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: AQAP releases new video; Saudi-led coalition conducts airstrike; tensions mount between STC and Yemeni Army; AQAP IED targets Houthis

Somalia: Al Shabaab militants launch coordinated attacks on security forces and administration officials in Mogadishu; Haramcad forces arrest and torture a group of journalists covering the aftermath of al Shabaab’s attack

Yemen Security Brief

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) presented itself as Yemen’s true liberators in a video released on February 14. [i] The video detailed AQAP activities against the Houthis since 2014. AQAP condemned the Saudi-led coalition for preventing Yemenis from achieving “independence” at the “grassroots level.” 

The Saudi-led coalition conducted 17 airstrikes targeting Houthi positions in southern Ma’rib governorate, central Yemen, and in Hajjah governorate, northwest Yemen, on February 16. Coalition sources reported that the strikes destroyed 15 military vehicles and killed an unspecified number of Houthi fighters.[ii]

Yemeni Army troops fired on pro-Southern Transitional Council (STC) protesters in Seiyun, Hadramawt governorate, northeast Yemen.[iii] High-level officials within the STC publicly called for the removal of Yemeni Army troops from Hadramawt government on February 16. [iv] 

AQAP detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting Houthi fighters in Rasad district, Abyan governorate, southern Yemen, on February 11.[v]

Somalia Security Brief

Al Shabaab militants detonated two suicide vehicle-borne IEDs (SVBIEDs) in simultaneous attacks targeting a police station in Kahda district and a government official in Yaqshid district, Mogadishu, on February 16. Al Shabaab militants captured the Kahda police station in a following raid and held it for at least one hour before retreating after security forces arrived. Al Shabaab seized two vehicles.[vi] The Yaqshid attack attempted to assassinate Hilwa’s deputy district commissioner Ahmed Nur Aderow in Darusalaam neighborhood. Officials claim the explosion killed 2 young girls.[vii] Al Shabaab attacked four police and military bases in Daynile district, Hodan district, Heliwa district, and Elasha Biyaha in the Mogadishu outskirts to prevent reinforcements from reaching the attack sites.[viii]

Somali special Haramcad police forces arrested and tortured a group of journalists in Kahda district, Mogadishu, on February 16.[ix] The journalists were covering the aftermath of al Shabaab’s attack on the Kahda police station. The police spokesperson apologized and said security forces detained the involved officers. Somali officials have not released any casualty numbers on the Kahda attack.

[i] SITE Intel Group, “AQAP Video Traces Jihadi Response to Houthi Takeover of Yemen,” February 14, 2022, available by subscription at  

[ii] Al Arabiya, “Coalition: 15 vehicles destroyd and casualties in 17 operations against the ‘Houthi’ in Marib and Hajjah,” February 16, 2022,

[iii] Al Omana, “Report: the second Hadrami uprising from the spark to the uprising,” February 14, 2022,

[iv] Hadramawt, “The STC Secretariat affirms its full support for the demands of the people of Hadramawt in managing the affairs of their governorate,” February 16, 2022,; and Hadramawt, “Mansour Saleh: Brotherhood militias have transformed their areas of control into an environment conducive to disruption and terrorism,” February 16, 2022

[v] Evan Kohlmann, Twitter, February 16, 2022,

[vi] Radio Risaala, “Police Detail Casualties from Last Nights’ Bombings & Attacks”, February 16, 2022,; Halbeeg, “Two al Shabaab Attacks in Mogadishu Foiled, Minister”, February 16, 2022,

[vii] Goobjoog News,” Two Killed, 16 Injured in Mogadishu Terror Attack-Police Spokesman”, February 16, 2022,; Halbeeg, “Two al Shabaab Attacks in Mogadishu Foiled, Minister”, February 16, 2022,

[viii] Abdirisak Tuuryare, “Two Children Dead as Blasts Hit Somali Capital Mogadishu”, Mareeg News, February 16, 2022,

[ix] Yusuf Abdi Shire, Twitter, February 16, 2022,; Harun Maruf, Twitter, February 16, 2022,

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