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: Unconfirmed U.S. airstrikes kills three AQAP fighters in Shabwah; suspected Ansar al Sharia militants detonate SVBIED in Abyan; Saudi-airstrike reportedly kills dozens of citizens in the capital, Sana’a; al Houthi mortar attack kills Saudi border guard in Najran

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab conducts IED attack in Nugaal region; al Shabaab kills lawmaker in Mogadishu; al Shabaab releases eulogy video for AQAP leader; al Shabaab releases video on July 2014 attack in Kenya

Yemen Security Brief

  • A suspected U.S. airstrike targeted a vehicle in Said, Shabwah on April 19. Three suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants were killed in the strike.[1]
  • Suspected Ansar al Sharia militants detonated a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) targeting an al Houthi checkpoint between Ahwar and Shaqra, Abyan on April 19. There are no casualty reports available from the attack.[2]
  • Saudi-led airstrikes targeted a military base in Faj Attan near the capital, Sana’a on April 20. Early reporting claimed that 30 people were killed in the strike and that up to 250 were wounded. Reports also claim that the vast majority of casualties from the strike are civilians.[3]
  • An al Houthi mortar attack reportedly killed a Saudi border guard and wounded two others in Najran, along the Yemeni-Saudi border, on April 19.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a UN vehicle in Garowe, Nugaal region on April 20. Al Shabaab claimed credit for the attack, which killed nine and wounded at least four more.[5]
  • Al Shabaab killed a Puntland legislator in Mogadishu on April 18. Al Shabaab’s military spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack and said that the group would continue to target the Somali government.[6]
  • Al Shabaab released a eulogy video for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) member Ibrahim al Rubaish on April 16. In the video, al Shabaab congratulated al Rubaish on attaining martyrdom and praised his efforts.[7]
  • Al Shabaab released a video of its July 5, 2014 attack on the Gamba police station in Lamu county, Coast province, Kenya on April 17. The video is the second in a series titled “No Protection Except by Belief or Covenant of Security.” In the video al Shabaab shows the attack on the police station as well as a call for Muslims to join al Shabaab and threatening further attacks.[8]
[1] “Three al Qaeda fighters in Yemen killed in U.S. drone strike,” al Arabiya, April 20, 2015. Available:
“U.S. airstrike targets three AQAP fighters in Yemen,” Wefaq Press,  April 19, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Suicide car-bomb targets al Houthis in Abyan,” Barakish, April 19, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Explosion rips through homes in Yemen’s capital after airstrikes,” NY Times, April 20, 2015. Available:
“Thirty killed and 250 wounded in attack on Faj Attan,” Barakish, April 20, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Dozens dead and wounded from Saudi airstrike in Sana’a,” al Masdar, April 20, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Saudi guard killed in Yemen border attack,” al Arabiya, April 20, 2015. Available:
“Saudi border guard killed in Yemen,” Reuters, April 20, 2015. Available:
[5] Abdiqani Hassan, “Update 3-Somali militants kill nine in bomb attack on U.N. vehicle,” Reuters, April 20. Available:
[6] “Al Shabaab militants kill regional Somali lawmaker in capital,” Reuters, April 18. Available:
[7] “Shabaab Gives Eulogy for Slain AQAP Official Ibrahim al-Rubeish,” SITE, April 17. Available:
[8] “Shabaab Releases Video on July 2014 Attack on Gamba Police Station in Kenya,” SITE, April 18. Available:
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