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: Post threatens Yemeni defense minister; AQAP releases biography of former Guantanamo detainee; suspected al Qaeda militants entering Lahij governorate; defected commander escapes assassination attempt

Horn of Africa: Grenade attack injures seven people in Luq; TFG to increase security in Mogadishu; security forces take down illegal checkpoints in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • U.S. airstrikes and Yemeni ground forces killed thirty al Qaeda-linked militants in Abyan governorate. Four Yemeni military officers were killed in the clashes. The airstrikes targeted militant positions, and reportedly helped to free a besieged Yemeni military unit. Overnight fighting in Zinjibar killed three Yemeni soldiers and six al Qaeda-linked militants.[1]
  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released the next installment in its video series honoring its dead. Salman al Sana’ani, also known as Hani Abdu Musleh Sha’alan, was a former Guantanamo detainee (#225) and was killed in a December 17, 2009 airstrike in Arhab.[2]
  • A post on the radical Islamist Shumukh al Islam web forum reported on the attack on Yemeni defense minister Major General Muhammad Nasser Ahmed’s convoy in Abyan. The writer threatened, “As for you, Muhammad Nasser, excuse me, the Defense Minister of Yemen, you survived in ways you are not aware from a secure trap that we had set up for you. We promise that we will continue with you this part to its end, so seek the assistance of your gods in America and let them save you from your troubles from the worshipers of Allah, the mujahideen.”[3]
  • Yemeni security officials in Lahij governorate reported a growing militant presence. Over 100 al Qaeda-linked militants have crossed into Lahij from neighboring Abyan governorate.[4]
  • Major General Hamid al Qushaibi, the commander of the 310th armored division in Amran governorate, escaped a second assassination attempt. Gunmen ambushed Qushaibi’s car, injuring his brother. Two weeks prior, a man attempted to hide a bomb in Qushaibi’s car.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Nine hundred Somali soldiers graduated from Bihanga military training school in Ibanda district in Uganda. The soldiers received training in basic military skills.[6]
  • A military officer for the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) reported that a grenade attack in Luq in Gedo region injured at least seven people, including TFG soldiers. Luq was recently taken by government forces from al Shabaab militants.[7]
  • The TFG’s interior minister Abdisamda Moallim Mohamed Sheikh Hassan pledged that the Somali government would secure the city after al Shabaab’s withdrawal in early August. Somali police chief Sharif Sheikhuna Maye said, “We will take every step to prevent any activities against the overall security of the capital.” Those who seek to harm civilians will face an “iron hand.”[8]
  • TFG security forces continue an operation to take down illegal checkpoints throughout the capital. Checkpoints in the Wadajir (Medina) and Dharkenley districts have been removed.[9]


[1] Ahmed al Haj, “Yemen: 30 al-Qaida Suspects Die in US Airstrikes,” AP, September 1, 2011. Available:
“Yemen Says Jets, Troops Kill 17 Militants in South,” Reuters, August 31, 2011. Available:
“Three Soldiers, Six Militants Killed in South Yemen,” Reuters, September 1, 2011. Available:
[2] “AQAP Video Focuses on Slain Suadi-Yemeni Fighter,” SITE Intelligence Group, August 31, 2011. Available at SITE.
“The Guantanamo Docket: Hani Abdul Muslih al Shulan,” New York Times.  Available:
[3] “Yemeni Jihadist Reports Attack on Yemeni Defense Minister,” SITE Intelligence Group, August 31, 2011. Available at SITE.
[4] Hakim Almasmari, “Yemen Interior Ministry: 300 al Qaeda Fighters Killed Since May,” CNN, September 1, 2011. Available:
“Al-Qaeda Targeting Lahj Province in South Yemen,” Yemen Post, September 1, 2011. Available:
[5] “Yemeni pro-revolution commander escapes second assassination attempt,” NewsYemen, August 31, 2011. Available:
[6] Fred Turyakira, “Uganda Somali Trained Soldiers Pass Out,” New Vision (Uganda), September 1, 2011. Available:
[7] “Seven wounded in southern Somalia grenade attack,” Shabelle Media Network, September 1, 2011. Available:
[8] “Somali govt to increase security forces operating in Mogadishu,” Shabelle Media Network, September 1, 2011. Available:
“Police says it will take harsh actions against armed men in Mogadishu,” Shabelle Media Network, September 1, 2011. Available:
[9] “Somali security forces carry out operation in the capital Mogadishu,” Mareeg Online, September 1, 2011. Available:
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