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 detonates two SVBIEDs targeting al Houthis in al Hudaydah; unidentified assailants attack Special Security Forces in Aden; AQAP detonate IED targeting military in Hadramawt

Horn of Africa: Kenyan president signs anti-terror bill into law; Finnish authorities sentence four men to jail for financing al Shabaab


  • Ansar al Sharia militants detonated two suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (SVBIED) targeting an al Houthi popular committee in al Hudaydah on Yemen’s western coast on December 18, killing seven. Three other suicide bombers were killed before detonating. A separate improvised explosive device (IED) the same day killed two al Houthis in Arhab, northeastern Sana’a. Both al Hudaydah and Arhab were recently overtaken by al Houthis.[1] 
  • Unidentified militants attacked the Special Security Forces Base in Aden on December 18. The gunmen threw an unknown explosive device at the base and exchanged fire with soldiers. There have been ongoing protests throughout the week in Aden due to the December 14 killing of a Southern Movement leader by security forces.[2]
  • Suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants detonated an IED targeting a military patrol in Sayun, Hadramawt, eastern Yemen on December 19, killing two soldiers. The explosion marks the third AQAP IED attack in the Sayun area in three days.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta signed an anti-terror bill on December 19, enhancing the power of Kenyan authorities to carry out counter-terrorism operations. Kenyan Parliament passed the bill on December 18 after considerable dissent from members of parliament and the public.[4]
  • Finnish authorities sentenced four men to jail on December 19 for allegedly sending $4,800 to al Shabaab. Three of the men will serve a five month sentence, while another will serve seven months.[5]  

[1] “Suicide bombers killed at least seven in Yemen port,” Reuters, December 18, 2014. Available:
“Four terrorists killed while attacking popular committees location in Hodeidah,” Saba, December 18, 2014. Available:
“Al Houthis killed in explosion targeting patrol southwest Arhab,” al Masdar, December 18,  2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Unknown shooting at twentieth military camp in Crater, Aden, second incident in two days,” Yemen Akhbar, December 19, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Violent explosion targeting special forces base in Aden,” Barakish, December 19, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Violent explosion targeting security base in Aden,” Erem News, December 19, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Two soldiers killed and another injured in explosion targeting military patrol in Sayun,” Barakish, December 19, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Kenyan security law: President Uhuru Kenyatta signs bill,” BBC, December 19, 2014. Available:
[5] “Finland Sentence Four For Finanicng Somalia’s Shebab,” AFP, December 19, 2014. Available:
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