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: Security forces arrest AQAP in Ma’rib; Saudis cleared of connection to AQAP; gunmen shell military headquarters in Hadramawt; President Hadi meets with Ambassador Feierstein; sons of al Ahmar reject al Houthi demands; tribal sheikh threatens to blow up pipelines in Ma’rib

Horn of Africa: al Shabaab kills former American born member Omar Hammami; Somali religious scholars declare fatwa on al Shabaab; Kenyan Deputy President Ruto pleads not guilty to crimes against humanity at his ICC trail; al Shabaab celebrates anniversary of 9/11 on twitter; Sierra Leone to send more troops to Somalia; Somali security forces arrest 16 tied to assassination in Hiraan region; al Shabaab kidnaps one then kills pregnant woman

Yemen Security Brief

  • Security forces arrested four suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) members on Airport Road in Ma’rib governorate on September 11.[1]
  • The criminal court in Sana’a cleared five Saudis on September 12 of charges of belonging to AQAP. However, all the defendants were convicted of illegally entering Yemen.[2]
  • Unidentified gunmen fired mortars at the headquarters of the First Military Region in Sayun, Hadramawt governorate on September 12. The shelling caused no casualties.[3]
  • President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi met with U.S. Ambassador Gerald Feierstein on September 12. They discussed developments related to the National Dialogue Conference (NDC).[4]
  • Al Houthis released on September 12 a list of ten demands to the al Ahmar tribe that they said would end the war between al Houthis and tribesmen in Amran governorate. The al Ahmar tribe rejected the demands, which included restitution and reconstruction. The fighting in Amran has reportedly killed 127 people. Al Houthis also accused the Yemeni army of participating in the fighting on the side of the tribesmen.[5]
  • Muhammad Hassan Kalfout threatened on September 11 to bomb oil pipelines and sabotage electricity towers in Ma’rib within 48 hours if the government did not meet his demands. Kalfout demanded the arrest of his son’s killers, whom he said security forces released, and the payment of 83 million riyal, which he claimed the government owes him.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab killed former group members Omar Hammami, an American also known as Abu Mansur al Amriki, and Usama al Britani, a British citizen of Pakistani descent, near Baate village in southern Somalia on September 12.[7]
  • A group of 160 Somali religious scholars released a fatwa denouncing al Shabaab and supporting the Somali Federal Government in Mogadishu on September 11. The decision came at the conclusion of the five-day National Conference on Extremism organized by the President of Somalia, Hasan Sheikh Mohamud.[8]
  • Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto pleaded not guilty to crimes against humanity at the opening of his International Criminal Court (ICC) trial on September 11. Ruto is accused of coordinating violence that resulted in over 1,000 deaths following his loss in the 2007 Kenyan Presidential election.[9]
  • Al Shabaab celebrated the anniversary of September 11, 2001 by calling the hijackers “courageous” on the group’s Twitter account.[10]   
  • Sierra Leone announced plans to send a military contingent to Somalia in early 2014, on September 12.[11]
  • Somalia forces arrested 16 suspects for the assassination of a regional leader during a security sweep in Beledweyne, Hiraan region on September 12.[12]
  • Al Shabaab kidnapped an aid worker and then shot a pregnant woman to death in Middle Jubba region of Somalia on September 12.[13]

[1] “Security Forces Announces New Round of AQAP Arrests,” Yemen Times, September 12, 2013. Available:
[2] “Yemen Jails 3 Saudis for Illegal Entry,” AP, September 12, 2013. Available:
[3] “Gunmen Shell Headquarters of First Military Region in Sayun,” Al Sahwa Yemen, September 12, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “President of the Republic Receives U.S. Ambassador to Yemen,” Saba, September 12, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “After The Death of 127 People… al Houthis Give Conditions to al Ahmar to End the War,” Barakish, September 12, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Al Houthis Accuse the Army of Participating in Fighting in Amran,” News Yemen, September 12, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Kalfout: I Will Blow Up Oil Pipelines and Electricity Towers Within 48 Hours,” Barakish, September 12, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] Al-Amriki and al-Britani: Militants ‘killed’ in Somalia,” BBC, September 12, 2013. Available:
[8] “Somali Islamic Scholars denounce al-Shabab in fatwa,” BBC, September 12, 2013. Available:
[9] Kenya’s William Ruto formed an army for war, ICC hears,” BBC, September 10, 2013. Available:
[10] “Somalia’s Shebab hail ‘courageous’ 9/11 hijackers,” Hiiraan, September 12, 2013. Available:
[11] “Sierra Leone: Salone to Send More Troops to Somalia,” Shabelle, September 12, 2013. Available:
[12] “16 arrested in Beledweyne security sweep,” Bar Kulan, September 12, 2013. Available:
[13] “Al-Shabaab fighters kill pregnant woman in Sakow,” Bar Kulan, September 12,2013. Available:
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