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: Defense minister escapes assassination attempt; major oil pipeline attacked in Ma’rib; opposition groups detain over 40 Somalis in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab to display drone remains in Kismayo; two al Shabaab fighters surrender to TFG; four Burundi soldiers responsible for journalist death; al Shabaab reports on resettlement activities; TFG and Ahlu Sunna graduate 800 soldiers

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni Defense Minister General Mohammed Nasser Ahmed survived a suicide attack on his convoy outside of Tawahi in Aden. The attacker detonated an explosive-laden car near the convoy as it passed along the coastal highway. Security officials reported that militants riding motorbikes threw hand grenades at the motorcade as well. Security officials also reported that at least three soldiers were killed and at least ten others were injured.[1]
  • A local official in Ma’rib governorate reported that assailants attacked a major oil pipeline there, causing oil production to be stalled. The pipeline transports crude oil from Safer to Ras Eissa on the Red Sea coast.[2]
  • Yemeni opposition groups detained over 40 Somalis fighting alongside government loyalists in Sana’a. Two bodies of Somali fighters were also found in a relatively peaceful section of Sana’a. This news comes amid reports from pro-Saleh loyalists and opposition fighters that Somalis have taken sides in the conflict.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The al Shabaab administration in Kismayo announced that it will put the remains of an alleged U.S. drone on display in Freedom Park in the city. A local al Shabaab leader, Abdirahman Sheikh Mudey, claimed that the group shot down the drone.[4]
  • Ahmed Mo’allim Fiqi, director of the Somali National Security Agency, held a press conference showing two fighters who defected from al Shabaab.  He said that they brought their weapons and exchanged them for $300 each.  He also remarked that a number of al Shabaab fighters were surrendering.[5]
  • An internal investigation by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has found that four Burundian AU soldiers are responsible for firing on a convoy and killing Mura Faisal bin Mohamed, a Malaysian cameraman on September 2.  All four soldiers have been discharged and will be tried in Burundi.[6]
  • Al Shabaab posted on several jihadist forums about its plan to resettle 6,500 families back to their villages from a refugee camp at Baidoa Airport in Bay region.  The group said that the resettlement was to encourage people to begin farming again and become self-sufficient.  The communiqué says that each family was given enough food and water for several months and that more water would be delivered to them.  Additionally, fourteen Transitional Federal Government (TFG) troops reportedly defected to al Shabaab.  They spoke on al Andalus, al Shabaab’s radio station, urging others to defect.  Al Shabaab also restored Buluburdi Bridge in Hiraan region and publicly burned a large amount of hashish, drugs, cigarettes, qat and timbac that had been confiscated from the populace.[7] 
  • The TFG and Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a together graduated eight hundred soldiers from a training camp in the Dolow district of the Gedo region.  Sheikh Mohamed Abdirahman Amusane, who is an official with Ahlu Sunna remarked that they had undergone three months of training and urged them to be responsible and uphold the law in their fight against al Shabaab.[8]


 [1]Hakim Almasmari, “Yemen Defense Minister Survives Assassination Attempt,” CNN, September 27, 2011. Available:
Ahmed al Haj,“Yemeni Defense Minister Escapes Assassination Bid,” AP, September 27, 2011. Available:
Dhuyazen Mukhashaf and Erika Solomon, “Yemen Defense Minister Survives Suicide Attack,” Reuters, September 27, 2011. Available:
“Yemen Defence Minister Ali ’Survives Attack’,” BBC News, September 27, 2011. Available:
[2] Ahmed al Haj,“Yemeni Defense Minister Escapes Assassination Bid,” AP, September 27, 2011. Available:
[3] “Yemen rebels rounds up Somali refugees in the capital, Sana’a,” Radio Bar-Kulan, September 27, 2011. Available:
[4] “Al-Shabaab Set to Display Crashed U.S Drone,” Radio Bar-Kulan, September 27, 2011. Available:
[5] “Two Shabab fighters surrender to Somali government,” Mareeg Online, September 27, 2011. Available:
[6] “Burundian troops in Somalia killed Malaysian journalist, investigation finds,” AP, September 26, 2011. Available:
“L’AMISOM S’Excuse pour la Mort d’un Journaliste Malaisien,” AMISOM Press Release, September 26, 2011. Available:
[7] “Shabaab Reports on Resettling Drought Victims; Other Activities,” SITE Intelligence Group, September 26, 2011. Available at SITE.
[8] “TFG and Ahlu Sunna pass out 800 newly trained soldiers,” Radio Bar-Kulan, September 26, 2011. Available:
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