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: Anti-al Houthi media report lockdown in Sana’a; gunmen kill security official in Taiz

Horn of Africa: American al Shabaab official charged with new crimes in US court; al Shabaab claims bombing and ambush in Lower Shabelle region

Yemen Security Brief

Anti-al Houthi media sources reported that the al Houthi movement sent military reinforcements to the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, on December 1 in anticipation of protests. The al Houthis also imposed new security measures in the city such as a ban on public gatherings, according to these sources. The lockdown is not confirmed.[1]

Unidentified gunmen killed the commander of the Yemeni 35th Armored Brigade, Colonel Adnan al Hamadi, in Taiz governorate in southwestern Yemen on December 2.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) charged US citizen and al Shabaab member Jehad Marwan Mostafa with additional crimes on December 2. The FBI stated that Mostafa, who is already subject to a 2009 indictment and is on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List, is the highest-ranking US citizen fighting overseas with a terrorist organization. The FBI also believes that Mostafa leads al Shabaab’s explosives department.[3]

Al Shabaab claimed to detonate an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting presidential palace guards of the South West State administration in Barawe town in Lower Shabelle region in southern Somalia on December 1. Al Shabaab separately claimed to ambush Somali National Army troops near Barire town in Lower Shabelle on December 1.[4]

Visit our Yemen and Somalia storystreams.

[1] “Houthi fears of a new uprising in Sana’a,” 7adramout, December 3, 2019,

[2] “The killing of Adnan al Hammadi opens the door of speculation about the fate of Taiz,” Yemen Akhbar, December 3, 2019,

[3] “Jehad Serwan Mostafa,” Federal Bureau of Investigation, December 2, 2019,; Holcombe, Madeline, “FBI offers $5 million to find US citizen on Most Wanted Terrorist List,” CNN, December 3, 2019,

[4] “Shabaab Claims Bomb Blast on Presidential Palace Guards for South West State of Somalia,” SITE Intelligence Group, December 2, 2019, English translation available by subscription at

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