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 claims credit for Charlie Hebdo Paris attack; IED dismantled in Dhamar; Ansar al Sharia militants assassinate local leader in Abyan; Ansar al Sharia militants ambush military convoy

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants attack Kenyan AMISOM convoy in Kenya’s Coast Province, killing one soldier

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed credit on January 14 for the January 7 attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France. A video featuring AQAP official Nasser bin Ali al Ansi credited Said and Cherif Kouachi for executing the attack but stated that the operation of Amedy Coulibaly was unrelated.[1]
  • Yemeni Security Forces dismantled an improvised explosive device (IED) planted near a cultural center in Dhamar city, Dhamar on January 14. Authorities do not know who planted to bomb, but Ansar al Sharia recently detonated an IED in the same area last week.[2] 
  • Suspected Ansar al Sharia militants ambushed a military convoy on January 14 in Belhaf, Shabwah. The attack killed three soldiers and wounded others.[3]
  • Security Forces in Zinjibar, Abyan arrested a six-member Ansar al Sharia cell on January 14. Officials suspect that the militants are responsible for the assassination of an Abyan Popular Committee leader on January 13.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Suspected al Shabaab militants ambushed a convoy of Kenyan African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces on January 14 in Lamu, Kenya’s Coast Province near the Somali border. Five militants and one soldier were killed in the ensuing firefight.[5]

[1] “AQAP claims responsibility for Charlie Hebdo attack,” SITE, January 14, 2015.  Available:
“Al Qaeda in Yemen claims responsibility for attack on France’s Charlie Hebdo,” Gulf News, January 14, 2015.  Available:
[2] “IED planted next to cultural center by unknown militants dismantled in Dhamar,” September 26, January 14, 2015 [Arabic].  Available:
“IED dismantled next to cultural center in Dhamar,” Barakish, January 14, 2015 [Arabic].  Available:
[3]“Shabwa… Three killed in armed assault on military truck in Balahaf,” al Khabar al Yom, January 14, 2015 [Arabic].  Available:
[4] “Abyan committee leader assassinated by 4 gunmen on motorcylces in Zanjibar,” al Khabar al Yom, January 14, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“6 member terrorist cell captured in Abyan,” Saba, January 14, 2015.  Available:
[5] “6 dead in Kenya as troops battle Somali gunmen,” Capital News, January 14, 2015. Available:
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