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:  Fresh fighting in Sana’a; Yemeni intelligence detains two al Qaeda suspects; U.S. drone strike kills five al Qaeda-linked militants; fighting in Zinjibar kills six people; AQAP fighter gives account events in Abyan

Horn of Africa: Ahlu Sunna commander tells TFG not to negotiate with al Shabaab; former mayor of Beled Hawo killed

Yemen Security Brief

  • Clashes broke out between pro-government troops and tribesmen loyal to Hashid tribal confederation leader Sheikh Sadiq al Ahmar in al Hasaba district in Sana’a. The fighting took place about ten kilometers south of Sana’a airport. Witnesses said that machine gun fire and mortar rounds were being exchanged between the two sides; the exchanges came from the home of Sheikh Sadiq al Ahmar on one side and from the Ministry of the Interior on the other side.[1]
  • Yemeni intelligence officers detained two al Qaeda suspects in Aden city in Aden governorate. One of the suspects is reportedly of Arab descent and the other of Yemeni descent.[2]
  • A Yemeni security source reported that a U.S. drone strike killed five al Qaeda-linked militants and injured seven others. The strike targeted a militant hideout in the al Arqub district, east of Zinjibar in Abyan governorate.[3]
  • Pro-government tribesmen, backed by the Yemeni army, attacked a public building held by al Qaeda-linked militants in Zinjibar. Four militants were killed, including a Pakistani doctor, and two tribesmen were wounded.[4]
  • A post on the radical Islamist al Fida’ web forum, which was attributed to an al Qaeda-linked fighter in Abyan governorate, is the first in a series called “Jihadist Diary of Abyan.” The post notes that Azan in Abyan is under Ansar al Sharia’s control. It also describes the airstrikes in Jaar targeting the hospital in Jaar. The writer than described a battle with Yemeni troops in Dofes. The writer ended by adding that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s military commander, Qasim al Raymi, is in Abyan commanding the fight against Yemeni troops.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Mohamed Yusuf Hefow, a top leader in the Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a militant group, urged the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) not to negotiate with or give amnesty to al Shabaab militants.  He said, “Shabaab militants do not deserve talks but battle against them until they exit from the entire war-torn nation of Somalia.”[6]
  • Unidentified gunmen shot and killed Ahmed Mohamed Yusuf, the former mayor of Beled Hawo, in a tea shop in the city.  A local official says the gunmen shot Yusuf several times in the upper body and then fled.  Yusuf was taken to a hospital, but died hours later.  No group has claimed responsibility for the action.[7]

[1]“Saleh forces, tribesmen, clash in Yemen capital,” AFP, October 6, 2011. Available at:
[2] Mohammed al Kibsi, “Yemen security detain 2 al-Qaeda suspects in Aden,” Yemen Observer, October 6, 2011. Available:
[3] “Drone Strike in Yemen,” AP, October 5, 2011. Available:
Mohammed al Kibsi, “US drones kill more al-Qaeda insurgents in South Yemen,” Yemen Observer, October 5, 2011. Available at:
[5] “AQAP Fighter Gives Account of Incidents in Abyan, Yemen,” SITE Intelligence Group, October 5, 2011. Available at SITE.
[6] “ASWJ urges TFG not to Negotiate with Shabaab,” Radio Bar-Kulan, October 5, 2011. Available:
[7] Abdi Hajji Hussein, “Somalia: Former mayor of southern border town gunned down,” All Headline News, October 5, 2011. Available:
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