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: U.S. airstrike kills two suspected AQAP militants in Wadi Hadramawt; coalition helicopter flies over port in Shabwah; AQAP seizes home of former governor of Hadramawt

Horn of Africa: Kenyan police arrest primary school teachers for radicalizing students in Isiolo County, Kenya; prominent al Shabaab militant killed in shootout with Kenyan police in Malindi, Kilifi County, Kenya; KDF airstrike kills al Shabaab commander responsible for 15 JAN base attack in Gedo region, Somalia; Al Shabaab attacks AMISOM convoy near Golwayn, Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

  • A reported U.S. airstrike killed two suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants near al Qatan in Wadi Hadramawt, Hadramawt governorate on January 20. The attack is the latest in a series of U.S. airstrikes targeting AQAP over the past week. Airstrikes targeted militants in Shabwah governorate on January 16, Abyan governorate on January 17, and Wadi Hadramawt on January 19.[1]
  • An Apache helicopter belonging to the Saudi-led coalition reportedly flew over the port of Bir Ali in Rudum district, Shabwah governorate on January 19. Rudum is a center for smuggling activity, particularly oil products. Coalition warships and aircraft also approached the AQAP-controlled port of al Mukalla in neighboring Hadramawt governorate on January 19 and warned all unregistered vessels to leave.[2]
  • AQAP reportedly seized the home of the former governor of Hadramawt, Doctor Adel ba Humaid, in al Mukalla on January 20. The group justified the seizure by stating that the governor failed to renounce democracy, secularism, and his allegiance to President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Doctor ba Humaid resigned on January 4, according to reports. [3] 

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Two primary school teachers in Isiolo County, Kenya were arrested after informants reported that they used their positions to radicalize and recruit students for al Shabaab. Abdi Abdulahi Yusuf and Hassan Wario Sora were detained on January 20 by Isiolo County police and were subsequently turned over to the Kenyan Anti-terror Police Unit (ATPU).[4]
  • Kenyan police killed four suspected al Shabaab militants in Malindi, Kilifi County, Kenya on January 21. Among the dead was Suleiman Mohammed Awadh, an al Shabaab member accused of playing a role in the April 2015 Garissa University massacre. Kenyan authorities said that the group was plotting an attack on a local shopping mall and police station and possessed a small cache of pistols and grenades.[5] 
  • The al Shabaab commander responsible for the January 15 attack on El Adde African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) base was reportedly killed by a Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) airstrike in the El Adde area on Janaury 21. Maalim Janow was a regional commander for al Shabaab who supervised the group’s operations in the Gedo, Bay, and Bakool regions of Somalia.[6]
  • Al Shabaab forces attacked an African Union (AU) convoy near Golwayn village in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia. The AU troops, who were traveling from the capital city Mogadishu to Barawe in central Somalia, managed to fend off the attack.[7]

[1] “Drone strike kills two al-Qaeda suspects in Yemen,” Middle East Eye, January 20, 2016,
[2] “Apache aircraft flies over ports of Bir Ali in Shabwah,” Al Masdar, January 19, 2016,
[3] “Al Qaeda loots the personal home of former Hadramawt governor ba Humaid,” Al Mukalla Today, January 20, 2016,
[4] Vivian Jebet, “Isiolo police arrest two teachers suspected of recruiting youth for Shabaab,” Daily Nation, January, 20, 2016,
[5] “Kenyan police kill 4 alleged Islamic extremists,” News24, January 21,; Joseph Akwiri, “Kenyan police say kill Islamists planning attacks in tourist resort,” Reuters, January 21,
[6] Cyrus Ombati, “Al shabaab commander Maalim Janow who led El Adde attack killed in KDF airstrike,” Standard Digital News, January 21,
[7] “AU convoy repulses Al-Shabaab attack in Somalia,” Xinhua Africa News, January 20,  
View Citations
Arrow down red
Feb '16
Jan '16
Dec '15