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: Plot to assassinate Hamid al Ahmar uncovered; gunmen kill GPC leader in Sana’a; Southern Movement returns to NDC; southern military retirees reinstated by presidential decree; Sana’a on alert in case of imminent attack

Horn of Africa: Twitter reinstates al Shabaab; Somali President Mohamud marks one-year anniversary; al Shabaab executes two members for internal assassination plot in Hiraan region; Ras Kamboni fights al Shabaab near Kismayo airport, Lower Jubba; explosion in Marka, Lower Shabelle; Bay and Bakool officials discuss regional security

Yemen Security Brief

  • According to media sources quoting security officials, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh planned to use the fighting between al Houthis and tribesmen to assassinate Sheikh Hamid al Ahmar. According to the sources, Saleh wanted revenge for al Ahmar’s role in the 2011 revolution.[1]
  • Unidentified gunmen in cars killed Sa’ad al Hanmi in Bani Hushaysh, Sana’a governorate on September 11. Al Hanmi was the media director for the General People’s Congress (GPC) in Sana’a, and the secretary general for the GPC in Bani Hashish directorate. The attack also killed two of al Hanmi’s companions.[2]
  • Southern Movement delegates agreed to return to the National Dialogue Conference (NDC) on September 8 after meeting with UN envoy Jamal Benomar. Several southern representatives boycotted the NDC, saying that the southern issue was not being adequately addressed. Part of the agreement was the creation of a new committee comprising an equal number of northern and southern delegates. The salafist Rashad Party announced its opposition to the formation of the new committee on September 11.[3]
  • President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi issued three decrees reinstating hundreds of retired southern officers into the armed forces, Ministry of Defense, and Political Security apparatus on September 11. Minister of International Cooperation Mohammed al Saadi announced the creation of a $1.2 billion fund to reinstate southerners forced in to retirement after the 1994 civil war, saying that Qatar would donate $350 million of that amount, on September 10.[4]
  • Yemeni officials warned that a young militant may be plotting to attack targets with suicide car bombs, possibly in Sana’a, on September 9.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Twitter reinstated Al Shabaab’s Twitter account on September 10.[6] 
  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s government marked its one-year anniversary on September 10.[7]
  • Al Shabaab executed two members of their group in Bula Barde, Hiraan region on September 11. The two were accused of plotting to assassinate Sheikh Fuad Mohamed Khalaf, a top al Shabaab commander in Hiraan region.[8]
  • Ras Kamboni and suspected al Shabaab militants fought near the Kismayo Airport in Lower Jubba region, which acts as an AMISOM base for Kenyan troops, on September 11.[9]
  • An explosion caused several casualties in Marka, Lower Shabelle on September 10. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.[10]
  • Officials from Bay and Bakool regions discussed improving the security situation in the regions on September 11.[11]

[1] “Media Sources Discuss Plot to Assassinate Hamid al Ahmar,” News Yemen, September 11, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Assassination of GPC Leader in Sana’a and GPC Strongly Condemns,” al Watan, September 11, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Benomar Praises Southern Movement Aligned Members for Their Return to NDC,” NDC, September 8, 2013. Available:
“Yemen: Southern Mobility Movement Returns to the National Dialogue Conference,” Awsat, September 11, 2013. Available:
[4] “Presidential decree returns officers into service in the Armed Forces from retirement,” Saba, September 11, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Presidential decree returns officers to service in the Defense Ministry from retirement,” Saba, September 11, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Presidential decree returns officers to the Political Security Organization from retirement,” Saba, September 11, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Yemen sets up $1.2 billion fund for sacked state employees, soldiers,” Reuters, September 10, 2013. Available:
[5] Ahmed al Haj, “Yemen on alert over fear of suicide attacks,” AP, September 9, 2013. Available:
[6] “Somalia’s al-Shabaab back on Twitter,” news 24, September 10, 2013. Available: 
[7] “Somali president set to mark his first year in office,” Bar Kulan, September 10, 2013. Available:
[8]“Alshabab executes 2 young men in Bula Barde, accuses them of planning to assassinate top leader,” Shabelle, September 11, 2013. Available:
[9] “Explosions and confrontations occur in Marka and Kismayu respectively,” Shabelle, September 11, 2013. Available:
[10] “Explosions and confrontations occur in Marka and Kismayu respectively,” Shabelle, September 11, 2013. Available:
[11] “Bay and Bakol officials meet over security,” Bar Kulan, September 11, 2013. Available:
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