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: Popular Committees threaten to end cooperation with Yemeni military in Abyan; al Houthis attack Yemeni checkpoint in Amran

Horn of Africa: unidentified assailants attack Turkish Embassy in Mogadishu; AMISOM and SNA forces clash with al Shabaab militants  in Galgudud region; Kenyan AMISOM forces recover kidnapped individuals in Lower Jubba region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Popular Committees in Abyan governorate issued a statement on April 8 declaring that they are no longer responsible for maintaining security checkpoints throughout Abyan governorate. Committee leaders threatened to stop cooperating with the Yemeni army completely, unless they agree to officially conscript Popular Committee members and provide them with suitable weapons to combat al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).[1]
  • Al Houthi militants purportedly attacked a Yemeni checkpoint near an entrance to Amran city on April 10. Local sources report that shots were fired, but further details remain unclear.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Unidentified assailants attacked the Turkish Embassy to Somalia in Mogadishu on April 10. The assailants reportedly fired rockets at the embassy, injuring three construction workers. Two of the injured construction workers were identified as Turkish nationals. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.[3]
  • Ethiopian AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) forces clashed with al Shabaab militants near El Bur in Galgudud region on April 10. The fighting, which featured heavy exchanges of gunfire, broke out after al Shabaab militants ambushed an Ethiopian AMISOM and SNA convoy. Reports indicate that 11 people were killed in the fighting, including six al Shabaab militants.[4]
  • Kenyan AMISOM forces announced on April 11 the recovery of two individuals near Dhobley in Lower Jubba region. The individuals, James Kiarie and Daniel Njuguna, were kidnapped by al Shabaab in September 2011 while working for Kenyan aid organizations along the Somali-Kenyan border. Reports indicate that Kiarie and Njuguna may be the same individuals described in a February 21 al Shabaab statement posted on jihadist forums and social networking sites, claiming that two captured Kenyans converted to Islam while in captivity. In the statement, al Shabaab spokesman Ali Mohamed Rage, also known as Ali Dhere, declared the captives were free to choose to stay with al Shabaab in Somalia or return to Kenya.[5]

[1] Ali Ibrahim al Moshki, “Popular Committees Threaten to Stop Cooperating with Army in Abyan,” Yemen Times, April 10, 2014. Available:
[2] Hamdan al Rahbi, “Yemen: Renewed Houthi–government clashes in Amran,” Asharq al Awsat, April 11, 2014. Available:
[3] “Attack on Turkish Embassy in Mogadishu injures 3,” World Bulletin, April 10, 2014. Available:
“Two Turkish workers heavily wounded in Somali rocket attack,” Trend, April 10, 2014. Available:
[4] “Strong battle between Islamists and government troops,” Shabelle News, April 10, 2014. Available:
“Fighting in Central Somalia leaves 11 dead,” Hiiraan Online, April 11, 2014. Available:
“AMISOM troops ambushed as they trekked to Wahbo,” Shabelle News, April 11, 2014. Available:
[5]“Kenyan aid workers ‘free’ from Somalia’s al-Shabaab,” BBC, April 11, 2014. Available:
“Kenyan army rescues two aid workers from al-Shabaab kidnap in Somalia,” The Guardian, April 11, 2014. Available:
“Somali Jihadi News Agency Reports on Kenyan Captives Converting to Islam, Shabaab Operation in Mogadishu,” SITE Intel Group, February 21, 2014. Available on SITE.
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