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 releases three separate statements via twitter; Ansar al Sharia releases statement claiming victories in Hadramawt; suspected AQAP militants attack Yemeni military in Hadramawt; AQAP militants seize partial control of town in Hadramawt; al Houthi militants clash with local tribesmen in al Jawf; al Houthi militants abduct two workers in Amran; unidentified tribesmen destroy oil pipeline in Ma’rib

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab threatens to escalate attacks against Puntland government targets in Bari region; U.S. announces plan to develop rapid response forces in East Africa; Jubbaland security forces conduct security operation in Lower Jubba region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Ansar al Sharia released three separate statements via twitter on August 7, claiming that AQAP is in control of al Qatn, Hadramawt and of security buildings in Sayun, Hadramawt. A third statement also claims attacks on Special Forces Military Base in Sayun, Hadramawt.[1]
  • Ansar al Sharia released a statement to twitter on August 6, claiming to have killed “more than 20 soldiers” in two ambushes it launched against the Yemeni military in the Valley of Hadramawt the same day. The statement denied reports that 18 AQAP fighters were killed, stating that only two were killed.[2]
  • Suspected AQAP militants attacked a Yemeni military facility in Sayun, Hadramawt on August 7. Yemeni soldiers repelled the attack and killed as many as eight militants in the process.[3]
  • AQAP militants seized control of and looted several government buildings in Qatn, Hadramawt on August 7, including an intelligence office, police headquarters, and a local bank. The Yemeni military later released a statement claiming they regained complete control of Qatn. Exact figures on casualties were not reported.[4]
  • A pro-AQAP Twitter account, al Hussam Media Foundation, released a video on YouTube, condemning Yemeni military operations in Hadramawt. The video has footage of AQAP attacks on the Yemeni military. The footage also claims that the military is fighting on behalf of the al Houthis. The video also shows a mass of AQAP fighters gathering.[5]
  • Al Houthi militants clashed with al Islah tribesmen in al Ghayl, al Jawf on August 6, breaking a ceasefire. No casualties were reported.[6]
  • Al Houthi militants abducted two workers, Saif Khawlani and Ismail Silan, from the house of the Governor in Amran, on August 6. The two were taken to a sports stadium where other prisoners of the al Houthis are currently held.[7]
  • Unidentified tribesmen detonated explosives near an oil pipeline in Sirwah, Marib on August 7. No casualties were reported.[8]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A senior al Shabaab official in the Galgala mountain area of Puntland, Sheikh Abulkadir Mumin, threatened increased al Shabaab attacks against Puntland government targets, particularly in Bari region, on August 7. Mumin’s threat came after al Shabaab claimed responsibility for an August 4 suicide vest (SVEST) attack on a Puntland police compound in Boosaaso, Bari region.[9]
  • U.S. President Barack Obama announced on August 6 that the U.S. will partner with six African countries, including Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda, to develop regional rapid response forces. The rapid response forces development, part of a $550 million dollar U.S.-Africa security development program, is intended to support the various United Nations and African Union missions in Africa, including the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).[10]
  • Jubbaland security forces conducted a security operation throughout Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on August 7. The security forces reportedly arrested over thirty suspects during the operation in an effort to eradicate al Shabaab’s presence in the city.[11]

[1] “Three new statements from Ansar al Shariah in the Arabian Peninsula,” Jihadology, August 7, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “New statement from Ansar al-Shariah in the Arabian Peninsula: “Survival of the first commander of the area and killing more than 20 soldiers in an ambush in the valley of Hadramawt,” Jihadology, August 6, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Martyrdom of two soldiers and wounding six others in Qatn, Champions army and security responding to an attack on a camp of Hadramout Valley and killed 8 terrorists,” 26 SepNet, August 7, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Yemen troops kill seven suspected al Qaeda militants,” Reuters, August 7, 2014. Available:
“Army says it repulsed an attack by gunmen who tried to control the leadership of the First Military Region,” al Masdar, August 7, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4]“Statement: Yemeni army declares liberation of the town east of the country from the hands of al-Qaeda,” al Masdar, August 7, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“The arrival of military reinforcements to the city of cotton and the start of the withdrawal of al-Qaeda militants after looting banks,” Barakish Net, August 7, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] Al Hussam Media Foundation Twitter Account, August 6, 2014.
[6] “Houthi armed group al Jouf violate the truce and bombarding of the Mediation Committee,” Sahafah, August 7, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] Houthi gunmen kidnap two employees working in the house of the governor of Imran,” al Masdar, August 6, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “Tribal militants blow up a tube to export oil in the province of Marib,” al Masdar, August 7, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[9] “SOMALIA: Al-shabab say they will step up terror attacks against Puntland government,” RBC Radio, August 7, 2014. Available:
[10] Phil Stewart, “Exclusive – U.S. to spend up to $550 million on African rapid response forces,” Reuters, August 6, 2014. Available:
[11] “Juba administration forces arrest dozens in Mogadishu,” Goobjoog News, August 7, 2014. Available:
View Citations
Arrow down red
Sep '14
Aug '14
Jul '14