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: Gunmen storm police station in Sana’a; youth leader survives assassination in Sa’ada; al Houthis mobilize near Damaj, Sa’ada; security forces capture two al Qaeda members in Hadramawt; three tribes join al Houthis in Amran; U.S. State Department issues travel warning to Yemen

Horn of Africa: UN report accuses the Somali government of corruption; IED targets AMISOM convoy in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region; unknown gunmen kill deputy commissioner of Yaqshid district, Mogadishu; unknown gunmen shoot two journalists in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region; grenade attack targets Somali troops in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region; unknown gunmen kill civilian in Afgoi, Lower Shabelle region; Somali and AMISOM intelligence officials meet in Mombasa, Kenya

Yemen Security Brief

  • Gunmen belonging to the sons of al Ahmar stormed a police station in al Hasaba, Sana’a city and freed two prisoners on July 17.[1]
  • Jabar al Shamakhi, a leader in the Revolutionary Youth Union survived an assassination attempt in Sahar, Sa’ada governorate on July 18. Armed al Houthis fired at his car, but he escaped without injury.[2]
  • Al Houthi militias reportedly killed two people in Majaz, Sa’ada governorate for not paying zakat for the al Houthi coffers on July 16. Sources also reported that al Houthis received a recent weapons shipment from an unknown origin and have been mobilizing near Damaj.[3]
  • Counter terrorism forces in al Qatan, Hadramawt captured two al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) members on July 18. The two were accused of assassinating the head of air force police in Hadramawt last month.[4]
  • Three of the biggest tribes in Amran governorate, Adan, Bayt Shayi, and Bayt Amer, announced their allegiance to the al Houthi movement on July 17. Approximately three thousand former members of the Islah Party and associated group reportedly also joined al Houthis, despite Hamid al Ahmar’s attempts to buy loyalty from the tribes in Amran.[5]
  • The U.S. Department of State issued a travel warning on July 16 for U.S. citizens not to travel to Yemen due to terrorist activities and civil unrest. The warning describes the security threat level in Yemen as extremely high, and cautions that the embassy has limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in emergency situations.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A new UN report on Somalia, published on July 17, attacked the Somali government, accusing the government of corruption despite leadership turnover. The report documented the siphoning off of millions of dollars in aid money by private individuals for unknown causes.[7]
  • A remotely detonated improvised explosive device (IED) targeted an AMISOM convoy in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on July 17. One civilian was killed and at least four others were wounded. AMISOM casualties are not known and no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. AMISOM officials condemned the attack.[8]
  • Unknown gunmen killed the deputy commissioner for Mogadishu’s Yaqshid district near her home in Yaqshid district on July 17. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack but four suspects have been arrested by Somali security forces.[9]
  • Unknown gunmen attacked two journalists in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on July 17. The journalists survived the shooting and no group claimed responsibility for the attack.[10]
  • Unknown assailants threw a grenade at a Somali troop convoy in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region on July 17. Two civilians and one soldier were injured in the blast.[11]
  • Unknown gunmen killed a civilian in Afgoi, Lower Shabelle region on July 17. Somali troops arrested several suspects following the shooting but the reason behind the attack is not known.[12]
  • Somali intelligence officials met with AMISOM intelligence officials in Mombasa, Kenya on July 17. The purpose of the three day meeting is to begin a collaborative intelligence sharing relationship between the two bodies.[13]

[1] “Gunmen of the Sons of al Ahmar Attacked a Police Station in al Hasaba and Freed Two Prisoners,” Barakish, July 18, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “After His Exposure to a Hail of Bullets: Leader of the Revolutionary Youth Union Survives Assassination Attempt in Sa’ada at the Hands of al Houthis,” Hour News, July 18, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Al Houthi Group in Sa’ada Seeks to Impose Armed Siege on Damaj and Kills 2 for Refusing to Pay a Fifth,” Yaspr Net, July 18, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Tribal Gunmen Attack Police Station in Sana’a and Release Two Prisoners,” Mareb Press, July 18, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Al Ahmar Stronghold Under al Houthi Control: Three Tribes in Amran Announce That They Are Joining Ansar Allah, and al Ahmar Pumps Money to Sheikhs to Stop Expansion of al Houthis,” Masa Press, July 18, 2013. Available:
[6] “Travel Warning U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs,”, July 16, 2013. Available:
[7] “UN Says Corruption Rampant in Somalia,” Wall Street Journal. July 17, 2013. Available:
[8] One Killed, Four Others Wounded in Kismayo Explosion,” Bar Kulan, July 17, 2013. Available:
“AMISOM Condemns IED Attack in Kismayo,” AMISOM, July 17, 2013. Available:
[9] “Woman State Official Killed, Two Reporters Shit in Somalia,” AFP, July 18, 2013. Available:
[10] “Woman State Official Killed, Two Reporters Shit in Somalia,” AFP, July 18, 2013. Available:
[11] “Three People Wounded in Jowhar Explosion,” Bar Kulan, July 18, 2013. Available:
[12] “A Man Killed in Afgoye District, Outskirts of Mogadishu,” Bar Kulan, July 18, 2013. Available:
[13] “Somalia Federal Government, AMISOM and Troop Contributing Countries Begin a Three Day Information Sharing Meeting,” AMISOM, July 17, 2013. Available:
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