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 attacks al Houthi militants in Rada’a, central Yemen; IED detonates at al Houthi house in Dhamar

Horn of Africa: Somalia announces the capture of senior al Shabaab operative; unidentified gunmen assassinate university director in Mogadishu; Jubbaland security forces arrest 13 suspected al Shabaab militants in Lower Jubba region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Ansar al Sharia gunmen and tribal affiliates attacked an al Houthi checkpoint east of Rada’a in al Bayda, central Yemen on December 9. Ansar al Sharia was reportedly able to take control of the al Houthi checkpoint, resulting in an unknown number of casualties.[1] 
  • Unidentified militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting an al Houthi member’s house in Dhamar, south of Sana’a on December 10, resulting in no casualties. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) often uses IEDs to target al Houthis.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somalia’s National Security and Intelligence Agency (NISA) announced on December 9 that senior al Shabaab operative Hassan Haji Hanafi is in the custody of the Somali Federal Government. Hanafi was reportedly captured on August 3 in Nairobi, prompting Somali officials to request his extradition.[3]
  • Unidentified gunmen shot and killed the director of Simad University in Mogadishu on December 10. No group claimed responsibility for the killing, although al Shabaab militants frequently carry out targeted killings in Mogadishu.[4] 
  • Jubbaland security forces conducted a security operation targeting al Shabaab militants in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on December 10, arresting 13 suspected militants.[5] 

[1] “Al Qaeda attacks checkpoint for Ansar Allah in al Baydha,” Barakish, December 10, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Al Qaeda attacks checkpoint of Ansar Allah in al Baydha, central Yemen,” December 10, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “IED targeting al Houthi house in Dhamar and no deaths,” al Masdar, December 10, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Al-Shabaab operative Hanafi in Somali custody,” Sabahi, December 9, 2014. Available:
“NISA Parades Alshabaab Journalist Hassan Hanafi,” Dalsan Radio, December 9, 2014. Available:
[4] “Breaking News: armed men kill senior official of Simad University in Mogadishu,” Goobjoog, December 10, 2014. Available:
“University lecturer killed shot dead in Mogadishu,” Bar Kulan, December 12, 2014. Available:
[5] “Interim Juba Administration arrests over 10 Suspects in Kismayo,” Goobjoog, December 10, 2014. Available:
View Citations
Arrow down red
Jan '15
Dec '14
Nov '14