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 President Abdu Rabbu Mansour al Hadi appoints several new government officials; Yemeni security forces backed by Popular Resistance Committees arrest three suspected AQAP operatives in Abyan governorate

Horn of Africa: Newly elected Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud survives an assassination attempt in Mogadishu; al Shabaab rejects Somali presidential election; AMISOM and Somali government forces capture Harbole town near the Somali port city Kismayo; a roadside bomb kills four civilians in Yaqshid district in northern Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • President Abdu Rabbu Mansour al Hadi appointed several government officials on September 11. New governors were named in Amran, Shabwah, Sana’a, al Jawf, and al Bayda governorates. President Hadi appointed Brigadier General Ahmad Mohsen Yafie as chief of military intelligence and Ali Hassan al Ahmadi as director of national security, replacing Maj. Gen. Ali al Anisi.[1]
  • Yemeni security forces backed by pro-government Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) arrested three suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives in Khanfar district of Abyan governorate on September 12. The three AQAP operatives are suspected of playing a role in the assassination attempt on Popular Resistance Committee commander Abdul Latif al Sayyed in Abyan governorate.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Newly elected Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud survived an assassination attempt in Mogadishu on September 12. President Mohamud was meeting with the Kenyan Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Ongeri when two suicide bombers detonated bombs outside the gates of the Jazeera Palace Hotel where the meeting was taking place. AMISOM reported that a third bomber was shot dead attempting to scale the hotel’s wall. At least five people were killed in the blasts: four Somali soldiers, and one AMISOM soldier. Both President Mohamud and Foreign Minister Ongeri were unharmed. Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack.[3] 
  • Al Shabaab spokesman Ali Mohamed Rage, also known as Ali Dhere, posted a message on the al Shabaab Twitter account on September 11, rejecting the Somali presidential election. According to Ali Mohamed Rage, the elections do not serve the Somali people or represent the aspirations of Somalis. Ali Mohamed Rage also blamed the West for stealing Somalia’s natural resources.[4]
  • AMISOM and Somali government troops captured the southwestern town of Harbole from al Shabaab militants on September 11. Harbole is located northwest of Somali port city Kismayo. AMISOM and Somalia government troops reportedly killed at least 100 al Shabaab fighters during the clashes and seized several weapons and munitions. AMISOM and Somalia government troops reported one casualty and six wounded from the clashes.[5]
  • A roadside bomb struck a civilian bus, killing four civilians and wounding at least ten in Yaqshid district in northern Mogadishu on September 12. Somalia government forces have not reported on the incident yet.[6]    

[1] “President Hadi Appoints New Ambassadors and Defense Ministry Officials,” SABA News, September 11, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
“President Hadi Appoints New Governors,” SABA News, September 11, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
“President Hadi Appoints New Presidential Office Officials,” SABA News, September 11, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
“Yemen’s President Replaces Security Chiefs after Sana’a Attack,” Reuters, September 12, 2012. Available:
[2] “Three suspected al Qaeda Operatives are Arrested in Abyan Governorate,” 26 September, September 12, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Somali President Attacked in Mogadishu,” Bar Kulan, September 12, 2012. Available:
“Soldiers Killed in Blast Targeting New Somali President,” CNN, September 12, 2012. Available:
“AMISOM Foils Attack on Somali President,” AMISOM, September 12, 2012. Available:
[4] “Shabaab Rejects Somali Presidential Election,” SITE Intelligence Group, September 11, 2012. Available at SITE.
“Ali Mohamed Rage Rejects Somali Presidential Election,” Twitter, September 11, 2012. Available:
[5] “Somali National Forces and AMISOM Troops Capture Harbole Town,” AMISOM, September 11, 2012. Available:
“AMISOM Troops Led by Kenya Defense Force and Somalia National Army have Captured Yet Another Town as They Match to the Port City of Kismayo,” Citizen News, September 11, 2012. Available:
[6] “Shabelle Roadside Blast Kills 4, Wounds 10 in Mogadishu,” Shabelle, September 12, 2012. Available:
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