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: Ma’rib tribes form coalition to combat al Houthis in Ma’rib; Ansar al Sharia targets al Houthis with IED in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants execute 36 non-Muslim workers in Kenya’s North Eastern Province; suspected al Shabaab militants target nightclub in Kenya’s North Eastern Province; AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) forces seize territory from al Shabaab in Middle Shabelle region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Ma’rib tribes gathered in eastern Ma’rib on December 2 and formed a tribal coalition to combat the presence of al Houthis in the governorate. The coalition stated that it will take any action to protect Ma’rib lands from further al Houthi incursion. Both the al Houthis and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) moved fighters into Ma’rib the week of November 17. [1]
  • Ansar al Sharia detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) on December 1 at the home of an al Houthi member Mohammed Sam al Marouni in al Jiraf in northern Sana’a. Ansar al Sharia later claimed credit for the attack. [2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants killed 36 workers at a quarry in Mandera in Kenya’s North Eastern Province on December 2. Militants only killed non-Muslims after separating them from Muslim workers. Al Shabaab spokesperson Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage claimed that the group’s attack was in response to the presence of Kenyan African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops in Somalia and recent Kenyan airstrikes targeting al Shabaab in Somalia. [3]
  • Suspected al Shabaab militants attacked a nightclub with gunfire and grenades in Wajir in Kenya’s North Eastern Province on December 1, killing one and wounding a dozen. Separately, al Shabaab militants publicly executed a woman by gunfire in Jilib in Middle Jubba region, Somalia on December 2. [4]
  • SNA and AMISOM troops seized El Deer, Middle Shabelle region from al Shabaab militants on December 2, resulting in an unknown number of casualties. [5]

[2] “IED targets house of al Houthi in Sana’a,” Yemen Akhbar, December 2, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Explosion in al Ramah in capital,” Barakish, December 2, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
AQAP Twitter statement, December 2, 2014.
[3] Tom Odula, “Kenya Security Shakeup After Extremist Attacks,” Associated Press, December 2, 2014. Available:
Edmund Blair and Edith Honan, “Kenyan president changes security officials after al Shabaab kill 36,” Reuters, December 2, 2014. Available:
[4]“Blasts, gunfire in North Kenta kill one and wound others,” Reuters, December 1, 2014. Available:
Mohamed Sheikh Nor, “Al-Shabaab Militants in Somalia Execute Woman Accused of Spying,” December 2, 2014. Available:
[5]“SNA and AMISOM seize El-deer locality in Middle Shabelle region,” Goobjoog News, December 2, 2014. Available:
“Breaking News: SNA & AMISOM forces seize El-Deer,” Mustaqbal Radio, December 2, 2014. Available:
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