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: 29 prisoners escape from Sana’a prison during militant attack; Yemeni police find and clear IEDs in Aden and Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Somali government official identifies suspected al Shabaab militants in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Militants conducted a complex attack targeting Sana’a’s Central Prison on February 13, during which 29 prisoners escaped. Nineteen of them are convicted al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants. A vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) exploded outside the gate and was followed by a gun battle between security guards and the militants. Seven guards and three militants died in the fighting. The blast from the explosion punched a hole through the prison wall, out of which the prisoners were able to escape.[1]
  • Yemeni police found and cleared two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Aden governorate and Sana’a city on February 13. Police discovered the first next to the Political Security Organization (PSO) building in Aden governorate and the second near a gas station in a neighborhood in south Sana’a.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Former Somali Defense Minister and member of the Somali Federal Government General Yusuf Mohamed Siad, also known as Indha Adde, identified three suspected al Shabaab militants on February 14. General Siad stated the individuals, Ali Dhere, Khalif Adale, and Abdulle Halane, are top al Shabaab militants operating in Mogadishu. General Siad also indicated that Heliwa district in the city features a strong al Shabaab presence.[3]     

[1] “Militants attack Yemen prison in Sanaa, killing 7; 29 escape, mostly al-Qaida militants,” Associated Press, February 13, 2014. Available:
“Gunmen launch deadly attack on Yemeni prison,” BBC, February 13, 2014. Available:
“Attack on prison in Yemeni capital kills 11,” Reuters, February 14, 2014. Available:
“29 Inmates, Including 19 Terrorists Escape Central Prison in Sana’a,” SABA News Agency, February 14, 2014. Available:
“Al-Qaeda Inmates Freed in Yemen Jail Attack,” al Jazeera English, February 14, 2014. Available:
[2] “IED disrupted next to PSO building in Aden,” al Watanye, February 13, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Eyewitnesses: Security forces disrupt IED place in garbage dump in southern Sana'a neighborhood,” al Masdar Online, February 13, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Genaeral Inda Addee: I will kill Alshabab members without taking them to court,” Shabelle News, February 14, 2014. Available:
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