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 militants kill prominent sheikh in Hadramawt; Southern Movement militants attack Yemeni soldiers in Hadramawt; Yemeni warplanes bomb AQAP sites in Abyan

Horn of Africa: al Shabaab militants fire mortar strikes targeting AMISOM and Somali government bases in Mogadishu; al Shabaab militants attack Ethiopian forces in Gedo region; Interim Jubba Administration names new security chief

Yemen Security Brief

  • Suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants shot and killed Ali Bawazir, a prominent Salafist sheikh who frequently criticized AQAP, in Ghayl Ba Wazir district in Hadramawt governorate on February 19.[1]
  • Southern Movement militants attacked a military checkpoint guarding a liquefied natural gas installation in Rawdah district in Hadramawt governorate on February 20, injuring six soldiers.[2]
  • Yemeni warplanes bombed two AQAP sites in Abyan governorate on February 19. No casualties were reported.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants fired mortar strikes at three AMISOM and Somali government bases in the Heliwa district of Mogadishu on February 19. The strikes killed approximately six people, mostly civilian youths, and wounded more. The attack prompted district officials to initiate evacuation procedures in Heliwa.[4]
  • Al Shabaab militants ambushed an Ethiopian AMISOM convoy near the Luq district in Gedo region. Ethiopian forces countered and exchanged heavy gunfire with the al Shabaab militants. The outcome of the confrontation and related casualties remain unclear.[5]
  • The Interim Jubba Administration named Ahmed Ibrahim the new leader of Jubba security forces on February 19 after the former security chief, Isse Kamboni, was killed on February 17. Jubba security forces identified Kamboni’s suspected killer as Abdirrahman Fathi Abdullahi Dheg, a relative and bodyguard of Kamboni who reportedly maintained links to al Shabaab’s Amniyat intelligence unit.[6]   

[1] “Yemen militants kill ultraconservative Islamist,” Gulf News, February 20, 2014. Available:
“Islamist is killed in eastern Hadhramawt,” Yemen Post, February 20, 2014.  Available:
[2] “Injuries in attack on guards around LNG in Shabwah,” al Watanye, February 20, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Warplanes bomb sites in Abyan believed to contain AQAP,” al Masdar Online, February 19, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Brutal conflicts last night in Mogadishu’s Heliwaa district,” Shabelle News, February 20, 2014. Available:
“Reports of renewed fighting in Heliwaa,” Shabelle News, February 20, 2014. Available:
[5] “Al-Shabaab ambushes Ethiopian troops in Gedo,” Shabelle News, February 20, 2014. Available:
[6] IJA names new security chief, identifies suspected killer of Issa Kamboni,” Sabahi Online, February 19, 2014. Available:
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