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: Post notes militants preparing for major battle in Abyan; Yemeni airstrikes kill at least three militants in Abyan governorate; al Qaeda shows film in Shabwah; Yemen’s ruling party reviews UN plan

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab conducts services with children of slain fighters; gunmen withhold aid from famine victims; Consultative Conference concludes; three civilians killed in Mogadishu shelling; gunmen attack pirates; businessman killed in Galkayo

Yemen Security Brief

  • A post on the radical Islamist web forum Shumukh al Islam claimed that U.S. Marines were spotted in Dofes in Abyan governorate. They were allegedly embedded with Yemeni forces. The writer also reported that al Qaeda-linked militants in the area were “preparing themselves for the Battle of al Fallujah in Abyan.”[1]
  • Yemeni officials said airstrikes east of Zinjibar targeted a suspected al Qaeda-linked militant position. Fighting on the western outskirts of Zinjibar in al Sima killed four Yemeni soldiers and injured fifteen others. Six militants were killed and 12 were wounded.[2]
  • Local sources in Rawda in Shabwah governorate report that Ansar al Sharia militants, who have links to al Qaeda, showed a documentary film of the June 22 al Mukalla prison escape. Sixty-two suspected al Qaeda operatives escaped the central al Mukalla jail. The film was shown to an audience of 200 people and ran for 110 minutes.[3]
  • Yemen’s ruling party, the General People’s Congress (GPC), met to discuss the possibility of accepting the UN’s proposed transition plan.  The party’s political bureau was reviewing ways to possibly implement the Gulf Initiative, which was drawn up by the European Union, the United States, and six Gulf States.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab conducted a ceremony in Afgoi honoring the children of those killed fighting against the Transitional Federal Government (TFG).  There were several speakers including al Shabaab’s governor of Lower Shabelle region Sheikh Muhammad Abu Abdullah, deputy leader Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Ali, and al Shabaab official Sheikh Omar Hayyak.  The children participating were 10 years old or younger. Al Shabaab’s leader, Sheikh Mukhtar Abu Zubair, established the “al Shaheed Foundation,” or Martyr Foundation, to provide for deceased fighters’ children four months ago. Sheikh Omar Hayyak heads the foundation.[5]
  • Some camp administrators have withheld aid in refugee camps to sell it on the open market.  Many refugees fleeing to Mogadishu in search of aid were diverted by gunmen to unauthorized camps set up outside the city limits, where they have been forced to remain in order to keep aid supplies coming.  Administrators of these camps deny these reports and the government says that these incidents are rare and isolated and that they are “doing everything to deal with the issue and … are taking it seriously.”[6]
  • The three-day UN-backed Consultative Conference ended in Mogadishu with delegates adopting a roadmap to be implemented by August 2012.  This roadmap includes replacing the TFG with a more permanent body, increasing security, and drafting a new constitution.[7]
  • At least three people were killed and six civilians injured when neighborhoods in the north of Mogadishu were shelled overnight.  Family members say all those killed or wounded were from the same family.[8]
  • Unknown gunmen attacked the car of a group of pirates in Galkayo killing two and wounding three others.  The gunmen immediately fled the scene.[9]
  • Ainanshe Mire, a car parts dealer in Galkayo, was shot several times as he was leaving a mosque in Horumar neighborhood after evening prayers.  The mayor of the city, Abdulrahman M. Hajji, said that an investigation was underway.[10]

[1] “Yemeni Jihadist Predicts Decisive Battle in Abyan, Calls for Support,” SITE Intelligence Group, September 6, 2011. Available at SITE.
“Qaeda Suspects Kill Four Yemeni Soldiers in Clashes,” AFP, September 6, 2011. Available:
[3] “Qaeda Suspects Kill Four Yemeni Soldiers in Clashes,” AFP, September 6, 2011. Available:
“Soldiers Killed in Clash with Militants,” Gulf Times, September 6, 2011. Available:
[4]  “Yemen Ruling Party Mulls UN Plan to End Crisis,” AFP, September 6, 2011. Available:
[5] “Shabaab Offers Services to Children of Drought Victims,” SITE Intelligence Group, September 6, 2011. Available at SITE.
[6] Abdurrahman Warsameh, “Armed Militia Grab the Famine Business,” IPS, September 7, 2011. Available:
[7] “Leaders meet for the last day of the consultative meeting in Mogadishu,” Radio Bar-Kulan, September 6, 2011. Available:
“Consultative Meeting on Ending the Transition in Somalia,” Communiqué from Mogadishu Conference, September 6, 2011. Available:
[8] “Mogadishu artillery shell leaves 3 persons dead,” Shabelle Media Network, September 7, 2011. Available:
[9] “Two killed after Somali pirates come under attack,” Shabelle Media Network, September 7, 2011. Available:
[10] “SOMALIA: businessman gunned down in Puntland,” Somaliland Press, September 6, 2011. Available:
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