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. Secretary of Defense expresses concern over AQAP activity in Yemen; anti-al Houthi forces make gains against al Houthis in battle for control of Aden; Iranian warships deploy to coast of Yemen

Horn of Africa: Ugandan police arrest six suspects linked to prosecutor’s murder in Kampala; Kenya freezes assets of 86 suspected al Shabaab supporters

Yemen Security Brief

  • U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, during a joint press conference on April 8, expressed concern over al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) increased activity and seizure of territory in Yemen as the al Houthis continue to clash with pro-Hadi forces in the south of the country.[1]
  • Anti-al Houthi forces in Aden city, Aden appear to be making gains against the al Houthis in the ongoing fight for control of the city despite reports of the al Houthis shelling large portions of Aden with artillery. Reports claim that the anti-al Houthi forces have secured territory in Dar Saad and Sheikh al Othman on April 9 after completely forcing the al Houthis out of al Mualla and Khormaksar on April 7.[2]
  • Two Iranian warships have reportedly deployed to the Gulf of Aden, south of the Red Sea. The warships are intended to protect Iranian shipping routes from piracy.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Ugandan police arrested six men on April 7 in Kampala, Uganda. The suspects are believed to be linked to the murder of prosecutor, Joan Kagezi, who was killed on March 30 in Kampala. She had been prosecuting twelve suspected al Shabaab members with links to the 2010 Kampala bombings.[4]
  • The Kenyan government froze the assets of 86 entities and individuals suspected of helping to finance al Shabaab on April 8. The list of 86 was also released to the public.[5]
[1] “Remarks by secretary Carter and Nakatani at a Joint Press Conference,” U.S. DoD, April 8, 2015. Available:
“Pentagon Chief: al Qaeda making gains in Yemen turmoil,” al Arabiya, April 8, 2015. Available:
[2] “Battles continue in Aden as popular committees control Dar Saad,” al Masdar, April 8, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Indiscriminate shelling of Aden with heavy weapons by al Houthis,” al Masdar, April 8, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Iran deploys warships off Yemen’s coast,” Reuters, April 8, 2015. Available:
“Iran sends ships to Yemen,” Barakish, April 8, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Iran deploys ‘anti piracy’ warships off Yemen’s coast,” al Arabiya, April 8, 2015. Available:
[4] “Ugandan police arrest six suspects in prosecutor’s murder,” Reuters, April 7. Available:
[5] “Kenya Freezes Bank Accounts of Suspected Terrorism Supporters,” Hiiraan Online, April 8. Available:
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