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 AQAP gunmen clash with army troops in Hadramawt;Yemeni government states it is still in control of Hadramawt;  Pro-AQAP Twitter account denies AQAP control of Hadramawt; AQAP releases a statement regarding the persecution of Muslims; suspected AQAP militants clash with soldiers in Shabwah; suspected AQAP assailants attempt to assassinate a Yemeni general in Hadramawt; unidentified gunmen attack Yemeni soldiers in al Bayda

Horn of Africa: Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud announces new AMISOM and SNA offensive against al Shabaab; SNA forces attack al Shabaab militants in Bay region; Kenyan police detain suspected al Shabaab media official in Nairobi

Yemen Security Brief

  • AQAP gunmen attacked Yemeni soldiers in Qatn, Hadramawt on August 6, in which no deaths or injuries were reported. Separately, reinforcements from the 135th Infantry Brigade arrived in Sayun, Hadramawt on August 6 after thwarting three separate ambushes in which as many as 18 AQAP fighters and two soldiers were killed. The 135th Brigade was able to capture three AQAP fighters, one of whom was a Saudi.[1]
  • The Yemeni government has denied reports stating that AQAP controls Hadramawt and has assured citizens that the state remains in control of the area. The statement comes after the Saudi newspaper Asharq al Awsaat published a report stating AQAP had taken complete control of Hadramawt.[2]
  • An unverified media account supporting AQAP called al Husam Media released a statement on August 6 to Twitter denying AQAP controls Hadramawt and stating the Yemeni military is carrying out an unjust campaign against the people of Hadramawt. The statement called for a Twitter campaign under the hashtag “Victory_for our people_in_Hadramawt.”  A multitude of AQAP supporters began tweeting the hashtag on August 6. Additionally, Yemen’s First Military Region Commander, Major General Abdul Rahman al Halili, also denied that Hadramawt is under control of AQAP.[3]
  • AQAP’s media arm, al Malahem Media Foundation, released a statement titled “Raid of Revenge for the Female Prisoners,” condemning the persecution of Muslims in Saudi Arabia and U.S. involvement in the region.  [4]
  • Suspected AQAP militants attacked a military vehicle in Habban, Shabwah on August 6, killing as many as five soldiers.[5]
  • Suspected AQAP assailants attempted to assassinate the commander of the 1st Regional Military Command, Major General Abdul Rahman al Halili, in Hadramawt on August 6.[6]
  • Unidentified assailants on two motorcycles attacked a military checkpoint in Rada’a, al Bayda on August 6, killing three soldiers and wounding an unspecified number.[7]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud announced a new African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali National Army (SNA) offensive, Operation Indian Ocean, against al Shabaab on August 5. President Mohamud reported that he expects Operation Indian Ocean, designed to diminish al Shabaab’s territorial control in southern and central Somalia, to begin in the next few days.[8]
  • SNA forces attacked al Shabaab militants near Toosweyne, Bay region on August 6. Reporting indicates that the confrontation killed as many as twenty combatants. Afterwards, SNA forces and local militiamen conducted a security operation to secure the area from the remaining al Shabaab militants.[9]
  • Kenyan security officials revealed on August 7 that police recently arrested a suspected al Shabaab media official, Hassan Hanafi, in Nairobi. The security officials stated that Hanafi, a journalist affiliated with al Shabaab’s Radio Andalus, crossed into Kenya from Somalia to seek medical treatment in Nairobi. The detained individual, however, reportedly denied this identity during police interrogation.[10]

[1] “Clashes between the army and militants in the Batinah region Directorate of Cotton,” Barakish Net, August 6, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Urgent .. killed 18 terrorists and thwart ambushes 3 in the line of 135 Brigade to Sayun,” Barakish Net, August 6, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Army forces fired heavily in the sky to celebrate the arrival of the reinforcements in Sayun,” Barakish Net, August 6, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Major al Halili: All areas of Hadramawt under state control, no truth to allegations that Hadramawt in control of al Qaeda,” Sep 26, August 5, 2014. Available:
[3] “New statement from al Hussam Media Foundation: ‘About the Brutal Campaign Against our People in Hadramawt,” Jihadology, August 6, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “al Malahim Media presents a new statement from al-Qaidah in the Arabian Peninsula: ‘Raid of Revenge for the Female Prisoners,’” Jihadology, August 6, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “’Al-Qaeda Ambush’ kills 5 Yemen soldiers: security,” Daily Star, August 6, 2014. Available:
“Soldiers killed in an attack on a military patrol in Shabwa Hibbaan,” Barakish Net, August 6, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Thwart terrorists three ambushes in the itinerary and the 135 Infantry Brigade from Mukalla to Sayun,” 26 SepNet, August 6, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Urgent .. survive the first commander of the military region on Hadramout assassination attempt,” Barakish Net, August 6, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] Killing three soldiers and wounding others in an attack in the city center of Rada,” Barakish Net, August 6, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] Phil Stewart, “Somalia’s president expects new military push to begin in days,” Reuters, August 5, 2014. Available:
[9] “Over twenty people on clashes between government forces and Al-shabab in Bay region,” Goobjoog News, August 6, 2014. Available:
“Security operations underway in Toos-weyne village, Bay region,” Bar Kulan, August 6, 2014. Available:
[10] “Kenya arrest suspect from Somalia’s al-Shabab group,” BBC, August 6, 2014. Available:
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