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: Car bomb kills army officer in Shabwah; AQAP releases kidnapped soldiers; gunmen kidnap intelligence officer in Aden; journalist survives attack in Sana’a; AQAP asks citizens to establish Islamic Emirate in Hibban, Shabwah

Horn of Africa: Suspected al Shabaab militants attack AMISOM base in Shalambood, Lower Shabelle region; Somali National Army troops with AMISOM support kill two al Shabaab militants in Baya Adde, Middle Shabelle region; Kenyan official states foreign forensic experts are helping in Westgate Mall investigation; British Foreign Office confirms British national was arrested in connection with Westgate Mall attack

Yemen Security Brief

  • A car bomb killed a lieutenant colonel of the 26th Infantry Brigade in Ataq, Shabwah governorate on September 25. At least two other people were wounded in the attack. No group claimed responsibility.[i]
  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released 21 captured soldiers after the Yemeni government threatened airstrikes on AQAP stronghold areas. A dozen of the soldiers were captured during attacks in Shabwah on September 20. The soldiers were believed to have been held in al Mahfad, Abyan governorate.[ii]
  • Gunmen kidnapped a major in the political security bureau in al Mualla, Aden governorate on September 25. No group claimed responsibility.[iii]
  • A journalist survived an assassination attempt by gunmen riding motorcycles and using silenced pistols in ‘Attan, Sana’a city on September 25.[iv]
  • Citizens of Habban, Shabwah governorate reported on September 25 that masked members of AQAP rode through the directorate distributing leaflets demanding that government officials leave and that citizens obey Islamic law and convert Habban into an Islamic emirate.[v]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Suspected al Shabaab militants attacked Kenyan and Sierra Leonean forces at a Shalambood town AMISOM base in Lower Shabelle region on September 25. Officials did not release casualty figures.[vi]
  • Al Shabaab fought the Somali National Army with AMISOM in Baya Adde, Middle Shabelle region on September 24. Reports say two al Shabaab militants were killed and one Somali soldier was wounded.[vii]
  • Kenyan Secretary to Cabinet Francis Kimemia said that forensic teams from the United States, Israel and the United Kingdom are assisting with crime scene analysis at the Westgate Mall.[viii]
  • A British Foreign Office spokesperson confirmed a British national is being detained in Kenya in connection with the attack on Westgate Mall, Nairobi, on September 25.[ix]

[i] “Death of Operations Staff Officer for the 26th Infantry Brigade by IED in Shabwah,” Hadramout Press, September 25, 2013. Available:
[ii] “Al Qaeda Agrees to Free Yemeni Soldiers,” Yemen Post, September 25, 2013. Available:
[iii] “Gunmen Kidnap Officer in Intelligence in Aden,” Barakish, September 25, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[iv] “Breaking: Journalist Abd al Malik al ‘Assar Exposed to Assassination Attempt,” Adsah-Y, September 25, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[v] “Al Qaeda Announces Hibban an Islamic Emirate,” Yemen Saeed, September 25, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[vi] “Heavy confrontations in the lower Juba and Shabelle regions of Somalia,” Shabelle, September 25, 2013. Available:
[vii] “Shebab and government forces fought in Middle Shabelle region,” Mustaqbal Radio, September 24, 2013. Available:
[viii] “Foreign forensic experts help Kenyan team comb mall,” Daily Nation, September 25, 2013. Available:
[ix] “British national arrested over Westgate mall attack,” Daily Nation, September 25, 2013. Available:
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