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: U.S. drone strike kills six in Hadramawt governorate; suspected terrorists target gas wells in Ma’rib governorate; Yemeni authorities send tribal delegation to Rada’a to investigate airstrike

Horn of Africa: Kenyan warplanes bomb al Shabaab stronghold north of Mogadishu; al Shabaab militants execute two civilians in port city Barawe; AMISOM and Somali troops recapture al Ma’an port city; al Shabaab militants pull out of Hiraan; Kenyan Muslim cleric Sheikh Abubakar Ahmad turns himself in; AMISOM and Somali troops are reportedly amassing in Jowhar; Somali police officers arrest 12 in connection to bombing in Daynile

Yemen Security Brief

  • A reported U.S. drone strike killed six suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants in the Wadi al Ain area of Hadramawt governorate on September 5. Eight missiles targeted a safe house believed to be used by the militants; however, eight of them were able to flee the scene.[1]
  • Suspected terrorists detonated an explosive device at gas well number 26 in the Raydan area of Ma’rib governorate September 4. According to an engineer working nearby, the attack was not intended to strike pipelines connecting to the Belhaf terminal. Additional explosive devices were found at two other wells in the same area; however, they were disarmed.[2]
  • Yemeni authorities sent a tribal delegation to Rada’a September 4 in order to investigate an airstrike that killed at least 13 civilians on September 2. Delegation member Tawfeeq al Jahmi stated that the delegation has been sent by the Yemeni government to determine what happened.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Kenyan warplanes bombed an al Shabaab stronghold north of the Somali port city Kismayo September 5. A local source in the region confirmed the attack to Shabelle Media; however, the Kenyan military has yet to report on the airstrike.[4]
  • Al Shabaab executed two civilians in the southern Somali port city Barawe September 4. The civilians were reportedly two boys under the age of 20. Al Shabaab accused the boys of helping the Somali government attack the Shabelle region. According to local reports, residents of Barawe were forcibly ordered to watch the executions.[5]
  • AMISOM and Somali forces recaptured al Ma’an port near Mogadishu September 4. Al Shabaab militants controlled the city until recently; however, they abandoned the city once AMISOM and Somali troops began their attack.[6]
  • Al Shabaab militants pulled out of the Mahas district of Hiraan, a central Somali administrative district, on September 5. Al Shabaab militants reportedly withdrew from the region after hearing that Somali forces are planning to recapture the city. According to local sources, al Shabaab militants are relocating to Elbur in the Galgudud region of Somalia.[7]
  • Kenyan Muslim cleric Sheikh Abubakar Ahmad turned himself in to Kenyan authorities on September 3. Sheikh Abubakar Ahmad has been accused of inciting religious violence in Mombasa following the assassination of radical Muslim cleric Aboud Rogo Mohammad. Sheikh Abubakar Ahmad will remain in custody until a bail hearing occurs.[8]
  • Spokesman for the Middle Shabelle region Da’ud Hajji reported September 5 that AMISOM and Somali troops are amassing near Jowhar, a Somali town controlled by al Shabaab militants. AMISOM and AU forces are preparing to recapture the town from al Shabaab militants according to spokesman Da’ud Hajji. Jowhar is located roughly 100 km north of Mogadishu.[9]
  • Somali police officers arrested 12 people in Daynile, Somalia September 5 after a bomb exploded in nearby Gubta area. The 12 individuals arrested are suspected of playing a role in the bombing.[10]

[1] “U.S. Drone Attack Kills 6 Suspected Militants in Yemen,” Reuters, September 5, 2012. Available:
[2] “Yemen Explosion Hits Gas Well: Industry Source,” AFP, September 4, 2012. Available:
[3] “Yemen Probes Civilian Deaths in Apparent US Drone Strike,” AFP, September 4, 2012. Available:
“Report: President Hadi Sends Delegation to Investigate Accidental Radaa Incident,” SABA, September 4, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Kenyan Jets Bombed al Shabaab Base,” Radio Kulmiye, September 5, 2012. Available:
[5] “Al Shabaab Executes Two Civilians in Barawe,” Radio Kulmiye, September 4, 2012. Available:
[6] “Somali, AU Forces Seize Town Outside of Mogadishu,” Mareeg, September 4, 2012. Available:
[7] “Al Shabaab Pulls Out of Mahas, Hiran Region,” Bar Kulan, September 5, 2012. Available:
[8] “Mombasa Terror Suspect Surrenders Himself,” Bar Kulan, September 4, 2012. Available:
[9] “Official: Somali Forces Boost Jowhar Assault Plans,” Mareeg, September 5, 2012. Available:
[10] “12 Detonation Suspects Arrested in Daynille,” Bar Kulan, September 5, 2012. Available:
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