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: Gunmen attack military vehicle in Taiz; security forces stop car bomb in Rada’a, al Bayda; security forces stop second car bomb in Rada’a, al Bayda; transportation minister survives assassination attempt in Sana’a; U.S. reconnaissance planes arrive in Sana’a; President Hadi publishes op-ed in Yemen Times; special forces colonel survives assassination in Aden; Yemeni court sentences AQAP members; Muslim Brotherhood reportedly incites violence in Hajjah; gunmen blow up pipeline in Ma’rib; AQAP attacks military patrol in Hadramawt; AQAP releases eulogy for Qaid al Dhahab
Horn of Africa: EU pledges $862 million and Britain pledges $80 million of aid for Somalia at “New Deal for Somalia Conference”; Somalis protest EU-Somalia conference in Baidoa, Bay region; protests against conference in Brussels; MYC releases statement on death of Hammami; al Shabaab attacks AMISOM in Marka, Lower Shabelle; al Shabaab attacks AMISOM base in Dambal, Bay region; al Shabaab attack in Kismayo, Lower Jubba, and Bay regions; AMISOM arrests in Lower Shabelle; police arrest Ahlu Sunna spokesman in Mogadishu; AMISOM trains Somali police; Somali intelligence services thwart al Shabaab operations; UNSOM opens Kismayo office
Yemen Security Brief
- Anonymous gunmen shot at an armed pickup belonging to military intelligence in Dhubab, Taiz governorate on September 16. The attack caused no casualties. They then fled and shot at one civilian, causing minor injuries.
- Security forces shot and killed two suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) members in a car in Rada’a, al Bayda governorate on September 16. Security forces found a large quantity of explosives in the car.
- Security forces at the Dar al Nujda checkpoint in Rada’a, al Bayda governorate stopped a car by shooting at it on September 16. The two attackers fled, and security forces found explosives inside the car.
- Unknown militants attempted to assassinate the minister of transportation in Sana’a by shooting at his car on September 16.
- Two U.S. reconnaissance planes arrived at Daylami airforce base in Sana’a on September 16 as a “down payment” for U.S. aid promised to the Yemeni armed forces.
- President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi published an op-ed in the Yemen Times on September 15. He brought attention to some of the recent success stories in Yemen, such as Yemen being the first Arab country to apologize for past grievances, the establishment of a coalition government, and bringing previously warring factions to the negotiating table.
- A colonel in the special security forces survived an assassination attempt in Aden on September 15. An improvised explosive device (IED) planted near his car exploded without injuring him. However, there were an unreported number of other people injured.
- A Yemeni court in Sana’a sentenced three AQAP members to jail on September 15. The three prisoners were convicted of plotting to kill President Hadi and other officials, including U.S. Ambassador Gerald Feierstein.
- A local authority in Hajjah claimed that Muslim Brotherhood leader Abdullah Sa’tr was rallying militants at a local sports stadium on September 14 and inciting them to inflame tensions in Hajjah. According to a local source there are three jihadist training camps in ‘Abs, Hiran, and on the Tihama coast where 9,000 jihadists were trained to shoot weapons and make explosives.
- AQAP elements attacked soldiers guarding oil tankers in Wadi ‘Ayn, Hadramawt governorate on September 13. The attack killed nine soldiers and wounded eight.
- AQAP released communique on online forums on September 13 eulogizing slain leader Qaid al Dhahab, who was killed in an airstrike on August 30 in Walad Rabi’a, al Bayda.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- The EU pledged $826 million of aid during the opening hours of the "New Deal for Somalia" Conference held in Brussels on September 16. The conference is meant to plan for security and political development in Somalia.
- Britain announced an aid package of nearly $80 million for Somalia on September 16. The aid package is designed to rebuild health and water services as well as general infrastructure.
- Somalis protested the beginning of the “New Deal for Somalia Conference” in Baidoa city, Bay region on September 16. The protesters chanted that the Somali Federal Government ignores Bay region.
- Somalis gathered in protest outside the “New Deal for Somalia Conference” in Brussels on September 16. The protesters expressed support for the autonomy of Khatumo state in northern Somalia.
- The Kenyan Muslim Youth Center (MYC) issued a statement regarding the death of Omar Hammami, the American al Shabaab militant also known as Abu Mansoor al Amriki, on September 14. The MYC claimed Hammami’s fate resulted from his striving to gain personal notoriety instead accomplishing greater jihad in Somalia and from the resulting fractures he created within al Shabaab.
- Suspected al Shabaab militants launched rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) at an AMISOM base outside Marka town, Lower Shabelle region, on September 15. AMISOM forces retaliated with heavy artillery. Casualty figures have not been released.
- Al Shabaab militants attacked AMISOM bases in Dambal area, Bay region on September 14. The district commissioner stated that three were killed and others were wounded in the clashes, but did not disclose casualties for the AMISOM forces.
- Al Shabaab militants attacked a Jubbaland security force base in Kismayo on September 13. Heavy fighting ensued but casualty figures were not released.
- AMISOM troops arrented 20 young men wearing military dress during a security operation in Afgoi town, Lower Shabelle region, on September 14.
- Somali police arrested Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a senior spokesman Sheikh Abdukadir Soomow in Mogadishu on September 15. Police declined to provide details regarding the arrest.
- AMISOM forces from Uganda, Ghana, and Nigeria secured Beledweyne town, Hiraan region and established a police training mission on September 14.
- The Somali Federal Government announced that the Somali intelligence apparatus enabled the government to foil 65% of planned al Shabaab attacks in Mogadishu, on September 14.
- The UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) opened an office in Kismayo on September 12.