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: Popular committee factions clash in Abyan; Saudi border guards seize smuggled weapons; security forces arrest AQAP in Taiz; tribesmen cut off road in al Bayda; popular committee clashes with AQAP in Lahij; security forces arrest Libyan AQAP member in Sana'a; Prime Minister Basindwa escapes assassination attempt in Sana'a; UK court hears charges against AQAP member

Horn of Africa: Somali president escapes assassination attempt; al Shabaab executes official in Afmadow, Lower Jubba; Somali and Ethiopian troops clash with al Shabaab in El Barde, Bakool region; AMISOM clashes with al Shabaab in Yaaqbiriweyne, Lower Shabelle; AMISOM clashes with al Shabaab in Koronbad, Bay; IED kills official in Mogadishu; Kenyan court reduces pirates' sentences; IED targets government convoy in Shalambood, Lower Shabelle; security forces arrest al Shabaab in Bakara Market, Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Two factions of popular committees in Jaar, Abyan governorate clashed on September 3. The clashes started when the faction led by the head of the popular committee of Abyan attacked another group for unknown reasons and killed two of their members.[1]
  • Saudi border guards seized three cars attempting to smuggle weapons, ammunition, and drugs into Saudi Arabia from Yemen on September 2.[2]
  • Security forces in Taiz said they arrested three men linked to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on September 2. The men were plotting to assassinate security and political officials in Taiz.[3]
  • Gunmen from the al ‘Amri tribe cut off the road linking Taiz and Aden in Rada’a, al Bayda governorate. The tribesmen demanded the release of a sheikh’s son who was imprisoned on charges of belonging to AQAP.[4]
  • Six AQAP fighters died in clashes with popular committees of Yafa’a’ and Lawder, Lahij governorate on September 3.[5]
  • Yemeni security forces arrested three Libyans in Sana’a on August 30. The men are suspected of having ties to AQAP and were captured with $250,000 in cash.[6]
  • Unknown militants attacked Prime Minister Mohammed Basindwa’s motorcade in Sana’a on August 31. The Prime Minister escaped the attack unharmed, and security forces are tracking the license plate number of the assailant’s car.[7]
  • A British court heard evidence against British national Minh Quang Pham, whom the U.S. accused of swearing allegiance to AQAP and receiving terror training in Yemen. The U.S. is seeking to extradite Pham. However his lawyer said the case is outside U.S. jurisdiction.[8]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud escaped an assassination attempt in Bufow, Lower Shabelle region on September 3. The president’s convoy was struck by a landmine and then heavy gunfire for about 20 minutes, which resulted in several casualties. Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.[9]
  • Al Shabaab militants killed a government official in Afmadow, Lower Jubba region on September 3. Reports said the militants slit his throat.[10]
  • Government and Ethiopian forces attacked al Shabaab strongholds in El Barde, Yaaqbiriweyne region on September 2. AMISOM and government forces also clashed with al Shabaab in Yaaqbiriweyne, Lower Shabelle region on August 31. Allied forces attacked al Shabaab bases in Koronbad, Bay region on August 31. Seven died and dozens were wounded in that attack. Casualty figures were not reported for the other clashes.[11]
  • An improvised explosive device (IED) killed an immigration official in Mogadishu on September 1. The device was planted in his car. The police have not identified a motive or suspect.[12]
  • A Kenyan court reduced the sentence of eleven Somali pirates from 20 years in jail to five. The pirates are guilty of attacking the MV FNS Nivose in the Indian Ocean in 2009. [13]
  • An IED targeting the vehicle of the director of the Interior Ministry killed several people accompanying him on August 31 in Shalambood, Lower Shabelle region.[14]
  • A security campaign in Bakara market, Mogadishu on August 30 resulted in the arrests of 27 al Shabaab members. At least one of the captured militants was a foreigner. Security forces also captured weapons and ammunition.[15]


[1] “Breaking: Two People Killed and Others Wounded in Continued Clashes Between Popular Committee Elements in Abyan,” Sada Aden, September 3, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Saudi Border Guards Stop Smuggling of Large Quantity of Weapons,” Hour News, September 3, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Capture of 3 al Qaeda Elements and 3 Wanted for Murder,” Yemen Saeed, September 3, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Gunmen from Rada’a and al ‘Amri Tribes Cut Street in Karash,” Huna Aden, September 3, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Six al Qaeda Suspects Killed in 2 Clashes in Yemen,” AP, September 3, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “3 Libyan Nationals Arrested in Sana’a Accused of AQAP Ties,” Yemen Times, September 3, 2013. Available:
[7] “Yemen’s PM Escapes Unharmed After Apparent Assassination Attempt,” Reuters, August 31, 2013. Available:
[8] “UK Terror Suspect Swore Oath to al Qaeda,” BBC, August 29, 2013. Available:
[9] “Somalia: President Hassan Escapes Assassination Attempt After His Convoy Has Been Attacked,” Shabelle, September 3, 2013. Available:
“Somalia: President Hassan Reaches Marka as al Shabaab Claims to Have Attacked his Convoy,” Garowe, September 3, 2013. Available:
[10] “Government Official Slaughtered by al Shabaab in Afmadow,” Shabelle, September 3, 2013. Available:
[11] “Heavy Fighting Between Govt Troops and al Shabaab in El Barde Town,” Shabelle, September 2, 2013. Available:
“Govt Troops Aided by AMISOM Troops Clash With al Shabaab Fighters in the Lower Shabelle Region,” Shabelle, September 1, 2013. Available:
“Somali and Ethiopian Forces Battle al Shabaab in Bay Region,” Sabahi, September 3, 2013. Available:
[12] “A Senior Immigration Official Killed in Mogadishu,” Bar Kulan, September 2, 2013. Available:
[13] “Court Reduces Somalia Pirates’ 20 Year Jail Term to 5,” Bar Kulan, August 31, 2013. Available:
[14] “Landmine Explosion Targets Government Officials in Lower Shabelle Region,” Shabelle, August 31, 2013. Available:
[15] “Somalia: Mogadishu Security Operations Nets 27 Al Shabaab Members,” Garowe, August 30, 2013. Available:


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