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: al Houthi leader calls for al Houthis to continue protesting against Yemeni government and to ignore recent negotiations; al Houthi militants pitch tents near government buildings in Sana’a; Ansar al Sharia releases Twitter statement describing operations against al Houthi militants in al Jawf; Yemeni military bombs AQAP camps in al Bayda; Yemeni military and local militia track AQAP militants in Abyan

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants ambush Somali National Army convoy in Gedo region; roadside IED detonates near Somali government security vehicle in Mogadishu; Somali Ministry of National Security announces extension of cash rewards program for information on al Shabaab

Yemen Security Brief

  • Abdul Malik al Houthi, leader of the al Houthi movement, released a statement on August 21, denying allegations that al Houthi militants were preparing to siege Sana’a, ordering al Houthis to launch the “second stage” of escalating protests against the Yemeni government, and encouraging al Houthis to continue to rally against the “corrupt government” in Sana’a. Al Houthi also called for Yemeni security forces to refrain from interfering in al Houthi movements throughout Yemen. Separately, Abdul Malik al Houthi issued a statement on August 22 regarding recent talks that were held with the Yemeni Presidential Commission. In his remarks, al Houthi said to ignore the negotiations that were conducted.[1]
  • Al Houthi supporters have set up encampments near the Ministry of Electricity in Sana’a on August 22 amid growing protests throughout the city.[2]
  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) insurgent arm, Ansar al Sharia, released a statement via Twitter on August 21, describing the operational details of three Ansar al Sharia operations launched against al Houthi militants in al Jawf on August 16 and 18 and asserting that these operations killed approximately 30 al Houthi militants.[3]
  • Soldiers from the Yemeni al Majd Brigade bombed AQAP camps in Mukayras, al Bayda on August 22. No casualties have been reported.[4]
  • Anonymous local sources reported that the Yemeni military, supported by Popular Committee militiamen, searched for two observed AQAP patrols moving around the Lawder, al Wadhi’a, Mudia districts in Abyan on August 21.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants ambushed a Somali National Army (SNA) convoy in Maykarebe village on August 21 as the SNA forces travelled from Luq to Garbaharey in Gedo region. The SNA forces reportedly repelled the attack, sustaining two injuries before arriving in Garbaharey. Separately, a Hiraan regional administrator reported that African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and SNA forces advanced toward Jalalaqsi, an al Shabaab stronghold in Hiraan region.[6]
  • A roadside improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near a Somali government security vehicle, killing a local security officer, in the Heliwa district of Mogadishu on August 21. The officer, Ahmed Abdirahman Isse, was reportedly a senior counterterrorism official for the Heliwa district administration. In response, Somali security forces conducted an extended security operation, targeting suspected al Shabaab militants, in Heliwa district on August 22.[7]
  • The Somali Ministry of National Security announced, on August 21, the extension of their cash rewards program for information on al Shabaab, specifically information leading to the arrest of suspected al Shabaab militants or the recovery of illegal weapons. National Security Ministry officials claimed that this program helped prevent ten attacks in Mogadishu over the past two months.[8]

[1] “Al Houthi leader announces beginning of ‘second stage’ of escalation and calls for armed men to continue to rally to Sana’a,” al Masdar, August 21, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Houthi delivers a speech to ignore the new talks with the Presidential Commission,” Barakish, August 22, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “URGENT: Houthis pitching new tents north of Garden of the revolution and the Ministry of Electricity in Sana’a,” Barakish, August 22, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] AQAP Twitter account, August 21, 2014.
[4] “Military bombs ‘al Qaeda’ bases in central Yemen,” Yemen Akhbar, August 22, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Military and Popular Committee announce preparations to face al Qaeda in Lawder, al Wadhi’a, and Mudia,” Akhbar al Yom, August 22, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Government forces clash with Al Shabaab fighters near Garbaharey,” Bar Kulan, August 22, 2014. Available:
“AMISOM and Govt. Forces Bound Towards Jalalaqsi,” Dalsan Radio, August 21, 2014. Available:
[7] “SOMALIA: Security officer killed in bomb explosion in Mogadishu,” RBC Radio, August 22, 2014. Available:
“SOMALIA: Government forces launch security operation at dawn Friday in parts of Mogadishu,” RBC Radio, August 22, 2104. Available:
[8] Fuad Ahmed, “Somali government to extend cash rewards program for information on al-Shabaab,” Sabahi Online, August 21, 2014. Available:
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