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. State Department designates AQAP member as SDGT; suspected AQAP militants detonated an IED in Hadramawt and clashed with the Yemeni military in Ma’rib; Yemeni security forces repel military protestors at Yemeni President’s residence and defuse IED in Sana’a; Yemeni soldiers clash with al Houthi militants in al Jawf; Yemeni soldiers from the 9th Brigade replace soldiers from the 310th Armored Brigade and the 6th Military Command in Amran
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab’s representative to Banadir region addresses Mogadishu operations; al Shabaab militants attack a Somali police station in Mogadishu; Somali military court executes two al Shabaab militants in Mogadishu; Somali security forces conduct operation in Bay region
Yemen Security Brief
- The U.S. State Department designated a Norwegian citizen Anders Cameroon Ostensvig Dale, a member of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) on July 15.
- Suspected AQAP militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) in the Wadi Sirr area of al Qatn, Hadramawt on July 14, destroying an abandoned Yemeni army post. Separately, suspected AQAP militants clashed with the Yemeni military at a checkpoint in Ma’rib near the Ma’rib-Shabwah administrative border on July 14, killing two militants and wounding two soldiers.
- Yemeni soldiers repelled a crowd of protestors, comprising of soldiers and officers from the Yemeni 310th Armored Brigade, at Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s residence in Sana’a on July 14. The crowd was protesting unpaid wages for the month of June.
- An unidentified assailant threw a grenade at the house of a Yemeni army colonel in Bani al Harith, Sana’a on July 13, wounding one civilian. Shortly after the explosion, Yemeni security forces defused an IED near the same house.
- Al Houthi militants clashed with Yemeni soldiers in al Jawf on July 15. An unspecified number of casualties were reported.
- Yemeni soldiers from the 9th Brigade replaced soldiers from the 310th Armored Brigade and the 6th Military Command in Amran on July 12. Strategic positions, including the headquarters of the 310th Armored Brigade, were recently overrun by al Houthi militants but have now been relinquished to Yemeni military control. However, the al Houthis have so far refused to give back various heavy weapons and equipment that were looted from the headquarters of the 310th Armored Brigade.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Al Shabaab’s representative to Banadir region, Sheikh Ali Mohamed Hussein, addressed the group’s Mogadishu operations during an interview posted to the Shahada News Agency’s Facebook page on July 11. During the interview, Hussein, also known as Ali Jabal, boasted of al Shabaab’s activity and influence in Mogadishu, claiming that the Somali Federal Government maintains little power. Hussein also defended al Shabaab’s attacks against Turks and UN personnel in the capital, stating each party has oppressed the Somali people.
- Al Shabaab militants attacked a Somali police station in the Hodan district of Mogadishu on June 14. Separately, suspected al Shabaab militants ambushed two Somali security officers in Mogadishu on July 14, killing one. In response to the violence, African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali security forces conducted operations in the Hodan and Waberi districts of Mogadishu on July 15, arresting an unspecified number of suspects.
- A Somali military court executed two suspected al Shabaab militants, Hassan Mohamed Abdi and Shafii Abdi Hirsi, in Mogadishu on July 15 for the April 5 killing of a female university student in the city.
- Somali security forces conducted an operation, arresting over 200 people, in Baidoa, Bay region on July 15. The operation reportedly came after the security forces received intelligence indicating planned al Shabaab activity in the city.