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: Yemeni authorities uncover AQAP terrorist plot; clashes continue between Southern Movement militants and the Yemeni army in al Dhaleh

Horn of Africa: al Shabaab militants attack Kenyan Defense Forces in Kismayo; suspected al Shabaab militant arrested in Kenya; Puntland forces conduct security operations in Mudug region

Yemen Security Brief

  • The Yemeni Interior Ministry announced on January 23 that it uncovered a plot by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to seize government installations in al Bayda governorate, including a central bank branch.[1]
  • Clashes erupted between Yemeni security forces and Southern Movement gunmen in several locations in al Dhaleh governorate on January 22.  Two people were killed and three soldiers kidnapped when Southern Movement militants attacked army positions as the Yemeni military shelled houses in the surrounding area.[2]   
  • An al Houthi representative said on January 22 that his party does not agree with the final document produced by the National Dialogue Conference (NDC).  His assertion contradicted a claim made by Yemen’s President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi that despite withdrawing from the NDC, the al Houthis remained supportive of the final NDC document.[3]  

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants attacked a Kenyan AMISOM military base near the Kismayo airport in Lower Jubba region on January 21.  Kenyan forces suffered no casualties and responded with artillery strikes directed at the origin of the attacks.  The extent of the damage from the retaliatory strikes remains unclear.[4] 
  • The Kenyan Anti-terrorism Police Unit arrested a suspect in Nyahururu, Kenya, who confessed to training with al Shabaab and al Qaeda in Somalia and thirty-three additional countries.  The suspect also claimed to have warned Kenyan police of the Westgate mall attack.[5]
  • ?Puntland security forces conducted operations in northern Galkayo in Mudug region seeking those responsible for the January 21 explosion that killed at least five people.[6]

View Citations
[1] “Yemen says that it's uncovered ‘terrorist plot’ by AQAP aiming to seize government installations,” al Masdar Online, January 23, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Two killed and other wounded by army's bullets Dhaleh: Hirak gunmen overrun base and kidnap 3 soldiers,” Mareb Press, January 23, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Houthis throw a wrench in NDC final document,” Yemen Times, January 23, 2014. Available:
[4]“Al-Shabaab stage attack on Kenyan military base,” Bar Kulan, January 23, 2014. Available:
[5] Zadock Angira,“Shabaab-linked terror suspect arrested in Nyahururu,” Daily Nation, January 23, 2014. Available:
[6] “Puntland forces carry out security operations in Galkayo,” Bar Kulan, January 23, 2014. Available:
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