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 multiple statements regarding offensive in al Qatn via twitter; AQAP official releases statements regarding obedience and support; unidentified tribes clash in Ma’rib; unidentified assailants launch rocket toward government official’s home in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Somali National Army general confirms new AMISOM and Somali offensive against al Shabaab; Kenyan security official claims that al Shabaab-affiliated militants operating along Kenya coast fled to Somalia and Tanzania; U.S. Department of State announces bilateral agreement with Somali Federal Government to reform Somali national security apparatus

Yemen Security Brief

  • Ansar al Sharia released seven statements and a series of pictures via Twitter on August 7, regarding recent clashes that occurred in Shabwah and Hadramawt the same day. The first statement claimed credit for an August 6 raid that occurred in Shabwah, in which three Yemeni soldiers were killed and two were wounded. Subsequent statements claimed that Ansar al Sharia took control of Government buildings in al Qatn, Hadramawt, and that clashes were ongoing near the Central Security Forces Military base, also in al Qatn. Photographs were also published, purportedly showing AQAP militants, including officials Harith bin Ghazi al Nadhari and Hamza al Zinjibari, moving freely about al Qatn. Later statements claimed that dozens of Yemeni Special Security forces were killed in the fighting, and that Ansar al Sharia withdrew thereafter.[1]
  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) official, Harith bin Nadhari, released two statements on August 6. The first statement praised the virtues of listening and obeying while the second praised supporters.[2]
  • Clashes between unidentified tribes broke out in Wadi Ubaida, Ma’rib on August 8. Specific numbers of casualties were not reported.[3]
  • Unidentified assailants launched a rocket toward the home of Civil Service Minister, Nabil Shamsan, on August 8 in Sana’a. No casualties were immediately reported.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali National Army (SNA) General Dahir Adan Elmi confirmed, on August 7, an impending African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and SNA joint offensive against al Shabaab in southern and central Somalia. Elmi explained that the objective of the offensive, introduced as Operation Indian Ocean by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on August 5, is to eradicate al Shabaab from its remaining strongholds within the next two months.[5]
  • A senior Kenyan security official, citing Kenyan intelligence reports, announced on August 7 that suspected al Shabaab-affiliated militants, responsible for a recent series of attacks in Lamu County, fled to Somalia and Tanzania. The official stated that the suspects were radicalized in Mombasa and trained in the Boni Forest of Kenya’s Coast Province.[6]
  • The U.S. State Department announced on August 7 that U.S. and Somali Federal Government representatives signed a bilateral agreement to reform the Somali national security apparatus. The agreement grants Somalia $1.9 million in support of police reform projects addressing the issues of police legitimacy and crime response.[7]

[1] “AQAP Claims Raids on Security Camps in Hadramawt, Ambush in Shabwa,” SITE, August 7, 2014. Available:
“Two new statements from Ansar al-Shariah in the Arabian Peninsula,” Jihadology, August 7, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“See Image ‘Jalal Belaid’ sipping a cup of tea in the heart of cotton and al Qaeda elements move freely and speak with citizens,” Sahafah, August 8, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Two new statements from Ansar al Shariah in the Arabian Peninsula,” Jihadology, August 7, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] Video: “Al –Malahim Media presents a new video message from al Qaidah in the Arabian Peninsula’s Harith bin Ghazi al Nazari [Muhammad al Mirshadi]: ‘The Five Advices #2: Listening and Obeying,’” Jihadology, August 7, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
Video: “Al Malahim Media presents a new video message from al Qaidah in the Arabian Peninsula’s Harith bin Ghazi al Nazari [Muhammad al Mirshadi]: ‘The Good Reminders #9 Virtues of the Supporters,’” Jihadology, August 7, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Dead and wounded in tribal clashes Mareb,” Aden al Ghad, August 8, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Shell landed near the home of the Minister of Civil Service in Sana’a,” Barakish, Aug 8, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Somali military chief announces new offensive against Al Shabaab,” SomaliCurrent, August 7, 2014. Available:
[6] “CIED looking for terror suspects in Tanzania,” The Star, August 8, 2014. Available:
“Mombasa police extend hunt for terror suspects,” Xinhua, August 8, 2014. Available:
[7] “Department of State and the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia Sign Agreement To Support Police Reform Efforts,” U.S. Department of State, August 7, 2014. Available:
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