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: ISIS militants claim responsibility for execution of 15 soldiers in Shabwah; al Houthis clash with pro-Hadi 35th Armored Brigade in Taiz; Egypt and Saudi Arabia reportedly plan major military maneuver

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab claims responsibility for Mogadishu attack; Kenya offers amnesty to al Shabaab members

Yemen Security Brief

  • ISIS Wilayat Ataq militants claimed credit via Twitter for the execution of 15 Yemeni soldiers from the 2nd Mountain Infantry Brigade in Azzan, Mayfa’a, Shabwah on April 14. The statements claiming responsibility accused the executed soldiers of affiliation with the al Houthi movement. Suspected tribal militants had captured the military camp on April 12, although conflicting reporting identified the militants as Ansar al Sharia fighters. A video published on April 13 depicted what appears to be popular committee militants with military equipment seized from the 2nd Mountain Infantry Brigade. It is uncertain when ISIS Wilayat Ataq established a presence within the military camp.[1]
  • Soldiers from the 35th Armored Brigade, which is loyal to Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, clashed with al Houthi forces in al Nour, Taiz, on April 15. The soldiers claimed that they killed 20 al Houthi militants in the fighting.[2]
  • An April 14statement from the Egyptian presidency said that the Egyptian and Saudi militaries have agreed to form a committee to a carry out a major strategic maneuver in Saudi territory It is unclear if Saudi Arabia and Egypt are contemplating a ground invasion into Yemen.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab released a statement on April 14 claiming responsibility for the April 14 Education Ministry attack in Mogadishu. The message quoted al Shabaab spokesman Ali Mohamed Rage (Ali Dhere) claiming the attack and stating that the Somali Federal Government is a legitimate target.[4]
  • Kenyan Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery announced an offer of amnesty for al Shabaab members on April 14. The offer requires them to surrender to the Kenyan government within the next ten days. Nkaissery stated that those that surrender will be rehabilitated by the government, while those who do not will be treated as criminals.[5]
[1] “Al Qaeda militants execute 15 soldiers in Shabwah,” al Watanye, April 14, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“One of the survivors from Shabwah massacre,” Barakish, April 15, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Resistance in Mayfa’a Shabwah,” Youtube, April 13, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Ansar al Sharia captures military brigade in Shabwah,” al Watanye, April 12, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Popular committees in Shabwah control Second Infantry Brigades,” Yemen Times, April 14, 2015. Available:
[2] “35th Armored Brigade fights off al Houthi attack in Taiz,” al Masdar, April 15, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Dead and wounded in Taiz after fighting,” Barakish, April 15, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Egypt and Saudi Arabia discuss maneuvers as Yemen battle rages,” Reuters, April 14, 2015. Available:
“Egypt and Saudi Arabia agree to major maneuver in Yemen,” al Masdar, April 15, 2015 [Arabic]. Available: 
[4] “Shabaab Claims Attack on Education Ministry Building in Mogadishu,” SITE, April 14. Available:
[5] “State offers amnesty to youths wanting to leave al Shabaab,” The Star, April 14. Available:
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