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: AQAP kills intelligence officer in Hadramawt; AQAP kills military officer in Lahij; tribesmen clash with al Houthis in Ibb; journalist reports death of AQAP leader in Shabwah; attempted assassination of popular committee leader in Abyan; WTO to accept Yemen; report that AQAP held religious competitions over Ramadan in Ibb, al Dhaleh and al Bayda 

Horn of Africa: Security sweep in Mogadishu; al Shabaab's Twitter suspended; independent group clears Somalia of corruption allegations; SFG troops remove roadblocks in Bufow, Lower Shabelle; commander of UPDF says troop ceiling stumbling block in Somalia fight; water turned on in Kismayo, Lower Jubba

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) gunmen killed a political security officer in al Qatan, Hadramawt governorate on September 6 while he was leaving a mosque. The killers escaped on motorcycles.[1]
  • AQAP gunmen killed a retired army colonel near his home in al Hawta, Lahij governorate on September 6. The assassins were able to escape.[2]
  • Renewed clashes between al Houthis and tribesmen for control of al Radma, Ibb governorate killed one al Houthi and wounded four tribesmen on September 6.[3]
  • Yemeni AQAP expert and journalist Abdul Razzaq al Jamal reported that the leader of AQAP in al Jawf governorate, Sarhan Khashiman al Dhamalqi, was killed by a drone strike in Shabwah on August 7.[4]
  • Local sources reported that the recent clashes between the popular committee in Abyan and AQAP were a result of an unsuccessful assassination attempt against a popular committee leader on September 2. Suspected AQAP elements planted an improvised explosive device (IED) in the path of Abdul Latif al Sayyed's car. It was the fifth assassination attempt against al Sayyed in the past year.[5]
  • World Trade Organization (WTO) officials said a working group will meet on September 26 to determine Yemen's acceptance into the WTO. The last obstacle was Ukraine's veto, which it has now withdrawn.[6]
  • AQAP reportedly held a religious competition during Ramadan of this year in in Ibb, Al Dhaleh and al Bayda governorates, according to the site News Yemen. AQAP rewarded contest winners with an array of prizes, including Kalashnikovs and motorcycles. Journalist Abdul Razzaq al Jamal reported a wide attendance at the competitions.[7]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab's Twitter account was suspended on September 6 for the second time this year. Twitter regulations state that accounts can be suspended for “direct, specific threats of violence.”[8]
  • Independent investigators from the British company FTI Consulting were hired by the Somali Federal Government (SFG) to investigate allegations of corruption published in a UN report in July. The Somali government announced on September 6 that the investigation revealed that the “allegations have no basis in fact.” UN monitors had no comment.[9]
  • SFG troops forcibly removed roadblocks set up by armed militias in Bufow, Lower Shabelle region on September 5. Clashes broke out between government forces and the militias after passengers reported that the militias were looting buses at illegal checkpoints on the southern road from Mogadishu.[10]
  • A security sweep in Mogadishu on September 4 seized dozens of extremists, weapons, vehicles and an explosive vest. Security forces killed another suicide bomber before he reached a police checkpoint.[11]
  • Major General David Muhoozihe, the Ugandan commander of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces, commented that the AMISOM troop ceiling remains one of the biggest inhibitors to a successful mission in Somalia following his first visit to the Ugandan contingent.[12]
  • Plumbing provided by Kismayo Water Supply pumped fresh water to buildings in Kismayo, Lower Jubba for the first time in 20 years.[13]

[1]“Assassination of Political Security Delegate in Manfadh al Wadia',” Barakish, September 6, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Suspected al Qaeda gunmen kill two officers in southern Yemen,” Reuters, September 6, 2013. Available:
[2]“Breaking: Assassination of Army Colonel in al Hawta,” Barakish, September 6, 2013. Available:
“Suspected al Qaeda gunmen kill two officers in southern Yemen,” Reuters, September 6, 2013. Available:
[3]“Emergency Meeting Discusses the Security Situation,” Mareb Press, September 6, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4]“Yemen: 'al Khashiman” Emir of al Qaeda in al Jawf Killed,” Yemen Press, September 6, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5]“Killed in Armed Clashes Between Popular Committees and al Qaeda in Abyan, South Yemen,” al Ain Online, September 6, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6]“World Trade Organization Set to Agree to Yemen's Membership Terms,” Reuters, September 6, 2013. Available:
[7] “Between a Russian Kalashnikov, a Chinese gun, a Glock pistol, and a motorcycle…al Qaeda distributes prizes for a competition it put ups in three governorates,” News Yemen, September 4, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Yemen: Al-Qaeda Kalashnikov prize for Ramadan,” BBC, September 6, 2013. Available:
[8]“Somali Islamist Rebels Suspended from Twitter Again,” Bar Kulan, September 6, 2013. Available:
[9]“Somalia Says Foreign Investigators Clear It of UN Graft Accusations,” Reuters, September 6, 2013. Available:
[10]“Govt Forces Fight Against Armed Gangs,” Dalsan Radio, September 6, 2013. Available:
[11]“Somalia: Police Give Details of Wednesday's Mogadishu Attacks Followed by Massive Operation,” Raxan reeb, September 5, 2013. Available:
[12] Richard Mugisha, “Somalia Needs More Troops - Gen Muhoozi,” The Observer, September 5, 2013. Available:
[13] “Water goes on tap in Kismayo,” Radio Ergo, September 5, 2013. Available:
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