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 releases audio chant on Twitter; AQAP creates new Twitter account; suspected AQAP militants kill two and wound five Yemeni soldiers in al Bayda; gunmen kill one and wound three Yemeni soldiers in Hadramawt; suspected AQAP members kill security guard in Sana’a; gunmen kill security officer in Lahij; gunmen kill Saudi border guard near Hajjah and Sa’ada

Horn of Africa: AMISOM and SNA forces clash with al Shabaab militants in Bakool region; unidentified gunmen kill Somali security officers in Mogadishu; al Shabaab militants ambush vehicle in Hiraan region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) audio production foundation, al Basha’ir, posted an audio clip of a chant to its Twitter account on March 2. The audio clip includes an introductory speech in English from deceased AQAP leader Anwar al Awlaki, in which he condemns America as a “nation of evil.” The clip also features an Arabic-language chant by AQAP vocalist Ghalib Baqa’iti, also known as Abu Hajer al Hadrami, who escaped from al Mukalla prison in June 2011. The chant warned that fighters are intent on reaching America and encouraged all Muslims to participate in violent jihad.[1]
  • AQAP created a new Twitter account titled “Nafeh al Teeb” on April 9. The account features the biography of deceased AQAP and al Malahem Media Foundation member Bashir al Halisi, also known as Abu Hajer al Sana’ani. The account will purportedly continue to feature biographies of slain AQAP fighters.[2]
  • Suspected AQAP militants killed two Yemeni Special Forces members and wounded five others near a Yemeni army base in al Bayda governorate on April 12.[3]
  • Unidentified gunmen killed one Yemeni soldier and wounded three others in the town of Tarim in Hadramawt governorate on April 12. Reports indicate that the gunmen, who were parked in a car on the side of the road, opened fire on a Yemeni military vehicle as it drove by. Yemeni soldiers from a nearby camp then purportedly clashed with the gunmen, who managed to escape.[4]
  • Two suspected AQAP members killed a Yemeni security guard in Sana’a capital on April 12. The gunmen purportedly opened fire from a motorcycle and stole the victim’s weapon before fleeing the scene, according to a Yemeni security official.[5]
  • Unidentified gunmen shot and killed a security officer in Lahij governorate on April 13. Reports indicate that the gunmen attacked from a motorcycle.[6]
  • Unidentified gunmen killed a Saudi border guard and wounded another while they were patrolling the border between Jizan province in Saudi Arabia and Hajjah and Sa’ada governorates in Yemen around 3:00 AM on April 14. Reports indicate that the Saudi guards came under fire from gunmen positioned within Yemeni territory. If confirmed, this is the second such incident in the past week.[7]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Ethiopian AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) forces clashed with al Shabaab militants in Buur Dhuxunle village in the Wajid district of Bakool region on April 13. The fighting broke out after al Shabaab militants ambushed supply trucks intended for the Ethiopian AMISOM forces. Somali government and military officials claim AMISOM and SNA forces killed approximately fifteen al Shabaab militants and dismantled al Shabaab’s roadblocks in the area. However, al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Abdul Aziz Abu Musab claimed victory for the group, stating the militants killed five Ethiopian soldiers during the confrontation.[8]
  • Unidentified gunmen killed two security officers, Colonel Ahmed Sheikh Abdulla and Abdirahman Ali Abdi, working for the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency in Mogadishu’s Karan district on April 13. Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, Karan District Commissioner Ahmed Yalahow blamed al Shabaab for the killings. Yalahow also reported that security forces conducted search operations after the incident, detaining two suspects.[9]
  • Al Shabaab militants ambushed a vehicle, suspected of transporting qat, travelling through Yasooman near Bulo-Burde district in Hiraan region on April 11. The militants fired upon the vehicle, injuring one person, before hijacking the vehicle and taking the two occupants hostage. Separately, unidentified gunmen ambushed a bus in Af Barwaaqo near Galkayo in Mudug region on April 14. Reports indicate that at least two people were killed and several more injured by the gunfire. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.[10]

[1] “AQAP Releases English Chant Promoting Jihad Against America,” SITE Intel Group, April 11, 2014. Available at SITE.
[2] “AQAP Opens New Twitter Account, Gives Biography of Slain Media Member,” SITE Intel Group, April 10, 2014. Available at SITE.
[3] “Suspected militants kill 3 Yemen soldiers,” Saudi Gazette, April 13, 2014. Available:
[4] “Yemen Soldier Killed in Ambush,” al Arabiya News, April 12, 2014. Available:
[5] “Suspected militants kill 3 Yemen soldiers,” Saudi Gazette, April 13, 2014. Available:
[6] “Murder of an officer in the CID province of Lahij,” News Yemen, April 13, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Gunmen kill Saudi guard near Yemeni border, wound another: media,” Reuters, April 14, 2014. Available:
[8] “Somalia: Federal Govt, Ethiopian troops clash with Al Shabaab in Bakool,” Garowe Online, April 13, 2014. Available:
“Nearly 15 killed in battle in Bakool region,” RBC Radio, April 14, 2014. Available:
“Al-shabab claims victory in a fight against Ethiopian troops in Bakol,” Goobjoog News, April 14, 2014. Available:
“Wajid district Commissioner: ‘We killed 26 Al-shabab members,’” Goobjoog News, April 14, 2014. Available:
[9] “SOMALIA: Security officer gunned down in Mogadishu,” RBC Radio, April 14, 2014. Available:
“Karan administration capture suspects over murder case,” Shabelle News, April 14, 2014. Available:
[10] “One wounded in Al-Shabaab attack,” Bar Kulan, April 11, 2014. Available:
“Passengers on board a buss [sic] killed after attack near Galkacyo,” Shabelle News, April 14, 2014. Available:
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