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.

Correction: A previous version of this Gulf of Aden Security Review incorrectly reported that a "possible AQAP fighter" attacked a mosque in Hadramawt. AQAP did not attack the mosque. Local sources told al Masdar Online on December 2 that family disputes likely motivated the gunman.[i]

Yemen: Houthi forces may be detaining Houthi ministers for violating the Houthi Code of Conduct; possible AQAP fighter attacks mosque during morning prayers

Somalia: Al Shabaab reappoints a former shadow governor in south-central Somalia; al Shabaab militants clear several towns in southern Somalia; al Shabaab and anti-al Shabaab forces clash in south-central Somalia; al Shabaab militants assassinate a Somali government official in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief:

Yemeni media outlet al Mashhad al Yemeni reported that the Houthi Security and Intelligence Service detained the Houthi deputy foreign minister, information minister, and Prisoner’s Committee chief for violating the Houthi code of conduct for civil servants.[i] The three officials tweeted support for the Saudi soccer team after the Saudi victory over Argentina in World Cup on November 22.[ii] The Houthi code of conduct mandates that Houthi civil servants must “adopt clear positions” against the “enemies of the country and the nation.”[iii]

Somalia Security Brief:

Al Shabaab reinstated Yusuf Isse Kabakutukade as shadow governor of Middle Shabelle region in Adan Yabaal, Middle Shabelle region, south-central Somalia, on December 1.[v] Al Shabaab removed Kabakutukade as shadow governor of Middle Shabelle in 2020.[vi] Adan Yabaal is one of the last two major towns held by al Shabaab in the Middle Shabelle region following recent anti-al Shabaab offensives.

Al Shabaab militants cleared local clan militia forces from Daynunay, Baidoa district, Bay region, southern Somalia, on December 1.[vii] Al Shabaab claimed the attack killed 17 militiamen and wounded 19 more.[viii] The Somali National Army (SNA) claimed that it repelled the attack.[ix] Al Shabaab also claimed to secure the town of Goofgudud Buurey, Baidoa district, Bay region, southern Somalia, on December 1 after local Ma’awisley forces withdrew.[x]

Al Shabaab militants launched a complex ambush attack on SNA forces near Nur Dugle, Adan Yabaal district, Middle Shabelle region, south-central Somalia, on December 1.[xi] The militants used at least one improvised explosive device and claimed to kill 14 SNA soldiers.[xii] The SNA claimed to have repelled the attack and killed 40 militants.[xiii] The Somali Federal Government (SFG) claimed that al Shabaab militants deliberately killed 10 civilians during the attack to deter future civilian uprisings against al Shabaab rule.[xiv]

Al Shabaab militants assassinated the SFG’s head of the Displaced Persons Charity in Dayniled district, Mogadishu, on November 30.[xv]

[i] Al Masdar Online, “Twenty dead and wounded in an armed attack on a mosque in Hadramawt governorate during Friday prayers,” December 2, 2022,

[i] Al Mashhad al Yemeni, “After congratulating the Saudi national team, the Houthi group releases ‘Al-Murtada’ and keeps ‘Al-Shami’ and ‘Al-Ezzi’, December 2, 2022,

[ii] Salman al Maqrami, Twitter, November 22, 2022,

[iii] Ali al Sakani, Twitter, November 12, 2022,  

[v] Asad Cabdullahi Mataan, “Al-Shabaab appointed Sheikh Kaba Kutukade to a long-term planning position,” Caasimada, December 1, 2022,

[vi] Harun Maruf, @harunmaruf, Twitter, December 2, 2022,

[vii] Harun Maruf, @harunmaruf, Twitter, December 1, 2022,

[viii] Calamada, ”Many soldiers were killed in battles,“ December 1, 2022,

[ix] Garowe Online, @GaroweOnline, Twitter, December 2, 2022,

[x] Somalimemo, ”The forces of Wilayada Islamic Bay have taken over Goofgudud Buurey area,” December 2, 2022,

[xi] Halbeeg, ”SNA repels attack by Al-Shabaab on its military base,” December 1, 2022,

[xii] Somalimemo, ”A battle that caused a lot of losses in the suburbs of Nur Dugle in the Middle East,” December 1, 2022,

[xiii] Shabelle Media Network, @ShabelleMedia, Twitter, December 1, 2022,

[xiv] Horseed Media, “MP Yasin Farey said that Al-Shabaab killed 10 civilians in Middle Shabelle,” December 2, 2022,

[xv] Jamaal Maxamed, ”Al-Shabaab killed an official in Dayniile administration,” Caasimada, December 1, 2022,

View Citations
Arrow down red
Dec '22
Nov '22