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: suspected AQAP militant attack Yemeni security forces in al Bayda; al Houthi militants continue clashes with local tribesmen and Yemeni military in al Jawf; Yemeni security forces track team of assassins in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants attack SNA base in Middle Shabelle region; Somali security forces attack al Shabaab militants in Bay and Lower Jubba regions; IED blasts target SNA forces in Mogadishu and Lower Shabelle region; AMISOM and SNA forces intercept VBIED in Lower Shabelle region; Kenyan security forces raid camps of suspected assailants in Kenya’s Coast Province

Yemen Security Brief

  • Suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants, riding on motorcycles, attacked the security administration building and political security building in Rada’a, al Bayda on July 16, killing two soldiers and wounding one soldier.[1]
  • Al Houthi militants continued to clash with al Islah tribesmen supported by an unidentified military unit in al Safra and al Hajr, al Jawf on July 16, resulting in 35 total deaths.[2]
  • Unconfirmed sources reported that Yemeni security forces tracked the movement of a team of assassins from Arhab, Sana’a to Sana’a city on July 16. The sources added that the assassins drove motorcycles and carried large bags filled with improvised explosive devices (IED) that the assassins produced in Bayt Maran, Sana’a.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants attacked a Somali National Army (SNA) base in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region on July 16. SNA forces conducted security operations throughout Jowhar after repelling the attack, detaining seven suspected al Shabaab militants.[4]
  • AMISOM and SNA forces attacked an al Shabaab base near Awdinle, Bay region on July 17. Local government officials claimed victory for the AMISOM and SNA forces after the fighting, which killed at least three combatants. Separately, Kenyan AMISOM and Jubbaland security forces attacked an al Shabaab stronghold near Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on July 17.  The Kenyan and Jubbaland forces reportedly conducted the operation in response to al Shabaab’s disruption of charcoal trade in the area.[5]
  • An improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near a SNA vehicle in the Hodan district of Mogadishu on July 17. The blast killed one SNA soldier and injured two others travelling in the vehicle. Separately, a vehicle-borne IED (VBIED) detonated at a checkpoint manned by SNA forces, killing two, in Danow near Qoryoley, Lower Shabelle region on July 17.[6]
  • The governor of Lower Shabelle region, Abdikadir Nur Sidi, reported on July 17 that AMISOM and SNA forces intercepted a VBIED and detained a suspected al Shabaab militant in Lower Shabelle region. The security forces reportedly intercepted the militant as he was travelling from Barawe, Lower Shabelle region to conduct a suicide VBIED (SVBIED) attack in Mogadishu.[7]
  • A Kenyan task force, consisting of Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF), police, and other security personnel, raided four camps in the Boni Forest of Kenya’s Coast Province on July 16. The task force suspected the camps were used by a group of assailants, identified as radicalized youth trained by al Shabaab, responsible for a recent series of raids along the Kenyan coast.[8]

[1] “Two soldiers killed in attack on security administration building in Rada’a by militants riding on motorcycles,” Barakish Net, July 16, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Soldiers killed and kidnapped in militant attack on security sites in al Bayda,” al Masdar, July 16, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Yemen Clashes Between Rebels, Islamists Kill 35,” ABC News, July 16, 2014. Available:
“Clashes in Al Jawf as 9th brigade takes up positions in Hamdan,” Yemen Times, July 17, 2014. Available:
[3] “Security monitors entry of a team of assassins coming from Arhab to the capital,” Yemen Today, July 16, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Government forces repel Al Shabaab attack in Jowhar town,” Bar Kulan, July 17, 2014. Available:
“Al Shabaab Suspects Arrested in Jowhar,” Dalsan Radio, July 17, 2014. Available:
[5] “Clashes between government forces and Al-shabab embarks in areas under Awdinle district,” Goobjoog News, July 17, 2014. Available:
“Fierce fighting broke out in the outskirts of Kismayo,” Bar Kulan, July 17, 2014. Available:
“Heavy Fighting erupts at the Outskirt of Kismayo,” Dalsan Radio, July 17, 2014. Available:
[6] “Car explosion kills one government soldier in Mogadishu,” Bar Kulan, July 17, 2014. Available:
“Car bomb explodes in town near Qoryoley,”Shabelle News, July 17, 2014. Available:
[7] “Car laden with explosives captured in Lower Shabelle,” Shabelle News, July 17, 2014. Available:
[8] “Military destroys four forest camps used by attackers,” Daily Nation, July 16, 2014. Available:
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