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 praises Charlie Hebdo attack; al Houthi medical official assassinated in Sana’a; tribal forces clash with al Houthi militants near Rada’a, al Bayda

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab targets security forces with IED in Lower Jubba region; unknown assailants throw IED at police station in Bari region; Somali Army forces fight each other in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) religious official Harith bin Nadhari praised the January 7 attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in a January 9 audio statement. An AQAP-linked Twitter account stated that AQAP directed the attack, and an anonymous AQAP member later told journalists that AQAP directed the attack. AQAP, however, has not released any official claim of credit for the attacks.[1]
  • Suspected Ansar al Sharia militants assassinated an al Houthi medical official in the capital Sana’a.  The unidentified militants performed the attack from a motorcycle, a method consistent with past Ansar al Sharia assassinations.[2]
  • An IED wounded 5 Yemini soldiers in Sayun, Hadramawt on January 11.  While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, officials believe that Ansar al Sharia detonated the explosive.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants detonated an IED targeting Somali and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on January 10. Three soldiers were killed in the attack and two civilians were killed in the ensuing gunfire.[4]
  • Unknown assailants threw two hand grenades at a police station in the port town of Boosaaso, Bari region on January 11. At least four people were injured in the explosion. No group has yet to claim responsibility for the attack.[5]
  • Somali Army forces fought each other at Tarabunka junction, Mogadishu on January 11. The firefight started because a Somali Army official was fired but refused to give up his position. Casualty numbers from the incident are not yet known.[6]

[1] “AQAP official speaks on Charlie Hebdo attacks, threatens France,” SITE, January 9, 2015.  Available:
“AQAP-linked jihadist claims group directed Charlie Hebdo attack,” SITE, January 9, 2015.  Available:
“Al Qaeda claims Charlie Hebdo massacre,” ABC News, January 9 2015.  Available:
[2] “Yeminis stage protest against the President, Shi’ite al Houthis,” Yemen Fox, January 10, 2015.  Available:
“Dr. al Shami assassinated in Sana’a,” Saba, January 10, 2015.  Available:
[4] “Blast Hits Troop Convoy in Somalia’s Kismayo,” Reuters, January 11, 2015. Available:
[5] “Somalia: Gunmen Attack Bossaso Central Police Station,” Raxanreeb, January 11, 2015. Available:
“Soldier Wounded in Blast in Northern Somalia,” Shabelle, January 11, 2015. Available:
[6] “Somalia Army Clashed in Mogadishu,”Shabelle, January 11, 2015. Available:
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