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 raid Islah headquarters in Taiz; two bombs explode in Sana’a; Southern Movement denies Islamic emirate in Habban, Shabwah; security forces seize forged ballots in Aden; al Houthis shoot tribesmen in al Jawf; Friends of Yemen meet in New York; Yemeni activist detained in the UK
Horn of Africa: AMISOM forces capture Baya Adde town in Lower Shabelle region; suspected al Shabaab militants kill two police and injure two others in Mandera, Kenya, then kill one civilian and injure three in Wajir town, Kenya; al Shabaab kill two in Mogadishu and three in Kismayo; al Shabaab leader Godane threatens war with Kenya; forensic teams begin recovery operations in Westgate mall in Nairobi; U.S. military relocates drone program in Djibouti; convicted militant confesses game reserves’ strategic use; Kenyan lobbying group wants Somali refugees sent home
Yemen Security Brief
- Security and military forces raided the Islah headquarters is Taiz on September 26. According to Islah sources, the police arrested seven party members.
- Two bombs exploded on Rabat Street in Sana’a city on September 26, wounding at least four people. The second bomb exploded after dozens of people had gathered around the site of the first explosion.
- The Southern Movement in Habban, Shabwah governorate denied rumors that Ansar al Sharia gunmen had distributed fliers calling for an Islamic emirate in the directorate. They said it was a government lie intended to “prolong the occupation of the South.”
- Security forces seized a shipment of 55,000 counterfeit election ballots at the entrance to Aden on September 26. The ballots were being transported in a car owned by General People’s Congress (GPC) leaders in Abyan.
- Al Houthi gunmen at a checkpoint killed one person and wounded two in al Jawf on September 25 because they belonged to the al Shawlan tribe.
- The Friends of Yemen conference met in New York on September 25. Participants renewed their support for unity and non-interference in Yemen’s internal affairs. They also stressed the importance of economic growth, meeting the demands of the Yemeni people, and holding elections on time. Great Britain called on Friends of Yemen member states to stop paying kidnapping ransoms. The Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East stated that AQAP earned $20 million in the past two years from ransom payments.
- UK Border Agency officials detained Yemeni human rights activist and National Dialogue Conference (NDC) member Baraa Shiban at Gatwick airport on September 23. Authorities detained him under the Terrorism Act.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- AMISOM forces captured Baya Adde town, Lower Shabelle region from al Shabaab control on September 25. AMISOM killed three al Shabaab militants in the process.
- Al Shabaab militants killed two Kenyan police officers and wounded two others in Mandera, Kenya on September 26. The unknown attackers also burned eleven police vehicles and shot rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) at the police station.
- Suspected al Shabaab militants killed one civilian, injured three others, and engaged police in a shootout outside a church in Wajir town, Kenya on September 25. The gunmen also threw two grenades as they fled in a vehicle.
- Al Shabaab militants killed two civilians in Yaqshid and Wadajir districts of Mogadishu on September 25.
- Suspected al Shabaab militants killed two civilians and a Jubbaland police officer with pistols in Kismayo city on September 26.
- Al Shabaab leader Ahmed Godane confirmed that the group carried out the attack on Westgate Mall in Nairobi and threatened Kenya to prepare for a “long-lasting war” on September 26. Godane stated the attack was retaliation for Kenya's invasion of southern Somalia in 2011.
- Kenyan and international forensic teams switched from rescue operations to recovery operations inside Westgate Mall on September 26. The Kenyan Red Cross said that 61 remain missing. The forensic experts also found and cleared undetonated grenades in Westgate Mall on September 26.
- The U.S. military temporarily relocated its base for drone operations from Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti to an undisclosed region of the country. The on-going relocation process is meant to address worries from the Djibouti government over the risk of an accident involving drones and commercial aircraft.
- Convicted al Shabaab militant Elgiva Bwire Oliacha, also known as Mohammed Seif, told police that he used Kenya's Kitui game reserve to transport weapons and hide on September 23. The statement raised concerns that al Shabaab uses game reserves as safe havens.
- A lobbying group pressured the Kenyan government to remove all Somali refugee camps from Kenya on September 25.