen this week in a trip that will also include Iraq in Jordan. In Yemen, Burns “will consult with the government officials and political party leaders on ways to enhance regional security and promote development,” according to a State Department press release.
- Judge Abdu Ali al Awashi adjourned the trial of 16 alleged al Qaeda members for two weeks on Monday after receiving threats from the men on trial. At the trial in Mukalla in the eastern Hadramawt governorate, one defendant told the judge, “You will meet the same fate as those who plotted against the jihadists,” and another told him, “We are certain we will be declared innocent, and then we will hold you to account outside the court.”
- Shabwah security forces have begun an offensive on the al Saeed district in order to arrest the al Qaeda militants suspected of attacking the Shabwah governor’s convoy last week. There are allegedly 11 al Qaeda members in the town.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said Monday that Uganda could raise the entire 20,000 man force that African Union now claims is necessary to pacify Somalia. Museveni said, “Uganda is helping Somalia because of its African tradition and culture. Uganda can raise the required 20,000 alone, given logistics and equipment.” Museveni also said that resources would be better spent focused on the insurgent problem in Somalia as opposed to countering the pirate problem off Somalia’s shores. He said, “Unless these pirates live in water, which I doubt, the solution to ocean piracy is to ensure a stable government in Somalia.”
- A TFG soldier killed Hassan Kulmiye, the deputy district commissioner of the TFG for Bondhere district in Mogadishu on Monday. This is the first time a government soldier has deliberately killed a high TFG official.
- AMISOM spokesman Major Barigye Ba Hoku reported that TFG forces backed by AMISOM peacekeepers have successfully reclaimed some of al Shabaab’s posts in Mogadishu. These include Taribune square, the former military hospital, Taleh hotel, and other sites near the Bakara market. Barigye also said that al Shabaab deputy commander-in-chief Mukhtar Robow has withdrawn his forces from Mogadishu following a rift within the group’s leadership. Robow has reportedly moved his forces to Bay and Bakool regions in southern Somalia.
- The most recent reports say that 23 have been killed and at least 90 wounded in the last three days in Mogadishu.