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 robs military convoy in Ma’rib; Ansar al Sharia targets al Houthis in al Bayda; unidentified militants sabotage oil pipeline in Shabwah

Horn of Africa: Kenyan warplane crashes in Lower Jubba region; Al Shabaab releases video of a raid in Bay region and issues statements claiming attacks in Lower Jubba region and Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Ansar al Sharia militants attacked a convoy belonging the 14th Armored Brigade on December 5 near the Safir oil refinery in Ma’rib, east of Sana’a. Militants reportedly stole an estimated $20,000 from the convoy along with weapons and one vehicle. Ansar al Sharia later claimed credit for the attack.[1] 
  • Ansar al Sharia detonated a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) targeting an al Houthi convoy on December 4 in al Manaseh, Rada’a, Yemen. The IED killed seven al Houthi fighters.[2]
  • Unidentified militants blew up a section of an oil pipeline on December 4 in Jardan, Shabwah in southern Yemen. The explosion failed to disrupt the oil flow. It is unclear whether local tribes are responsible for the attack.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A Kenyan warplane crashed near Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on December 4 due to alleged mechanical failure, according to Kenyan officials. Al Shabaab claims to have shot down the plane with a missile, although militants have not clearly demonstrated the capability to take down an aircraft in the past.[4]
  • Al Shabaab’s media arm, al Kataib Foundation, released video footage on December 4 depicting al Shabaab militants capturing Deynunay Villlage, Bay region on December 3 and warning civilians about supporting the opposition. Separately, al Shabaab military spokesman Abdul Aziz Abu Musab claimed the group’s the December 4 attack on a Somali member of parliament. [5]

[1] “Al Qaeda robs money from military brigade in Ma’rib,” al Masdar, December 5, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
Ansar al Sharia Twitter account, December 5, 2014.
[2] “Seven al Houthis killed in IED targeting convoy in al Manaseh,” al Khabar Now, December 4, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
Ansar al Sharia Twitter account, December 4, 2014.
[3] “Explosion at oil pipeline in Jardan in Shabwah,” December 4, 2014 [Araibc]. Available:
[4] “Kenyan military plane crashes in Somalia, rebels say shot down,” Reuters, December 4, 2014. Available:
[5] “Shabaab Releases Video of Capturing Deynunay Village in Somalia’s Bay Region,” SITE Intel. Group, December 4, 2014. Available at SITE.
“Shabaab Claims Downing Kenyan Aircraft in Kismayo, Wounding Federal MP in Drive-by Shooting in Mogadishu,” SITE Intel. Group, December 4, 2014. Available at SITE.
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