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: Al Houthi leader demands al Houthis be put in charge of targeting corruption; AQAP detonate two VBIEDs in al Bayda targeting al Houthis; al Houthis occupy Ministry of Defense in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Suspected al Shabaab militants detonate IED targeting a Somali military convoy in Lower Shabelle region; Kenyan authorities shut down NGOs with links to al Shabaab; Somali National Army (SNA) forces seize territory from regional militants in Galgudud region


  • Al Houthi leader Abdul Malik al Houthi gave a televised speech on December 15 accusing the Yemeni government of corruption and stating that the al Houthis did not complete their revolution. Abdul Malik further demanded that al Houthis be put in charge of auditing and that popular committees be integrated into Yemen’s security forces. The speech comes two days after the al Houthis took over Arhab district.[1]
  • Suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants detonated two vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED) targeting an al Houthi checkpoint in Rada’a city, al Bayda on December 16, killing an estimated 25 al Houthis. A school bus passed by at the same time resulting in the deaths of 15 students. A second VBIED detonated at a house belonging to an al Houthi member, killing ten.[2]
  • Al Houthi militants occupied the Ministry of Defense in the capital Sana’a on December 16 and prevented the Minister of Defense Mahmoud al Subaihi from entering. The al Houthis opposed the recent appointment of a new Army Chief of Staff and also believe al Subahi has tried to push al Houthis out of government ministries.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Suspected al Shabaab militants detonated a roadside IED targeting a Somali military convoy in Barawe, Lower Shabelle region on December 16, wounding at least five people.[4]
  • Kenyan authorities shut down 510 non-governmental organizations throughout the country, 15 of which were accused of holding directed ties to al Shabaab, on December 16. The government terminated the organizations and revoked the corresponding work permits of foreign employees.[5]
  • Somali National Army (SNA) forces seized the town of Guriel, Galgudud region from the regional militant group Ahlu Suna Wal Jama'a on December 15. The seizure followed clashes on December 13 in the area that resulted in the death of five SNA soldiers.[6]

[1] Ansar Allah via Facebook, December 15, 2014.
Mohammed Albasha via Twitter, December 15, 2014. Available:
[2] “Two car bombs explode in central Yemen killing 25,” Reuters, December 16, 2014. Available:
“2 car bombs kill 15 students, 10 rebels in Yemen,” ABC, December 16, 2014. Available:
[3] “Al Houthis take control of Ministry of Defense buildings after being driven out of ministry by defense minister,” al Masdar, December 16, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Al Houthis block Ministry of Defense and prevent defense minister and chief of staff from entering,” Barakish, December 16, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Land mine attack wound five people in Barawe,” Goobjoog, December 16, 2014. Available:
[5] “Kenya ‘de-registers’ NGOs in anti-terror clampdown,” BBC, December 16, 2014. Available:
[6]“Army seizes city in central Somalia,” Turkish Press, December 15, 2014. Available:
“Somalia: Central state formation sparks deadly clashes,” Garowe Online, December 15, 2014. Available:
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