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: Tribesmen blow up pipeline in Ma’rib; IED kills AQAP member; popular committee clashes with AQAP in Abyan; Ahmed Turki referred to criminal court; security officer assassinated in Ma’rib; Iranian diplomat sold to AQAP

Horn of Africa: Somali troops protest lack of pay; al Shabaab claims attacks targeting areas in Mogadishu; IWISC accuses al Shabaab leader of working against Omar Hammami

Yemen Security Brief

  • Tribesmen blew up the oil pipeline in Sirwah, Ma’rib governorate on September 5. One tribesman was wounded in the attack. This was the third attack on the pipeline in 48 hours. The previous two attacks were in the al Damashqa and Wadi Abeidah areas.[1]
  • An al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) member died in Mudia, Abyan governorate on September 5 when an improvised explosive device (IED) on his person detonated prematurely. The blast killed the militant and wounded a boy. A motorcycle bomb also blew up in Lawder, Abyan governorate without causing any casualties.[2]
  • Popular committee and AQAP gunmen clashed in Khanfar, Abyan governorate on September 4. Four AQAP militants were killed and two were captured.[3]
  • The criminal prosecutor referred the case of Ahmed Qadri Ahmed Turki to the primary specialized criminal court in the capital. Ahmed Turki is accused of belonging to AQAP and being behind the bombing of the political security building during Ramadan 2012 which killed twenty soldiers.[4]
  • AQAP members assassinated a Special Security Forces officer in downtown Ma’rib on September 5. The gunmen escaped and the military was not able to track them down.[5]
  • Al Sharia newspaper reported from a tribal source that Iranian diplomat Nour Ahmad Nikbakht has been sold to AQAP. The source also said that the tribesmen were from the Ma’rib and Shabwah governorates, and they had originally intended to kidnap the Syrian ambassador, but were unable to do so. He claimed AQAP will try to exchange the diplomat for a ransom, in addition to the release of AQAP members detained in Iraq and Syria.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali Federal Government (SFG) troops protested on September 5 in front of Villa Somalia in Mogadishu. The soldiers said they were paid only once in nine months and were not given weapons with which to protect themselves.[7]
  • Al Shabaab claimed responsibility via Twitter for grenade attacks in Hodan, Waberi, and Hamar Weyne in Mogadishu which killed at least one person on September 4. The attacks targeted government buildings and army bases, as well as densely populated civilian areas. Shabelle Media Network reported that the attackers also used mortars.[8]
  • The Islamic World Issues Study Center (IWISC) accused al Shabaab leader Mukhtar Abu al Zubair “Godane” of killing two Muslims in Dinsor who had helped ex-al Shabaab member Omar Hammami's wives. Hammami reappeared on September 3 to announce his withdrawal from al Shabaab and al Qaeda. [9]
[1]“Breaking: Oil Pipeline Exposed to Third Attack in Less Than 48 Hours,” Barakish, September 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2]“Explosion of Motorcycle Bomb in Abyan,” al Watan Ye, September 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3]“Four People Suspected of Belonging to AQAP Dead in South Yemen,” Yemen Press, September 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4]“Man Accused of Bombing PSO Building in Aden Referred to Criminal Court,” al Watan Ye, September 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5]“Al Qaeda Assassinates Security Officer in Ma'rib,” Barakish, September 5, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6]“Newspaper: Kidnapped Iranian Diplomat Sold to al Qaeda,” Barakish, September 5, 2013. Available:
[7]“Government Troops Walk to Villa Somalia As They Protest of Negligence,” Shabelle, September 5, 2013. Available:
[8]“ Al Shabaab Claims Responsibility for Mogadishu Attacks,” September 5, 2013. Available:
“String of Attacks Rocks Mogadishu,” Shabelle, September 5, 2013. Available:
[9]“Somalia: al Amriki Alive, Severs Ties with al Shabaab and al Qaeda,” Sabahi, September 5, 2013. Available:
“IWISC Says Shabaab Fighters Kidnapped Hammami's Wives, Killed Muslims,” SITE Intel Group, September 4, 2013. Available at SITE.
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