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: Suspected Ansar al Sharia militants seize district in Ibb; al Houthis seize Ataq city, Shabwah; U.S. Secretary of State comments on Iranian support for al Houthis in Yemen

Horn of Africa: Police arrest terror suspects in Kasese district, Uganda; Somali government places bounties on 11 al Shabaab members

Yemen Security Brief

  • Suspected Ansar al Sharia militants reportedly took control of al Saddah district, Ibb on April 9 following al Houthi-withdrawal from the area. The militants reportedly raised al Qaeda flags over government buildings within the district.[1]
  • Al Houthi militants seized Ataq city, the capital of Shabwah governorate, on April 9 and established checkpoints throughout the city. Operation Decisive Storm aircraft reportedly bombed Shabwah airport, located nearby, in response to the al Houthi takeover. [2]
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry indicated that the U.S. is aware of Iranian support for the al Houthi movement during an interview on April 8. Kerry also stated that the U.S. will continue to stand by and support countries that feel threatened by Iranian influence in the Middle East, though he added that the U.S. is not looking for confrontation.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Ugandan police arrested three terror suspects in Kasese, Kasese district, Uganda on April 9. The police have not released any details on the suspects.[4]
  • The Somali Federal Government placed bounties on 11 al Shabaab members on April 9. The bounties range from $100,000 to $250,000.[5]
[1] “Ansar al Sharia militants seize al Saddah district in Ibb,” al Masdar, April 9, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Al Qaeda seizes al Saddah, Ibb,” al Masshad, April 9, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] Yemen’s al Houthis seize provincial capital despite Saudi-led raids,” Reuters, April 9, 2015. Available:
“Houthi and Saleh forces enter Ataq city, Shabwah, as Saudi aircraft bomb airport,” al Masdar, April 9, 2015 [Arabic]. Available: 
“Houthis seize Ataq, Shabwah,” Barakish, April 9, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Kerry says U.S. well aware of Iran’s support to Yemen’s Houthis,” Reuters, April 8, 2015. Available:
“Yemen crisis: Kerry warns Iran over Houthi rebel ‘support’,” BBC, April 8, 2015. Available:
[4] “Police arrest 3 suspected terrorists in Kasese,” New Vision, April 9. Available:
[5] “List of Wanted al Shabaab Leaders,” Twitter, @HarunMaruf, April 9. Available:
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