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: Gunmen attack home of Special Security Forces commander in Aden; Ansar al Sharia militants detonate IED in Hadramawt; al Houthi militants clash with Ansar al Sharia and tribesmen in al Bayda

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab attacks popular hotel in Mogadishu, killing 10

Yemen Security Brief

  • Unidentified militants attacked the home of Abdul Hafiz al Saqqaf, commander of the Special Security Forces in Aden (SSF), in Aden city on February 20. Soldiers defending al Saqqaf successfully repelled the assault. Three people died in the fighting.[1]
  • Ansar al Sharia militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) on a road between Shibam and Sayun in Hadramawt on February 20. The explosion targeted the convoy of the commander of the first military district in Yemen. The commander survived the attack.[2]
  • Ansar al Sharia militants and local tribesmen attacked al Houthi forces in Qayfa, al Bayda on February 19. There are no casualty reports available from the engagement.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab attacked a Mogadishu hotel on February 20. Al Shabaab detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) outside the hotel and then stormed the building with a suicide bomber and gunmen. The hotel is popular among Somali officials. The attack killed at least 10 and wounded more than 20. Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.[4]

[1] “Raid on home of commander of special security forces,” al Masdar, February 20, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Gunmen attack home of commander of special security forces, one soldier dies,” al Masdar, February 20, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Commander of first military district survives assassination attempt in Hadramawt,” al Masdar, February 20, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Yemeni military commander survives assassination in Sayun,” 26sep, February 20, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Violent fighting between al Houthis and al Qaeda and tribesmen in Rada’a,” al Masdar, February 20, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] Abdi Sheikh and Feisal Omar, “UPDATE 2-Suicide attack targets Somali officials in hotel, kills 10 people,” Reuters, February 20. Available:
“Somalia: al-Shabaab Suicide attack on Mogadishu hotel leaves 10 dead,” Horseed Media, February 20. Available:
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