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: 200 AQAP militants launch coordinated attack in al Bayda; AQAP militants kill Yemeni intelligence officer in Aden; al Hirak gunmen attack a bank in Dhaleh; sources claim an American drone crashes in al Mahrah                                                                  

Horn of Africa: Suspected al Shabaab militants arrested in Somalia’s Bay region; gunmen kidnap World Health Organization doctor in Bakool region; local militias disarmed in Galgudud region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Roughly 200 fighters from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) launched simultaneous attacks on three separate military installations, including at least one checkpoint and a military camp, near Rada’a district in al Bayda governorate on January 16. The coordinated assault, which included an attempted suicide bombing, killed at least six Yemeni soldiers, five militants, and wounded a number of others.[1]
  • Suspected AQAP militants riding a motorcycle shot and killed a Yemeni intelligence officer near his house in Aden on January 16.[2]
  • Southern Movement gunmen attacked a government bank in downtown Dhaleh, located in Dhaleh governorate, on January 16. The attack sparked clashes with security forces that killed a retired army officer and a civilian.[3]
  • Sources in Yemen claim a suspected American drone crashed in the Hat district of al Mahrah governorate bordering Oman on January 16. The type of the aircraft remains unknown, as does the cause of the crash.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • An unidentified number of individuals believed to be members of al Shabaab were apprehended during a government security sweep in the Bay region of Somalia. The arrests occurred as a response to al Shabaab’s suspected involvement in the deaths of two government soldiers near Baidoa in Bay region.[5]
  • A World Health Organization (WHO) doctor was kidnapped from his home in Wajid in Bakool region by gunmen suspected of belonging to al Shabaab.  The doctor, Muhadin Taruri, marks the second WHO employee believed to have been abducted by al Shabaab.  Although the group has yet to publicly claim the kidnappings, an al Shabaab spokesperson warned Somali citizens against working for international organizations on January 13.[6]
  • Galgudud regional administration and a local coalition succeeded in disarming two clan militias.  The mayor of Dhusamareb, capital of Galgudud region, reports that over one hundred firearms were confiscated in the operation.[7]


[1] “Coordinated Attacks by AQAP on Army Sites in Central Yemen leave 11 killed including 6 Soldiers,” al Masdar Online, January 16, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Army: Qaeda attacks kill 10 soldiers in Yemen,” AFP, January 16, 2014. Available:
[2] “Ranking Officer from the Yemeni Intelligence Assassinated by Bullets of Gunmen in South Yemen,” al Masdar Online, January 16, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Two killed including a Retired Officer in Clashes between Security Forces and Gunmen in Downtown Dhaleh,” al Masdar Online, January 16, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Local Sources: American Drone Crashes in al Mahrah and the Army Cordons off the Area,” al Masdar Online, January 16, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] Hassan Ali, “Alshabab abduct WHO doctor,” Dalsan Radio, January 15, 2014. Available:
“Somalia: Al Shabaab warn Mogadishu residents ‘not to work for int’l agencies,’” Garowe Online, January 13, 2014. Available:
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