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: al Houthi rebels and the Southern Movement reject Yemen’s federation plan; AQAP scholar releases video lecture; Yemeni government transfers AQAP militants to Saudi Arabia; power plant left without electricity after attack in Ma’rib

Horn of Africa: explosion kills eight al Shabaab militants in Hiraan region; explosion injures four in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Both the al Houthi movement and leaders of the Southern Movement rejected the Yemeni government’s six-region federation plan that was announced on February 10. The al Houthis disagreed with the make-up of the federations, which would place Hajjah, Sa’ada, and al Jawf governorates in three separate regions. Southern leaders claimed the plan went against agreements made during the National Dialogue Conference.[1]
  • An al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) religious figure, Harith bin Ghazi al Nadhari, released the fifth installment in a lectures series called, “With the Quran,” on February 8. The audio-video lecture is titled, “The Religion of Allah.”[2]
  • The Yemeni defense ministry announced on February 11 that it recently turned over 29 AQAP militants with Saudi citizenship to the Saudi security forces.[3]
  • An attack on the electrical power lines east of Sana’a in Ma’rib governorate left the Ma’rib power plant without service on February 11.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • An explosion killed eight al Shabaab militants and wounded five others in Bulo-Burde in Hiraan region. The explosion reportedly occurred when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) unintentionally detonated during its construction. Somali government officials indicated that the militants may have intended to use the bomb in an attack against AMISOM and Somali forces in nearby Beledweyne.[5]
  • A VBIED detonated in the Shibis district of Mogadishu on February 10, injuring at least four. The explosion occurred outside a hotel where the Mayor of Mogadishu, Mohamed Ahmed Nur Tarsan, was meeting with senior security officials. The blast came only a few hours after another car bomb targeted a regional official in Mogadishu. No group has yet claimed responsibility for either attack.[6
[1] “Yemen rebels oppose six-region federation,” AFP, February 11, 2014. Available:
“Yemen to become federation of six regions,” BBC, February 10, 2014. Available:
“Yemen Shiite rebels, southern group slam federation plan,” AFP, February 11, 2014. Available:
[2] “Al-Malahim Media Presents a New Video Message from al-Qaidah in the Arabian Peninsula’s Harith bin Ghazi al-Nazari [Muhammad al-Mirshadi]: ‘Da’wah Series: With the Qur’an #5: [And Say, Ours is] the Religion of God,’”, February 8, 2014. Available:
[3] “Yemen hands 29 Qaeda militants to Saudi Arabia,” Reuters, February 11, 2014. Available:
[4] “Attack on electrical lines in Ma'rib leave gas plant out of service,” al Masdar Online, February 11, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “8 Al-Shabaab fighters die after Somalia car bomb blast: witness,” Xinhua, February 11, 2014. Available:
[6] “Police: Car Bomb Explodes Outside Mogadishu Hotel,” Associated Press, February 10, 2014. Available:
“Somalia: Explosion rocks outside a hotel where Mogadishu Mayor had lunch,” RBC Radio, February 10, 2014. Available:
View Citations
Arrow down red
Mar '14
Feb '14
Jan '14