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 checkpoint in al Bayda; gunmen assassinate police officer in Hadramawt; bomb attack on security headquarters in al Bayda; Ali Mohsen al Ahmar refuses to handover First Armored Division headquarters; power lines sabotaged in Ma’rib; MI5 chief calls AQAP a direct threat to Britain

Horn of Africa: U.S. to target al Qaeda in Africa; Somalia to begin operations to liberate all of Lower Shabelle region; Somali Foreign Minister permits future U.S. operations; al Shabaab wounds Somali soldier in Marka, Lower Shabelle; Tanzanian police arrest eleven suspected al Shabaab trainees

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) members attacked the security checkpoint in Dar al Nadaj, Rada’a, al Bayda governorate on October 8. Three civilians were killed, and the attackers seized one military pickup and kidnapped three soldiers. Security forces arrested two of the terrorists on October 9.[1]
  • Gunmen on a motorcycle shot and killed a CID officer in Ghayl Ba Wazir, Hadramawt governorate on October 9.[2]
  • Two men on a motorcycle threw a bomb at the security administration headquarters in Rada’a, al Bayda governorate on October 9. The bomb wounded one soldier.[3]
  • Major General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar refused to hand over the former headquarters of the First Armored Division, which is to be transformed into a park, unless certain conditions were met. General al Ahmar demanded that his supporters be recruited and that he be compensated for weapons and supplies that he bought with personal money. His troops are still present in the former headquarters and have not been relocated to other camps.[4]
  • Unknown attackers sabotaged the power lines, causing the Ma’rib station to go out of service and Sana’a to lose power on October 9.[5]
  • The new general director of MI5 called al Qaeda core and AQAP the “most direct and most immediate threats to the UK.”[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • President Barack Obama said the U.S. will continue to target al Qaeda-linked organizations in Africa, including al Shabaab on October 8.[7]
  • Somali Defense Minister Fiqi announced upcoming operations to liberate all of Lower Shabelle region from al Shabaab control on October 9.[8]
  • Somali Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister announced that the U.S. is free to pursue al Shabaab in Somalia without seeking prior permission on October 9.[9]
  • Al Shabaab militants wounded a Somali National Army soldier during six coordinated grenade attacks in Marka town of Lower Shabelle region on October 8.[10]
  • Tanzanian police arrested eleven people in Nanyumbo district on October 8 for training with al Shabaab. Police recovered weapons and digital al Shabaab training manual.[11]
  • An al Shabaab militant tweeted an alleged eyewitness report of the Navy SEAL raid in Barawe, Lower Shabelle region. He claimed the SEALs shouted “Allahu Akbar” to confuse the jihadists, and he says they killed one SEAL.[12]

[1] “Two Terrorists Seized and Thwarted Plan to Take Over Security Checkpoint in Rada’a,” 26 Sep, October 9, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Unknown gunmen in Ghayl Bawazeer Assassinate CID Officer,” HSHD, October 9, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Soldier Wounded by Bomb at the Security Center in Rada’a,” News Yemen, October 9, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Major General Ahmar Refuses to Hand Over the First Armored Division Headquarters,” Huna Hadramawt, October 9, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “New Attack on Power Lines and Sana’a and Cities Drowned in Darkness,” Yaspr, OctobreOctober 9, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “MI5 Chief Andrew Parker Warms of Islamist Threat to UK,” October 9, 2013. Available:
[7] ‘Obama says U.S. to keep ‘going after’ al Qaeda-linked groups in Africa,” Reuters, October 8, 2013. Available:
[8] “We are about to attack Barawe town says Somalia’s defense minister,” Shabelle, October 9, 2013. Available:
[9] “Somali deputy PM: US is free to conduct is operations in Somalia against terrorists,” Mustaqbal Radio, October 9, 2013. Available:
[10] “Hand grenade attacks would government soldier in Marka town,” Dalsan Radio, October 9, 2013. Available:
[11] “Tanzanian Police Arrest 11 for Undergoing al Shabaab Military Training,” Sabahi Online, October 8, 2013. Available:
[12] “Jihadist Gives Alleged Account of U.S. Navy SEAL Raid in Barawe,” SITE, October 8, 2013. Available at: SITE.
View Citations
Arrow down red
Nov '13
Oct '13
Sep '13