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: Yemeni government has made a "good effort" to dismantle AQAP, information minister says; gunmen ambush soldiers in Abyan governorate; U.S. training of Yemeni military expanded

Horn of Africa: Suicide car bomb attack at Mogadishu airport kills at least seven; heavy fighting between al Shabaab and TFG forces kills at least twelve civilians, injures 34 others; Somaliland cabinet minister expresses concern about Galgala militants; Somali pirates seize ship, German ship freed after standoff with Somali pirates

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni Information Minister Hassan al Wazi told reporters Thursday that Yemen has made a concerted effort to dismantle al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Wazi also said that recent “achievements made by security forces in the Lawdar district of Abyan governorate were very important.”[1]

  • Gunmen killed at least one soldier and wounded three others in Mudiya in Abyan governorate.  A security official reported that the “gunmen opened fire on an army patrol with machine guns as troops were chasing suspects.”[2]

  • U.S. special operations forces have expanded their training program of the Yemeni military.  There are currently about 50 trainers in Yemen working with Yemeni forces and providing instruction on tactical ground and air operations.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab executed an attack on Somalia’s main airport in Mogadishu Thursday morning.  A car bomb exploded at the airport’s gate and a second car full of armed militants followed, who opened fire on soldiers.  At least seven people were killed, including two AMISOM soldiers and four Somali police officers.  The attack occurred 40 minutes after President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed flew out of the airport.[4]

  • At least twelve civilians have died and 34 others wounded in fighting between al Shabaab militants and government forces in Mogadishu Wednesday night, an ambulance service paramedic reported. Last night’s fighting reportedly began after AMISOM peacekeepers attacked militant bases in northern Mogadishu. Colonel Farah Ali Mohamed, a government security officer, told reporters that several militant fighters had been killed and that one militant commander had surrendered to government forces. Al Shabaab claimed its fighters had repelled the attack.[5]

  • AMISOM officials reported that they would reopen Makka al Mukarama road, which was blockaded during the fighting between al Shabaab militants and government and AMISOM troops.[6]

  • Somaliland’s Interior Minister, Dr. Mohamed Abdi Gabose, expressed concern about the threat of Puntland’s Galgala militants, but added that the current security situation in Somaliland is stable. He also said that security forces are aware of the movements of the Galgala militants throughout the Golis Mountains.[7]

  • Pirates hijacked a Malta-flagged cargo ship carrying an 18-man crew in the Gulf of Aden, the European Union’s anti-piracy mission said. U.S. marines freed a German container ship, the Magellan star, and its crew Thursday.[8]

[1] “Yemen makes good efforts to encounter al Qaeda, al Wazi says,” Saba News, September 9, 2010. Available:
[2] “Yemeni Soldier Killed in Ambush,” BBC, September 9, 2010.  Available:
[3] “U.S. Terror Training in Yemen Reflects Wider Program,” Washington Times, September 8, 2010.  Available:
[4] “Attack at Mogadishu Airport Kills Seven,” AP, September 9, 2010.  Available:
“’Suicide car bomb’ explodes at Somalia airport,” BBC News, September 9, 2010. Available:
[5] “Somalia Fighting Leaves at Least 12 Civilians Dead in Capital, 34 Injured,” Bloomberg, September 9, 2010. Available:
[6] "AMISOM Says Would Open Mekka al-Mukarama St in Mogadishu," Mareeg Online, September 9, 2010.  Available:
[7] “Somaliland interior minister ‘worried’ about Galgala militants,” Garowe Online, September 8, 2010. Available:
[8] “Pirates seize ship with Georgina, Turkish crew off Somalia,” AFP, September 8, 2010. Available:
“US Marines Take Back Pirate-Held Ship off Somalia,” AP, September 9, 2010.  Available:
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