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: New AQAP leader pledges allegiance to Ayman al Zawahiri in video, calling for attacks on the U.S.; Yemeni humanitarian ceasefire in effect until Eid al Fatr

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab attacks Mogadishu hotels and mortars fall on Mogadishu AMISOM base; al Shabaab releases Kenyan police officers held since 2013

Yemen Security Brief

  • In a new video posted to Twitter on June 10, the new leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Qasim al Raymi, eulogized the death of former AQAP leader Nasser al Wahayshi and pledged allegiance to al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri, calling for attacks upon the United States. Nasser al Wahayshi’s death was confirmed by AQAP on June 16 after a U.S. airstrike in al Mukalla, Hadramawt governorate killed the leader.[1]    
  • A humanitarian ceasefire has been agreed upon between the government of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the al Houthi movement and is expected to last until Eid al Fitr, the end of the Islamic Holy month of Ramadan. The ceasefire will allow for the delivery of humanitarian aid throughout Yemen, but it has left key issues unresolved for further negotiations; notably the withdrawal of al Houthi militants from key cities as well as the cessation of Saudi Arabia led-coalition airstrikes.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Local reporting indicates that al Shabaab militants detonated an unknown number of vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices outside of Hotel Wehliye and Hotel Siyad, both of which are located near the Villa Somalia compound in Mogadishu, before launching attacks on July 10. Several mortar shells fell on an African Union Mission in Somalia base near the Mogadishu Stadium, but it is unclear if the events are linked.[3]
  • Al Shabaab released two Kenyan police officers whom the group captured in Garissa County in May 2013. Kenyan Police Inspector General Joseph Boinnet specified in his statement on July 9 that the officers’ release occurred on June 25 and that they are in good health.[4]

[1] “New AQAP Leader Eulogizes Wuhayshi, Calls for Attacks on U.S. in Speech,” SITE Intelligence Group, July 9, 2015. Available:
[2] “Yemen Truce Deal Is Reached, U.N. Says,” The New York Times, July 10, 2015. Available:
[3] “Mortar shells fall on AMISOM base,” Live from Mogadishu, Twitter, July 10, 2015. Available:
“Gunfire heard near Mogadishu hotels,” Live from Mogadishu, Twitter, July 10, 2015. Available:
“Hotels Wehliye and Siyad under al Shabaab attack,” Live from Mogadishu, Twitter, July 10, 2015. Available:
“Gunfire heard near Presidential Palace,” Harar24, Twitter, July 10, 2015. Available:
“Deadly car bomb attacks hit Mogadishu hotels,” al Jazeera, July 10, 2015. Available:
[4] “Kenya police freed from al-Shabab captivity in Somalia,” BBC, July 10, 2015. Available:
“Two APs abducted by al Shabaab in 2013 released,” The Star, July 9, 2015. Available:
“Cops held hostage by Shabaab since 2013 rescued,” Somaliweyn, July 10, 2015. Available:
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