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: Saudi Arabia announces execution of Yemeni citizen responsible for last year’s concert stabbing in Riyadh; al Houthis accuse Saudi-led coalition forces of launching airstrikes on several northern governorates; al Houthis announce they will prevent international organizations from moving between al Houthi-controlled governorates to prevent coronavirus spread
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab kills doctor in Mogadishu; Kenyan media report accuses NISA of colluding with al Shabaab
Yemen Security Brief:
The Saudi Interior Ministry announced on April 16 the execution of a Yemeni national convicted for stabbing performers at a concert in Saudi capital Riyadh in November 2019. A Saudi court alleged that the perpetrator, Emad al Mansouri, had ties to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The court also sentenced an unidentified man to 12 and a half years in prison for collaborating with Mansouri and for funding AQAP. AQAP has not claimed responsibility for the attack.
Al Houthi militants accused Saudi-led coalition forces of launching airstrikes on Majzar and Madghal districts in Ma’rib governorate and on al Hazm and Khub wa al Shaf districts in al Jawf governorate in northern Yemen. Al Houthi militants accused Saud-led coalition forces of conducting airstrikes on several northern Yemeni governorates, including Ma’rib and al Jawf on April 14.
The al Houthi movement announced that it will prevent international organizations in Yemen from moving between al Houthi-controlled governorates to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Al Houthi militants accused the representative of the UN Development Program in Yemen of covering up three suspected coronavirus cases in UN offices in Sana’a governorate. Yemen reported its first coronavirus case on April 10.
Horn of Africa Security Brief:
Al Shabaab militants assassinated a doctor in Ceelasha Biyaha on the outskirts of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on April 16. Al Shabaab claimed the doctor was an informant for Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA). Unidentified militants killed a Somali pediatrician in Mogadishu’s Yaqshid district on April 8.
Kenyan local media reported on April 17 that NISA officials are coordinating and funding al Shabaab attacks targeting Kenyan African Union forces in southwestern Somalia. The report included an alleged picture of a $1.5 million check sent from a NISA officer to an al Shabaab militant. Regional experts stated that the check was forged and pointed to the report’s timeline inconsistencies. NISA accused a prominent Somali journalist of having contact with al Shabaab in early April.
“Saudi executes yemen man for stabbing Spain performers,” Middle East Monitor, April 17, 2020, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200417-saudi-executes-yemen-man-for-stabbing-spain-performers/; and Jessica Kocan, “Yemen File - February 12, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, February 12, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/yemen-file/yemen-file-february-12-2020.
 “The aggression air force launches 23 raids on Marib and al jawf governorate,” 26 September, April 17, 2020, https://26sep.net/news_details.php?lang=arabic&sid=173455; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum,”Gulf of Aden Security Review - April 15, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 15, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-15-2020.
 “Alshabab claims responsibility for killing Mogadishu doctor,” Radio Dalsan, April 16, 2020, https://www.radiodalsan.com/en/2020/04/16/alshabab-claims-responsibility-for-killing-mogadishu-doctor/; and Sahra Abdi Ahmed, Twitter, April 8, 2020, https://twitter.com/SahraCabdi/status/1247602588507418626.
 “Somali intelligence funding Shabaab to attack Kenya,” The Star, April 17, 2020, https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2020-04-17-somali-intelligence-funding-shabaab-to-attack-kenya--report/; “Senior Taaj official says NISA/Al-Shabaab receipt was doctored,” Hiiraan, April 17, 2020, http://www.hiiraan.com/news4/2020/Apr/167805/senior_taaj_official_says_nisa_al_shabaab_receipt_was_doctored.aspx; Jay Bahadur, Twitter, April 17, 2020, https://twitter.com/PuntlandPirates/status/1251063435477073920; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - April 6, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 6, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-6-2020.