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: Death of Said al Shihri in air strike confirmed by AQAP; report of planned attack in Sana’a; IED targets military vehicle in Hadramawt; 27th Mechanized Brigade protests in Hadramawt; tribal vendetta kills two in al Bayda; roadblock established in protest against oil spill in al Mukalla, Hadramawt
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab launches mortars at Kenyan bases at the Kismayo airport, Lower Jubba region; al Shabaab militants attack Somali base outside Afgoi, Lower Shabelle region; al Shabaab troops amass outside Baidoa, Bay region; unknown attackers launch mortars at a hospital in Mogadishu; UN report accuses Swedish and Norwegian oil companies of creating instability in Somalia; UN report accuses Eritrea of negative interference in Somalia’s new government; al Shabaab’s Amniyad branch is protecting Mukhtar Abu Zubair
Yemen Security Brief
- Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) second-in-command Said al Shihri was killed in a drone strike according to a eulogy video filmed in the past week and released on jihadist forums on July 16. AQAP shari’a official Ibrahim al Rubaish delivered the eulogy. The video did not mention the date or location of the strike.
- A security official reported to Yemen al Yom on July 17 that the Islah Party and AQAP planned to attack a mosque near the American embassy in Sana’a.
- An improvised explosive device exploded near a military vehicle in al Shuhair, Hadramawt governorate on July 16. The vehicle was not damaged. Security forces are investigating the incident.
- Soldiers of the 27th Mechanized Brigade in Hadramawt clashed with guards during protests against the brigade commander on July 16. They accused brigade leadership of abusing them and of favoring members of the Islah party.
- Unidentified gunmen from al Hayash tribe killed two men from al Amr tribe in Dhi Na’im, al Bayda governorate as part of a tribal vendetta on July 17.
- Demonstrators in al Mukalla, Hadramawt governorate cut off the road to the city in protest of a fuel spill off the coast of Hadramawt on July 17.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Al Shabaab launched mortars at the Kenyan base at Kismayo airport, Lower Jubba region on July 16. Three Kenyan soldiers were killed in the attack. Kenyan troops conducted searches following the bombing but were unable to arrest any militants.
- Al Shabaab militants attacked a Somali base outside Afgoi, Lower Shabelle region on July 16. Two Somali soldiers were killed and two civilians were injured in the fighting.
- A single source is reporting that al Shabaab troops gathered in a town outside Baidoa, Bay region on July 16. Ethiopian troops recently pulled out of the city but a combination of AMISOM and Somali troops are still stationed inside Baidoa.
- Unknown attackers launched mortars at a hospital in Mogadishu on July 16. The hospital was undergoing construction, and as a result no one was hurt in the attack.
- In a leaked UN report, UN monitors accused Norwegian and Swedish oil companies of vying for the same blocks of land and creating instability between Somaliland and Puntland. The report also details how oil exploration is adding tension to Somalia-Kenya maritime border concerns.
- UN monitors accused Eritrea of ties to a prominent, al Shabaab-linked, Islamist warlord in Somalia who also had considerable influence in the new government. The report says the man with high-level access to the Somali government goes by the name of Abdi Nur Siad “Abdi Wal.”
- Al Shabaab’s intelligence division, called the Amniyad branch, is reportedly providing protection to al Shabaab’s emir, Mukhtar Abu Zubair. The Amniyat branch is the most loyal and most elite of al Shabaab’s forces.