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: U.S. reportedly requests Iranian assistance to bring al Houthis to negotiations; Ansar al Sharia kidnaps two officers in al Mukalla; unidentified militants detonate IED in Hadramawt

Horn of Africa: Somali and AMISOM forces capture towns from al Shabaab in Bakool region; Kenyan forces arrest suspected suicide bombers near the Somali border; Somali and AMISOM forces conduct security operation in Banadir

Yemen Security Brief

  • An anonymous U.S. State Department official stated on April 29 that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had requested Iranian assistance in bringing warring Yemeni factions to negotiations. Kerry had met with Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on April 27. Separately, anonymous sources alleged that Saudi Arabia was providing training for hundreds of Yemeni tribesmen from Ma’rib in order to battle the al Houthis.[1]
  • Ansar al Sharia militants kidnapped two security officers in al Mukalla, Hadramawt on April 29. The officers will reportedly face charges of inciting opposition to Ansar al Sharia’s control of the city.[2]
  • Unidentified militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) near a bank in Tarim city, Hadramawt on April 30. The militants then engaged in small-arms clashes with local security forces in the city, which reportedly prevented the militants from looting the bank.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali National Army (SNA) forces backed by African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops captured the towns of Lagaley and Ceelahelay, both in Bakool region, from al Shabaab on April 29. The Somali government claimed that it would continue operations against the group.[4]
  • Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) soldiers reportedly arrested two suspected al Shabaab suicide bombers on the Kenyan-Somali border on April 30. While neither the police nor KDF could confirm the arrests, security sources claimed that the suspects were captured with explosive vests.[5]
  • SNA and AMISOM soldiers conducted a large security operation in Elasha Biyaha, Banadir region on April 29. Security forces arrested a reported 207 suspects in the operation, with some being released after interrogation. Elasha Biyaha is located just outside of Mogadishu, and the operation was carried out in an effort to prevent attacks in the city.[6]
[1] “U.S. asks Iran to help bring Yemeni parties to talks,” Reuters, April 29, 2015. Available:
“Saudi Arabia trains Yemeni tribal fighters in war against Houthis,” Reuters, April 29, 2015. Available:
[2] “Ansar al Sharia kidnaps two officers in al Mukalla,” Yemen Akhbar, April 29, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Unidentified militants blow up gates of bank in Tarim, Hadramawt,” Akhbar Yemen, April 30, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Explosion in Tarim Hadramawt,” Akhbar Yemen, April 30, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “SNA and AMISOM take new areas from Al Shabaab,” Dalsan Radio, April 29. Available:
[5] “Kenya: KDF Arrests Two Suicide Bombers Going to Nairobi,” Hiiraan Online, April 30. Available:
[6] “Large-scale security sweep detains dozens outside capital,” Hiiraan Online, April 29. Available:
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