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: Yemeni Defense Minister Mohammad Nasser Ahmed survives an assassination attempt in Sana’a; a large explosion rocks the Sana’a Radio building; Ansar al Sharia media wing reports on conditions in Abyan and Shabwah governorates

Horn of Africa: Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is elected the new president of Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni Defense Minister Mohammad Nasser Ahmed survived an assassination attempt in Sana’a on September 11. According to local reports, Defense Minister Ahmed’s convoy was traveling near a government building when a car bomb exploded, destroying a security vehicle at the front of the convoy. Defense Minister Ahmed’s vehicle was unharmed in the attack. Seven security personnel were killed in the attack along with three more unidentified individuals. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is suspected of being behind the attack.[1]
  • A large explosion rocked the Yemeni cabinet’s headquarters and the Sana’a Radio building in Sana’a on September 11. Initial reports conclude that the attack was a car bomb. Casualty figures have not been released yet.[2]
  • Madad News Agency, the media wing of AQAP-affiliated Ansar al Sharia, released a report on jihadist forums on September 7 describing the conditions in Abyan and Shabwah governorates in southern Yemen. According to Madad News Agency, the citizens of Abyan and Shabwah governorates want Ansar al Sharia to return and reinstitute Sharia law. Ansar al Sharia fled Abyan and Shabwah governorates in June 2012 after being forced out by Yemeni security forces and pro-government Popular Resistance Committees (PRC).[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, a development activist and academic, was elected the new president of Somalia on September 11. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud won 190 votes in the election process, beating Transitional Federal Government (TFG) President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, who won 79 votes. Outgoing President Sharif congratulated Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on his victory. In related comments, British Prime Minister David Cameron hailed the election of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud “a great step forward.” The United States shared the same views, calling the Somali elections “a crucial step forward.”[4]


[1] “Yemen Minister Survives Assassination Attempt,” BBC UK, September 11, 2012. Available:
“Yemen Minister Survives Car Bomb as 10 Killed,” AFP, September 11, 2012. Available:
[2] “Urgent: Violent Blasts Rocks Area near Cabinet and Sana’a Radio,” SABA News, September 11, 2012. Available:
[3] “Madad Reports on Abyan and Shabwa after Ansar al Sharia’s Withdrawal,” SITE Intelligence Group, September 10, 2012. Available at SITE.
[4] “Somali Election of Hassan Sheikh ‘A Great Step Forward,’” BBC UK, September 11, 2012. Available:
“Statement by the Press Secretary on the Elections in Somalia,” Office of the White House Press Secretary, September 10, 2012. Available:
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