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: Unidentified gunmen kill a Yemeni police officer in Ibb governorate; U.S. State Department designates Ansar al Sharia an alias of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab releases video of French hostage; five suspected al Shabaab members killed during Kismayo raids; clan rivalries are stirring up fear in Kismayo; government forces arrest alleged journalist killers; three government soldiers are accused of rape; fifteen arrested in Mogadishu searches; two government troops killed by fellow soldier in Beledweyne; AMISOM assures safety for al Shabaab militants who turn themselves in

Yemen Security Brief

  • Unidentified gunmen killed a Yemeni police officer, identified as Abdo Naji, in southwestern Ibb governorate on October 4. An additional Yemeni soldier was wounded in the attack that took place in downtown Ibb city. Yemeni security officials reported that the unidentified gunmen may have been targeting Ibb police chief Faisal al Shaweri.[1]
  • The U.S. State Department added Ansar al Sharia (AAS) as an alias for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on October 4. AQAP was designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) on January 19, 2010. The U.S. State Department was quoted as saying, “AAS is simply AQAP’s effort to rebrand itself, with the aim of manipulating people to join AQAP’s terrorist cause.” Additionally, the United Nations 1267/1989 al Qaeda Sanctions Committee listed AAS as an alias for AQAP.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • French security advisor Denis Allex who was captured by al Shabaab militants three and a half years ago, was seen on a video released by the group on October 4. In the video Allex told the date as July 2012 and looked relatively healthy as he asked the French government to stop anti-Muslim policies and negotiate with al Shabaab for his return.[3]
  • AMISOM and Somali National Forces killed five people during raids in the port city of Kismayo on October 4. The troops went door-to-door searching for al Shabaab militants who were hiding out. Five men who had been carrying pistols were suspected of being al Shabaab members and were executed by the government soldiers.[4]
  • The power struggle between clans over Kismayo is causing fear amongst its residents. The many diverse clans in the area want control of the city and the revenue created by its port.  A meeting between the rival clans is supposed to take place in Nairobi. Some of the players will include the Marehan and Majerten clans. The Ogaden clan, which includes the Ras Kamboni Brigade, a major ally of Somali and AMISOM forces, will also attend.[5]
  • Somali and AMISOM forces captured several men behind the recent killings of Somali journalists in Mogadishu on October 4. The arrests come during an attempt by Somali and AMISOM troops to step up security in the capital city. During the night on October 4, police were seen patrolling every street junction in Mogadishu in order to make the city safer and decrease the number of nighttime killings.[6]
  • Three government soldiers were hunted by the Somali National Army after being accused of raping two young girls in Mogadishu. District police commissioner in Heliwa, Omar Abdulle Jafan, said this will be an introduction to what actions the new government will take against such crimes.[7]
  • During a search of the capital city of Mogadishu on October 5, fifteen, mostly young men, were arrested for links to a robbery and possession of illegal firearms. The search and arrests come after the Somali government decided to increase security in the city.[8]
  • Two Somali government soldiers were killed in Jirale area of Beledweyne in Hiraan region on October 5, after another government soldier opened fire on them. The incident occurred after a fight between the victims and the attacker took place. The shooter was taken into custody and will be charged for murder.[9]
  • AMISOM Col. Ali Aden Mahud told the press on October 4 that he will assure remaining al Shabaab militants of their safety if they turn themselves in to Somali and AMISOM troops.[10]  

[1] “One Officer Killed and One Soldier Wounded by Masked Gunmen in Downtown Ibb,” al Masdar Online, October 4, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Terrorist Designations of Ansar al Sharia as an Alias for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” U.S. State Department, October 4, 2012. Available:
“Security Council al Qaeda Sanctions Committee Amends Entry of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on its Sanctions List,” UN Security Council Committee, October 4, 2012. Available:
[3] “French Hostage Held by Shabaab Appeals to President Francois Hollande,” SITE Intelligence Group, October 4, 2012. Available at SITE.
[4] “Somali, Kenyan Forces Kill 5 In Kismayo,” Shabelle, October 4, 2012. Available:
[5] “Somalia: Kismayo Residents Fear New Clan Fighting,” Associated Press, October 4, 2012. Available:
[6] “AMISOM Says It Captured Executioners in Mogadishu,” Shabelle, October 4, 2012. Available:
“Somali, AMISOM Police Carry Out Night-Time Operation in Mogadishu,” Shabelle, October 5, 2012. Available:
[7] “Somali Soldiers Accused of Rape Arrested in Mogadishu,” Shabelle, October 5, 2012. Available:
[8] “Police Nab 15 in Mogadishu Swoop,” Bar Kulan, October 5, 2012. Available:
[9] “Two Soldiers Killed Near Beledweyne Town,” Bar Kulan, October 5, 2012. Available:
[10] “AMISOM: We Assure al Shabaab Fighters of Their Safety if They Five Themselves Up,” Shabelle, October 5, 2012. Available:
View Citations
Arrow down red
Nov '12
Oct '12
Sep '12