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: President Hadi appoints a new director in the commander of armed forces office; President Hadi meets with Jordanian military advisors in Sana’a; director of security in Taiz governorate reports on the apprehension of AQAP operative; PRC and Yemeni Central Security Forces clash in Zinjibar city in Abyan governorate

Horn of Africa: Unidentified man shot dead in Wadajir district Mogadishu, Somali journalist killed in Shibis district of Mogadishu; searches in Afgoi see over one hundred al Shabaab suspects arrested; Puntland security forces arrest dozens of suspected al Shabaab militants on Galkayo, man arrested in Kenyan terror plots admits to being part of al Shabaab; U.S. envoy says al Shabaab is losing order

Yemen Security Brief

  • President Abdu Rabbu Mansour al Hadi appointed Maj. Gen. Ahmad Hussein al Aqili as Director of the Office of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces on September 17.[1]
  • President Abdu Rabbu Mansour al Hadi met with a Jordanian team of military advisors in Sana’a on September 18. The Jordanian military advisors, headed by Maj. Gen. Mohammad Suleiman Farghal, are in Yemen to assist the Yemeni Defense Ministry in restructuring military. According to meeting officials, both sides are examining how to better classify the Yemeni military at all levels.[2]
  • Brigadier Ahmed al Maqdashi, director of security in Taiz governorate, reported on September 18 that security forces apprehended a suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operative. Brigadier Ahmad al Maqdashi did not report any additional details regarding the arrest.[3]
  • Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) and Yemeni Central Security Forces (CSF) clashed in Zinjibar city in Abyan governorate on September 18. According to local sources, CSF soldiers attempted to free a fellow soldier that was arrested by PRC forces, inciting clashes between the two sides. The CSF reportedly suffered one casualty and several more were wounded in the clashes.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • An unidentified man was shot and killed by unknown gunmen in the Suuqa-weyn neighborhood in the Wadajir district in Mogadishu on September 18. The two assailants, armed with pistols, shot the man in the head and chest, killing him almost instantly. The unknown attackers have not yet been caught by security forces in Mogadishu.[5]
  • A Somali journalist was killed by four unknown gunmen in Mogadishu on September 16. Zakariye Mohamed Mohamud Moallim was working as freelance cameraman before his four assailants shot him in the head and chest outside of a restaurant near his village in the Nasib Bundo neighborhood in the Shibis district of Mogadishu. Moallim died at the scene and the four unknown gunman have still not been captured.[6]
  • Somali security forces conducted searches for al Shabaab militants in Afgoi, a town 30km west of the capital city of Mogadishu. The security investigations, which occurred over two days, ended with over one hundred suspected al Shabaab terrorists arrested and held for questioning in local jails.[7]
  • Searches in Galkayo, the capital of the central Mudug region, have been carried out by Puntland security forces on September 16 in an attempt to rid the region of al Shabaab militants. So far, Puntland officials have arrested several dozen suspects linked to al Shabaab. Muhaydin Ahmed Muse, a security officer in Puntland said the operations are being carried out in order to help improve the security of the city of Galkayo.[8]
  • One of the men arrested during a Kenyan police raid on September 14, confessed to all of the charges brought against him. Abdiymajid Yassin Mohamed and partner Omar Abdi Adan, who pleaded not guilty, were arrested in conjunction with planned terrorist attacks in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Mohamed confessed to the possession of six bombs, four of which were suicide vests, and 481 bullets. He also admitted to being a part of the Somali terrorist network al Shabaab.[9]
  • The U.S. envoy to Somalia James Swan said on September 18, that following the Somali National Army and AMISOM advances on the city of Kismayo, the terrorist network al Shabaab is losing order. Swan is quoted saying “Al Shabaab is under increasing military and political pressure as they continue to lose ground. There are also signs of increasing pressure on foreign fighters who are in the structure of Al Shabaab and they are beginning to flee seeing the tide is turning against them.”[10]   


[1] “Decree Appoints Director for the Supreme Commander of Armed Forces Office,” SABA News, September 17, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “President Hadi Receives Jordanian Military Team,” SABA News, September 18, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Director of Taiz Security: 3 Criminals Captured, One of Them Appears to be al Qaeda,” 26 September, September 18, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Tension in Zinjibar after Clashes Left People Killed and Wounded in the Ranks of Central Security Forces by Popular Committees,” Aden al Ghad, September 18, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Gunmen Murder a Man in Mogadishu,” Shabelle, September 18, 2012. Available:
[6] “Somali Journalist Killed in Mogadishu,” Shabelle, September 17, 2012. Available:
[7] “Somali National Forces Detain Suspected Al Shabaab Members in Afgoye,” Shabelle, September 15, 2012. Available:
[8] “Puntland Security Forces Carry out Security Operations in Puntland,” Shabelle, September 18, 2012. Available:
[9] “Terror Suspect Shocks Kenyan Court with Guilty Plea,” Bar Kulan, September 17, 2012. Available:
[10] “Al Shabaab in Disarray-US,” Shabelle, September 18, 2012. Available:
View Citations
Arrow down red
Oct '12
Sep '12
Aug '12