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: Ma’rib tribes attack military convoy traveling through province; Ansar al Sharia and affiliated tribes attack al Houthis in al Bayda; Ansar al Sharia detonates IED targeting military in Hadramawt

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants attack government forces in Bay region and Kenya’s Coast Province; suspected al Shabaab militants target civilians with car bomb in Mogadishu; US security officials confirm death of al Shabaab intelligence chief during US airstrike

Yemen Security Brief

  • Ma’rib tribal militias attacked a military convoy in al Nakhla, Ma’rib on January 1, leading to an estimated 15 deaths. Ma’rib tribes reportedly attempted to stop the military convoy from travelling through an al Houthi-controlled area due to fears that al Houthis would seize arms from the convoy.[1]
  • Ansar al Sharia militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting al Houthis in Qayfa, al Bayda on January 2, killing four. The explosion followed fighting in Qayfa between al Houthis and tribes backed by Ansar al Sharia that began on January 1.[2]
  • Ansar al Sharia detonated an IED targeting an army patrol outside of Sayun, Hadramawt on January 1, killing an estimated four soldiers. Ansar al Sharia later claimed credit for the attack.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants attacked a Somali National Army (SNA) base in Baidoa, Bay region on January 2, resulting in the deaths of seven militants and at least seven government soldiers. Separately, suspected al Shabaab militants ambushed a Kenyan military vehicle in Lamu in Kenya’s Coast Province on January 1, wounding three soldiers.[4]
  • Suspected al Shabaab militants planted a car bomb near the KM4 district of Mogadishu, killing one and wounding two on January 2.[5]
  • Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby confirmed that Tahliil Abdishakur, the chief of al Shabaab’s intelligence and special operations unit Amniyat, was killed during a December 29 US airstrike.[6]

[1] “Yemen army, tribesmen clash in Maarib; casualties reported,” World Bulletin, January 2, 2015. Available:
“New massacre of soldiers in Ma’rib, 15 killed and 12 injured by militants,” Barakish, January 2, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Tribes of Ma’rib give details on what happened with army. Military force was on its way for the al Houthis and more material than for four brigades,” Ma’rib Press, January 1, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Killed and injured in explosion and clashes in Qayfa, Rada’a,” Barakish, January 2, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Battles between al Houthis and tribal militants in al Bayda,” Libya Akhbar, January 1, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Four soldiers injured in IED in Hadramawt,” Barakish, January 1, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[4]“Al Shabaab attack on somali army base kills five,” Dalsan Radio, January 2, 2015. Available:  
“Feisal Omar and Abdi Sheikh, “At least seven killed in al Shabaab attack at Somali military base,” Reuters, January 2, 2015. Available:
“Unknown gunmen attack a truck carrying Kenyan soldiers near the border with Somalia,” Goobjoog, January 2, 2015. Available:
“Three Kenyan soldiers wounded in gun attack near Somali border,” Reuters, January 1, 2015. Available:
[5] “Breaking News: A Car bomb in Mogadishu kills one person and two others wounded,” Goobjoog, January 2, 2015. Available:
[6] David Alexander, “U.S. confirms drone strike killed al Shabaab leader in Somalia,” Reuters, December 31, 2014. Available:
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