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: Deputy leader of AQAP Said al Shihri is reportedly killed in Hadramawt governorate; local AQAP leader Abdulraoof Ahmad Nasser al Dhahab is reportedly killed in al Bayda governorate; Popular Resistance Committee leader Abdul Latif al Sayyed survives assassination attempt in Abyan governorate; Yemeni security forces and Popular Resistance Committees kill at least six suspected AQAP operatives in Abyan governorate; two separate explosions shut down Ma’rib oil pipeline; Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi reports on discovered terrorist plot; Abyan governor Jamal al Aqel reports that Yemeni security forces and Popular Resistance Committees arrest at least 28 AQAP operatives; Yemeni Defense Minister meets with UN envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar; southern political member Mohammad Ali Ahmad survives assassination attempt in Hadramawt governorate
Horn of Africa: Somali Federal Parliament elects new president; TFG President Sharif Sheikh Ahmad meets with Somali Speaker Mohammad Sheikh Osman Jawaari in Mogadishu; Chief of Somali Security Service Col. Khalif Ahmad reports that at least 44 al Shabaab militants have been arrested in Afgoi; AMISOM and Somali forces recapture Warshikh district in Middle Shabelle region; one civilian is killed in Hamar Jajab neighborhood of Mogadishu after security forces clash with unidentified gunmen; Somali pirates open fire on Italian helicopter patrolling Somali cost; Kenyan police official reports that at least 150 bomb detonators were seized in Nairobi; explosions rock central Somali city of Beledweyne
Yemen Security Brief
- Yemeni government officials reported on September 10 that deputy al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader Said al Shihri was killed in Hadramawt governorate. According to the Yemeni Defense Ministry website, al Shihri was killed along with six other suspected AQAP operatives.
- Local al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader Abdulraoof Ahmad Nasser al Dhahab was reportedly killed by a U.S. drone strike on September 8. According to an unnamed Yemeni military officer, Abdulraoof al Dhahab was killed along with three other AQAP operatives in al Manasih area of Qaifa, an AQAP stronghold in Radaa district of al Bayda governorate.
- Abdul Latif al Sayyed, commander of Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) in the south, survived an assassination attempt on September 7. Abdul Latif al Sayyed’s vehicle was ambushed in Abyan governorate, resulting in the death of his bodyguard. Yemeni police and PRC forces pursued the assailants into nearby mountainous where clashes broke out.
- Yemeni security forces and pro-government Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) killed at least six senior al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives in Shaqra city of Abyan governorate on September 8. According to an unnamed security official, Yemeni security and PRC forces were targeting prominent AQAP leader Nader al Shadadi and his supporters. Yemeni security forces did not report any casualties; however, at least four Yemeni and PRC soldiers were wounded in the clashes.
- Two separate explosions struck the Ma’rib oil pipeline on September 9, forcing pipeline operators to shut off the flow oil. This is the second reported attack on the Ma’rib oil pipeline in the last week.
- Yemeni President Abdi Rabbu Mansour Hadi reported to Shura Council members on September 9 that a car accident unintentionally revealed an impending terrorist plot targeting three governorates in Yemen. According to President Hadi, the plot included the usage of three car bombs to target Crater city in Aden, Bab al Yemen in Sana’a, and Dar al Musufa in Hadramawt governorate.
- Abyan governor Jamal al Aqel reported on September 8 that Yemeni security forces backed by Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) have arrested 28 suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives in Zinjibar and Jaar cities. Al Aqel also added that Yemeni explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) engineers have disarmed at least 12,500 ordnances left behind by AQAP operatives.
- Yemeni Defense Minister Mohammad Nasser Ahmad met with United Nations envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar in Sana’a on September 9. The two sides discussed the Yemeni military’s recent progress in restoring security and stability.
- Mohammad Ali Ahmad, a southern Yemeni politician, survived an assassination attempt in Hadramawt governorate on September 10. Mohammad Ali Ahmad is an exiled member of a separatist government in south Yemen and recently returned to Yemen to pursue political ambitions. Mohammad Ali Ahmad was meeting with southern political factions in Hadramawt governorate when unidentified assailants placed a roadside bomb under his parked vehicle. The detonation did not result in any casualties.
- The Somali Federal Parliament will elect a new president on September 10. The election of a new president will be a first in nearly 20 years for Somalia. Several candidates are pursuing the position, including incumbent Transitional Federal Government (TFG) President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmad and his prime minister, Abdiweli Mohammad Ali. In related comments, Deputy Special Representative of the African Union Commission Wafula Wamunyinyi expressed satisfaction at preparations for a president election and warned against political fronts reversing Somalia’s transitional progress.
- TFG President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmad met with Speaker of the Somali Federal Parliament Mohammad Sheikh Osman Jawaari in Mogadishu on September 8. The two sides discussed the ongoing political process and President Sharif congratulated Mohammad Sheikh Osman Jawaari for his newly appointed position. In unrelated events, President Sharif denied allegations of fraud and embezzlement during his tenure as transitional president.
- Chief of Somali Security Service Col. Khalif Ahmad Ereg reported to the media on September 6 that at least 44 al Shabaab militants have been arrested in recent security operations in Afgoi district near Mogadishu.
- AMISOM and Somali forces recaptured Warshikh district in Middle Shabelle region from al Shabaab militants on September 9. According to local sources, al Shabaab militants have relocated to Rage Ele district of Middle Shabelle region.
- Clashes between Somali security forces and unidentified gunmen resulted in the death of at least one civilian in the Hamar Jajab neighborhood of Mogadishu on September 9. According to local sources, the clashes were sparked by an assault on a nearby Somali army base.
- Somali pirates opened fire on an Italian helicopter patrolling the east coast of Somalia on September 7. The helicopter is part of a European Mission to combat piracy in the region. The pilot of the aircraft was injured in the attack; however, the attack inflicted limited damage on the aircraft. Italian forces did not return fire in fear of harming potential hostages.
- Kenyan deputy police official Moses Ombati reported that Kenyan police seized at least 150 bomb detonators in Nairobi on September 7. The detonators were seized from a single estate located in the Githurai neighborhood of Nairobi.
- A series of explosions rocked the central Somali city of Beledweyne on September 8. According to local sources, the explosions came from improvised explosive devices. Security officials have not reported casualty figures yet.