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: AQAP attacks security forces in Dhamar; AQAP supported establishment of al Qaeda-linked network in Egypt; diplomatic missions limit activities in Yemen; secret military report on reasons for infrastructure attacks in Ma’rib; security forces withdraw from checkpoint in Hadramawt

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab kidnaps aid worker in Middle Jubba region and local administrator from Lower Jubba region; al Shabaab sends two-hundred reinforcements to Barawe, Lower Shabelle; al Shabaab kills Somali soldier in Beled Hawo district of Gedo region, prompting Somali police to arrest six suspected militants; UN official Kay wants more military operations against al Shabaab; U.S. confirms identity of Barawe target

Yemen Security Brief

  • Two soldiers and two al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants were wounded during an attack in Wasab, Dhamar governorate on October 8. AQAP was targeting the security administration building, but security forces repelled the attack. The attackers used a rocket propelled grenade (RPG).[1]
  • The U.S. State Department added Mohamed Jamal and his network to the designated terrorist list on October 7. Jamal is associated with AQAP’s leader Nasser al Wahayshi, military commander Qasim al Raymi, and former shari’a official Adil al Abab. AQAP helped fund the network and transport fighters to training camps.[2]
  • Several diplomatic missions suspended activities outside their embassies in response to the attack on the German ambassador’s bodyguard on October 6. The UN also advised staff to limit their activities.[3]
  • An unpublished report by the Yemeni military said that attacks on infrastructure in Ma’rib, including oil pipeline and electricity tower bombings, were a result of five military brigades being withdrawn from the central military region.[4]
  • Security forces withdrew from a checkpoint in Mayfa’a Hajar, Hadramawt governorate on October 8. AQAP attacked the checkpoint on October 2, killing four police officers.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants kidnapped an aid worker from Bu’ale district in Middle Jubba region and a Jubba administrator from Jilib district in Lower Jubba region during separate raids on October 7.[6]
  • Al Shabaab deployed two-hundred militants to reinforce compounds in Barawe, Lower Shabelle region following the U.S. Navy SEAL raid on October 7.[7]
  • Al Shabaab militants killed a Somali government solider by throwing a grenade into a shop in Beled-Hawo district of Gedo region on October 7. Somali security forces arrested six suspected al Shabaab militants connected to the attack during a security sweep later that day.[8]
  • United Nations Special Representative for Somalia Nick Kay advocated for more military operations against al Shabaab strongholds outside major cities on October 7. Kay said that security force training is helpful but “I don’t think we will remove that threat until we actually deal with al Shabaab outside Mogadishu.”[9]
  • Pentagon Press Secretary George Little confirmed that the target of the Barawe raid was Abdukadir Mohamed Abdukadir also known as Ikrima. Ikrima is believed to have received al Qaeda support for plotting previous attacks in Kenya, leading al Shabaab’s foreign recruitment, and developer of al Shabaab’s Kenyan affiliate.[10]

[1] “Dhamar: al Qaeda Attack Foiled on Wasab Security Administration,” Barakish, October 8, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Terrorist Designations of the Muhammad Jamal Network and Muhammad Jamal,” October 7. Available:
[3] “Diplomatic Missions Restrict Activities in Yemen,” AP & Reuters, October 8, 2013. Available:
[4] “Unannounced Military Report Clarifies Real Reasons for Saboteur Operations on Electricity and Oil,” al Bald News, October 8, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Withdrawal of Security Checkpoint Located Between Hadramawt and Shabwah Governorates,” Barakish, October 8, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Al-Shabaab kidnapped civilians from Southerner districts,” Bar Kulan, October 8, 2013. Available:
[7] “US raid on Somalia: Al-Shabaab bolsters presence in Barawe,” BBC, October 7, 2013. Available:
[8] “Six arrested in Beled-Hawa following security sweep,” Bar Kulan, October 8, 2013. Available:
[9] “UN Urges More Military Force to Confront Al-Shabaab in Somalia,” Bar Kulan, October 8, 2013. Available:
[10] “Statement by Pentagon Press Secretary George Little on U.S. Operations in Somalia,” U.S. Department of Defense, October 7, 2013. Available: “U.S. target in Somalia: An inside story on an Al-Shabaab commander,” CNN, October 7, 2013. Available:
View Citations
Arrow down red
Nov '13
Oct '13
Sep '13