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: Five arrested in connection to January 7 Police Academy bombing; al Houthi gunmen kidnap and destroy homes of tribal leader in Arhab; AQAP threatens America andcalls for revenge after death of Abu Anas al Libi

Horn of Africa: IED targets Somali troops in Mogadishu; al Shabaab praises attack on French newspaper Charlie Hebdo

Yemen Security Brief

  • Police arrested five al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) affiliates responsible for the January 7 bombing of the Sana’a Police Academy.  Security services are still searching for the owner of the car that carried the bomb but stated that they have confirmed the owner’s identity.[1]
  • Al Houthi militants reportedly blew up the home of a tribal sheikh on January 8 in Arhab, north of the capital Sana’a.  The al Houthis also kidnapped seven teachers and two students from the village’s Quran school.[2]
  • AQAP called on Muslims to take revenge for the death of Nazih Abdul Hamed al Ruqai also known as Abu Anas al Libi and threatened that America will “pay the price” for its crimes. Al Libi was scheduled to stand trial in the US for his participation in the 1989 US embassy bombings but died in US custody on January 2.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • An IED attack targeted a Somali Security Forces’ vehicle in Mogadishu on January 8. One Somali security officer was killed in the explosion and one civilian was killed in ensuing gunfire. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.[4]
  • Al Shabaab praised the attack on the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo, calling it a heroic act, in a radio address on January 9. The group said the two attackers “made millions of Muslims happy by taking action.”[5] 

[1] “Police Academy bombers arrested,” Saba news,  January 9, 2015, Available:
[2] “Houthis blow up home of Sheikh and kidnap seven teachers and two students from Qur’anic school,” al Khabar al Yom, January 9, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “AQAP urges Muslims to Take Revenge for Death of Abu Anas al-Libi,” SITE, January 9 2015. Available:
[4] “Two Killed in Mogadishu Landmine Explosion,” Bar Kulan, January 8, 2015. Available:
[5] “Somalia’s Shebab, Islamic State Praise Attack on France’s Charlie Hebdo,” Reuters, January 9, 2013. Available:
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