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: AQAP releases video of clashes between AQAP militants and Yemeni Special Forces at military checkpoint in Hadramawt; al Houthi militants kidnap Yemeni journalists; unidentified gunmen clash with Yemeni Special Forces in Shabwah

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants kill Somali parliamentarian in Mogadishu; suspected al Shabaab militants attack Jubbaland security forces in Lower Jubba region; Puntland administration suspends cooperation with Somali Federal Government

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) media arm, al Malahem Media Foundation, released a video entitled “From the Field: Raid on al Madi Military Checkpoint – Hadramawt,” to YouTube and Twitter on July 31. Within the video, an unidentified AQAP militant announced AQAP fighters are ready to fight a series of battles to “repel the aggression of the oppressors.” The video also contains footage of clashes between AQAP militants and Yemeni Special Forces at the military checkpoint in Reida, Hadramawt on March 24.[1]
  • Al Houthi militants kidnapped two Yemeni journalists, Youssef Yahya and Hazem Youssef, on July 31 while the journalists were filming destroyed houses and conducting interviews with displaced people in Amran.[2] 
  • Unidentified gunmen clashed with Yemeni Special Forces at a Special Forces camp in Ataq, Shabwah on July 31. No casualties have been reported.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants ambushed and killed a Somali parliamentarian, Sheikh Aden Mohamed Madeer, in the Hamar Weyne district of Mogadishu on August 1. Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Abdul Aziz Abu Musab claimed responsibility for the killing, stating that al Shabaab will continue to target Somali lawmakers as retribution for hosting the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).[4]
  • Suspected al Shabaab militants attacked Jubbaland security forces near Kismayo in Lower Jubba region on August 1. Although the confrontation reportedly featured heavy exchanges of gunfire, the extent of casualties suffered remains unclear.[5]
  • Puntland President Abdiweli Ali Gaas declared on July 31 that the Puntland administration suspended cooperation with the Somali Federal Government (SFG), withdrawing its representatives to the SFG from Mogadishu. The declaration came after Puntland condemned a July 30 agreement, proposing the formation of a regional administration in central Somalia consisting of Galgudud and Mudug regions, between the SFG and regional stakeholders as unconstitutional.[6]

[1] Video released through an AQAP Twitter account, July 31, 2014.
“Al-Qaeda attack kills 20 Yemeni soldiers,” Al Arabiya News, March 24, 2014. Available:
“20 soldiers killed in the south of Yemen and the leader of Yemeni Special Forces and the Yemeni Security Director pause,” Yemen Now, March 24, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“AQAP Releases Vide of Raid on al Madi Checkpoint in Hadramawt,” SITE Intel, July 31, 2014. Available at SITE.
[2] “Houthi gunmen kidnap two reporters, Hazeb and Qahma, in Amran,” Sahwa Net, July 31, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
"Imran .. Houthi militias kidnapped journalists while documenting their crimes," Yemen Akhbar, July 31, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Local residents: Heavy gunfire in vicinity of Yemeni Special Forces camp in Ataq,” Aden al Ghad, July 31, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Somali lawmaker shot dead in Mogadishu, fifth this year,” AFP, August 1, 2014. Available:
“Al Shabaab claims the responsibility of killing fifth Somali MP in Mogadishu,” Somali Current, August 1, 2014. Available:
[5] “IJA soldiers attacked in Kismayo, engage in gunfire exchange,” Shabelle News, August 1, 2014. Available:
[6] “Puntland State cuts ties with the Federal Government of Somalia,” Goobjoog News, August 1, 2014. Available:
“Somalia: Puntland withdraws support for Federal Govt,” Garowe Online, July 31, 2014. Available:
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