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: Parliament gives vote of confidence in newly-appointed cabinet; Fifth Military District head survives assassination attempt; AQAP detonates targeting military patrol in Shibam, eastern Yemen

Horn of Africa: Somali National Army (SNA) and AMISOM forces arrest suspected al Shabaab militants in Bay region; FBI sentences US citizen for financing al Shabaab


  • The Yemeni Parliament gave a vote of confidence in the government of newly-appointed Prime Minister Khalid Bahah on December 18. A previous vote of confidence failed due to the refusal of factions of the General People’s Congress (GPC) still loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh to vote for confidence. The GPC eventually agreed to vote confidence in the government after Prime Minister Bahah promised that his government will not enforce U.N. sanctions on former President Saleh.[1]
  • Unidentified assailants attempted to assassinate the director of the Fifth Military District Amid Khalid Khalil on December 18 in al Hudaydah on Yemen’s western coast.  Khalil is reportedly opposed to al Houthi control over al Hudaydah port and city.[2]
  • Suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants detonated a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a military patrol in Shibam, Hadramawt in eastern Yemen on December 18. AQAP carried out a similar attack the day before in the same area.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali National Army (SNA) and Ethiopian African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces reportedly arrested a large number of suspected al Shabaab militants during a security operation in Goof Guduud, Bay region on December 18. Separately, Somali security forces launched security operations to disrupt illegal roadblocks near Afgoi, Lower Shabelle region on December 18.[4] 
  • The FBI sentenced U.S. citizen Gufran Ahmed Kauser Mohammed to 15 years on December 17 for financing al Shabaab by wiring money to a recruiter for the group. Mohammed also pled guilty to conspiring to provide money to recruit militants for al Qaeda, al Qaeda in Iraq, and Jabhat al Nusra.[5]

[1] “Parliament gives confidence to new government,” Saba, December 18, 2014. Available:
“Government of Khalid Bahah rejects sanctions on President Saleh,” Barakish, December 18, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Yemeni PM Bahah’s cabinet wins parliamentary approval,” Reuters, December 18, 2014. Available:
[2] “Head of fifth military district survives assassination attempt by unknown assailants,” al Masdar, December 18, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Head of fifth military district survives assassination attempt,” al Khabar Now, December 18, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “IED near military patrol in Shibam, Hadramawt,” Aden al Ghad, December 18, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Security Forces in Bay Arrest Alshabaab Suspects at Goof Gaduud,” Dalsan Radio, December 18, 2014. Available:
“Government forces launch security operations in the road connecting lower Shabelle towns,” Goobjoog, December 18, 2014. Available:
[5] “Defendant Sentenced for Conspiring to Provide Material Support to Foreign Terrorist Organizations,” Federal Bureau of Investigation, December 17, 2014. Available:
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