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: Ansar al Sharia issues a statement claiming credit for an alleged IED explosion in Sana’a; Yemeni president meets with GPC General Committee in Sana’a; Yemeni citizens participate in separate demonstrations in Aden; al Houthi militants establish new camps in Sana’a; al Islah Party tribesmen clash with al Houthi militants in al Jawf

Horn of Africa: al Shabaab releases video encouraging Muslims throughout the world to participate in jihad; al Shabaab militants withdraw from towns in Hiraan region; Somali security forces conduct security operations in Lower Jubba and Middle Shabelle regions

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) insurgent arm, Ansar al Sharia, released a statement via Twitter on August 27. Within the statement, Ansar al Sharia claimed credit for an improvised explosive device (IED) that allegedly detonated near an al Houthi gathering in al Rudha, Sana’a on August 24. Ansar al Sharia added that the explosion killed Abdul Malik Ismail Abu Talib, an al Houthi Brigadier General, and several al Houthi militants near Talib’s house in Sana’a.[1]
  • Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi met with General Committee of the General People’s Congress (GPC) in Sana’a on August 28. Within the meeting, Hadi praised the GPC’s efforts to resolve Yemen’s 2011 political crises, denied rumors of tensions between Hadi and former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and asserted that the GPC is part of the solution for addressing the ongoing al Houthi protests in Sana’a. Hadi also criticized Yemeni groups of seeking to exploit sectarian tensions to achieve their agendas in Yemen.[2]
  • Thousands of Yemeni citizens launched a demonstration in al Mualla, Aden on August 28, praising Yemeni President Hadi’s recent efforts to resolve the ongoing al Houthi protests in Sana’a, calling for Yemeni citizens to abide by the Presidential Organization for the Popular Alignment and Protection of National Interests’ recommendations, and condemning recent al Houthi movements around Sana’a. Separately, a large group of Yemeni citizens demonstrated in al Mualla, Aden on August 28, promoting the Southern Hirak Movement. Yemeni security forces opened fire on the protestors to break up the demonstration, killing one civilian. Following the demonstration, angry protestors raided and looted the Municipal Center in al Mualla, Aden.[3]
  • Al Houthi militants established a new camp to protest against the Yemeni government’s activities in Bani al Harith, Sana’a on August 28. Separately, al Houthi militants established a new camp near the Sana’a airport on August 27. The protestors called for overthrowing the Yemeni government and implementing the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference.[4]
  • Al Islah Party tribesmen fought with al Houthi militants in al Ghayl, al Jawf on August 27. No casualties have been reported.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab’s media branch, al Kataib Media Foundation, released the sixth episode of its video series entitled “Mujahideen Moments” on August 27. Within the video, al Shabaab militants encourages Muslims throughout the world, particularly those in South Asia and the West, to travel to a “land of Muslims,” such as Somalia, Iraq, or Afghanistan, to participate in jihad.[6]
  • Al Shabaab militants reportedly withdrew from several towns in Hiraan region, including Burweyne, Halgam, and Jalalaqsi, on August 27 in anticipation of an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali National Army (SNA) offensive in the area.[7]
  • Jubbaland security forces conducted a security operation in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on August 28. A Jubbaland security official reported that the security forces arrested four suspected al Shabaab militants during the operation. Separately, Somali security forces conducted a security operation, arresting twenty suspected criminals, in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region on August 28.[8]

[1] AQAP Twitter account, August 27, 2014.
[2] “President: GPC is part of the solution and denied rumors of frictions between Hadi and Saleh,” Saba News, August 28, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Hadi demanded General Committee to demonstrate national qualities and says the al Houthis are pursuing a foreign agendas,” al Masdar, August 28, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3]“Demonstration in Aden supports President Hadi’s efforts and rejects al Houthi activities,” Aden al Ghad, August 28, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Thousands of the sons of Aden support the presidential organization and reject violent projects,” Sahafah Net, August 28, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
 “Recent event: security wound protestors when they opened fire on a Southern Hirak demonstration,” Aden al Ghad, August 28, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Angry protestors raid Municipal Center in al Mualla and set the center on fire,” Aden al Ghad, August 28, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Al Houthis setting up a new camp near Sana’a International Airport,” Barakish Net, August 28, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Al Jawf.. Clashes with heave weapons and equip and al Houthis unable to progress despite reinforcements,” al Masdar, August 28, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Shabaab Calls Muslim in India, Pakistan, and the West to Jihad in ‘Mujahideen Moments’ Episode 6,” SITE Intel Group, August 27, 2014. Available at SITE.
[7] “Al Shabaab abandons new areas amid AMISOM new offensive,” Somali Current, August 28, 2014. Available:
“Al Shabaab fighters start to abandon positions in Hiran region,” Bar Kulan, August 28, 2014. Available:
[8] “Four Al Shabaab suspects arrested in Kismayo,” Bar Kulan, August 28, 2014. Available:
“20 arrested in security crackdown in Jowhar town,” Bar Kulan, August 28, 2014. Available:
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