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: Al Houthis take over Danan, Amran governorate; AQAP attacks 37th Armored Brigade in Hadramawt; government official killed in Sana’a; military kills civilian in Hadramawt; gunmen open fire in market in Ibb

Gulf of Aden: Al Shabaab attempts assassination of Madobe; UN Special Representative for Somalia announces optimism for Somalia at UN Security Council meeting; Malta pledges 150,000 euros of aid to Somalia over next three years; two Canadian al Shabaab militants reportedly defect; Amnesty International criticizes camp evictions in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Houthis took over the al Ahmar stronghold of Danan, in al Osaimat, Amran governorate on September 13. They also blew up the house of tribal leader Abdullah bin Hussein al Ahmar. Al Houthis claimed they killed dozens of al Ahmar fighters.[1]
  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) fighters attacked a unit from the 37th Armored Brigade on September 13. The unit was on a mission distributing food to troops in al Khasha’a, Hadramawt governorate. The militants killed two soldiers and stole an armed pickup truck.[2]
  • The deputy director of tourism was killed in Sana’a on September 13. Police are still investigating the incident.[3]
  • The military launched an operation in Wadi Rakhih, Hadramawt governorate on September 12 to search for a man who stole equipment from a local oil company after they did not pay his wages. The military surrounded the house and there was an exchange of gunfire in which the suspect’s brother was killed and two soldiers were wounded.[4]
  • Unidentified gunmen in cars opened fire at a market in Ibb on September 11 for more than 15 minutes before fleeing. Two people were wounded. Witnesses said security patrols were standing within 50 meters and did nothing.[5]

Gulf of Aden Security Review

  • Al Shabaab militants detonated a suicide car bomb and fired upon Jubbaland President Ahmed Madobe’s convoy in Kismayo, Lower Jubba on September 12. President Madobe was unhurt but at least 20 civilians and security guards were killed in the explosion.[6]
  • United Nations Special Representative for Somalia Nicholas Kay told the UN Security Council that he was optimistic about Somalia and claimed that the country “has the foundations for progress” on September 12. Kay also stressed that al Shabaab continues to operate in rural areas and that AMISOM’s guiding concepts were “out of date.”[7]
  • Malta pledged 50,000 euros of aid per year to Somalia for the next three years on September 12. One-third of immigrants in Malta are Somali.[8]   
  • A Toronto imam claimed that two Canadians, Abdirahman Yusuf and Khalid Aden Noor, recently defected from al Shabaab and fled to Somaliland, on September 13.[9]
  • Amnesty International criticized the eviction of roughly 370,000 persons from makeshift camps in Mogadishu on September 13. The group cited human rights violations such as the reported killing of two camp protestors.[10]

[1] “Destruction of Abdullah al Ahmar’s House and Killing of Dozens in Amran by al Houthi Fighters,” Sada Aden, September 13, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Hadramawt: Killing of Two Soldiers and Kidnapping of Armed Military Pickup in Attack by al Qaeda in al Khasha’a,” Sada Aden, September 13, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Breaking: Unknown Men Kill Government Official Slaughtered in North Sana’a,” Barakish, September 13, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “The Yemeni Army Launches Attack on Remote Region in Hadramawt and the Death of a Civilian in the Operation,” Sada Aden, September 13, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Armed Elements Unleash Hail of Bullets on a Market Selling and Fixing Cellphones in Ibb,” Yemen Saeed, September 12, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Somalia: Jubaland President escapes unhurt after car bomb attack,” Garowe Online, September 12, 2013. Available:    
[7] “Special Representative Tells Security Council: ‘Behind the Twists and Turns, The Crisis and the Standoffs, Somalia Has the Foundations for Progress,” United Nations, September 12, 2013. Available:
[8] “Malta to pledge 50,000 euros a year to Somalia at EU Conference – PN says figure too small,” Bar Kulan, September 13, 2013. Available:
[9] “They realized what they were doing was wrong’: Two Canadians quit extremist group Al-Shabab, imam says,” Hiiraan, September 13, 2013. Available:
[10] “Somali crisis; Amnesty criticizes eviction in Mogadishu,” Bar Kulan, September 13, 2013. Available:
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