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 three suspected AQAP militants in Ma’rib; Southern Movement gunmen kidnap four Yemeni soldiers in al Dhaleh; protestors in southern Yemeni cities call for independence and the release of Southern Movement fighters

Horn of Africa: Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a issues statement supporting Ethiopian AMISOM contingent; al Shabaab releases eulogy video; al Shabaab targets Mogadishu airport; al Shabaab detain more than 100 people in Gedo region

Yemen Security Brief

  • A reported U.S. airstrike killed at least three suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants as they drove through the Wadi Obaida area in Ma’rib governorate on January 23.[1]  
  • Southern Movement gunmen kidnapped four soldiers from the 33rd Armored Brigade in al Dhaleh city on January 23. This is the second such kidnapping this week.[2]
  • Protests in several southern Yemeni cities on January 23 called for the establishment of an independent state in southern Yemen and the release of imprisoned Southern Movement fighters.  The protests took place in cities and towns located in the governorates of Lahij, al Dhaleh, Abyan, Shabwah and Aden.  Additionally, armed factions of the Southern Movement announced support for leader Ali Salem al Beidh’s call for armed struggle against the Yemeni government.[3]  

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  •  A spokesman for Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a praised the January 22 integration of an Ethiopian contingent into AMISOM during a congregation in Baidoa in Bay region.  The spokesman declared that the new Ethiopian contingent, which is to operate in the Bay region as well as the Bakool and Gedo regions, is a substantial step toward the decline of al Shabaab control in Somalia.[4]
  • The media arm of al Shabaab, al Kata’ib Media Foundation, released a video on January 17 eulogizing five prominent commanders, “Abu Sulaim”, “Mahmood Salaad”, “Ukasha”, “Abdurrahman”, and “Abdullah Mu’alim,” who operated in Galgudud and Hiraan regions of Somalia.[5]
  • Al Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for an artillery attack targeting Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport over the night of January 23 and 24.  The airport is located near AMISOM’s headquarters in the Halane neighborhood of the capital.  Several errant shells wounded at least four civilians in the Wadajir district of the city.[6]
  • More than 100 people were arrested during an al Shabaab search of the Bardera district in Gedo region. The individuals detained were accused of crimes including violating al Shabaab’s qat ban and setting fire to residential houses in the district.[7]           

[1] “U.S. drone strike kills four in central Yemen,” Xinhua, January 24, 2014. Available:
“Three suspected militants killed in U.S. drone strike in Yemen,” Reuters, January 24, 2014. Available:
[2] “Tank runs over citizen killing him in al Dhaleh and gunmen kidnap four soldiers from the 33rd Armored Brigade,” al Masdar Online, January 23, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Massive protests in a number of southern cities denounce massacres and affirm independence... Components of al Hirak announce their joining the armed struggle that the al Bayda faction announced,” Akbaralyom, January 24, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4]“Moderate Somali Islamists welcome Ethiopia’s inclusion into AMISOM,” Hiiraan Online, January 23, 2014. Available:
[5] “Shabaab Eulogizes Five Slain Commanders in Video,” SITE Intel Group, January 23, 2014. Available at SITE.
[6]“Overnight Shelling on Somali capital wound four,” Hiiraan Online, January 24, 2014. Available:
[7] “More than 100 people arrested in Al Shabaab held town,” Hiiraan Online, January 24, 2014. Available:


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