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: Oil pipeline attack in Ma’rib; FBI director says AQAP still threat to U.S.
Horn of Africa: TFG begins security operations in Bakara Market; al Shabaab claims responsibility for death of former Beled Hawo mayor; Somaliland appellate judge killed
Yemen Security Brief
- Yemeni officials reported that the oil pipeline in Ma’rib was attacked for the sixth time this year. The attackers have not been identified. In the past, Yemeni officials have blamed anti-government tribesmen.
- Robert Mueller, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), said in a testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) still poses a significant threat to the U.S. homeland. He said that AQAP possesses the capabilities to make improvised explosive devices (IEDs). He also said that it would be difficult for the terrorist group to find operatives to bring these devices into the United States via airplanes; however, he added that the possibility still exists. Matthew Olsen, head of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), agreed with Mueller’s testimony and further added that AQAP’s propaganda efforts have the ability to inspire “like-minded, Western extremists.”
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces began a security operation in Bakara Market ahead of its official opening tomorrow. All vendors were questioned and had their shops searched prior to opening. All of the stalls that were unoccupied were broken into and investigated. The market was closed due to heavy fighting between TFG forces and al Shabaab militants.
- Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the killing of former Beled Hawo mayor Ahmed Mohamed Yusuf that took place two days ago in the border town. Abass Abdullahi, one of the militant leaders in the region, said that the group would continue to assassinate leaders they thought were supporting the TFG. The shooting also claimed the life of a bystander.
- Unidentified gunmen shot appellate judge Ibrahim Ahmed Muse in Las Anod in the Sool region of Somaliland. The judge was taken to a hospital where he died of his wounds. No arrest has been made in connection with the shooting.