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: AQAP releases statement calling for Hadramawt citizens to adhere to Sharia law; anonymous Yemeni security source reports that Yemeni military campaign against AQAP continues in Abyan; 150 heavy transport vehicles arrive in Sa’ada to assist Yemeni 9th Brigade; al Houthis implicate Muslim Brotherhood in failed assassination plot in Sana’a; IEDs detonate in Dhamar; unidentified gunmen open fire on office of education and tribal sheikh in al Bayda; al Houthi militants clash with al Islah tribesmen in al Jawf; Yemeni Government confirms the death of Hamid al Qushaybi

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab claims responsibility for attack on bus in Kenya’s Coast Province; AMISOM and Somali security forces clash with al Shabaab militants in Bay, Bakool, and Lower Jubba regions; al Shabaab militant conducts SVEST attack targeting senior Jubbaland security officer in Lower Jubba region; unidentified gunmen kill four people in Kenya’s Coast Province; Kenyan police disrupt suspected terrorist cell in Nairobi

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a statement to jihadi forums on July 18, calling for Yemeni citizens residing in Hadramawt to adhere to shari'a law, avoid shopping in public markets, and warned against women shopping without a male companion or without a veil during the month of Ramadan.[1]
  • An anonymous Yemeni security source reported that the Yemeni military is still mounting a campaign to find AQAP militants in Mahfad, Abyan, on July 18.[2]
  • 150 heavy transport vehicles from the Yemeni military arrived in Sa’ada to assist transporting the Yemeni 9th Brigade’s tanks and other military equipment to Amran on July 20.[3]
  • Mohammed Abdul Salam, an al Houthi spokesman, accused the Muslim Brotherhood of detonating an improvised explosive device (IED) that failed to assassinate Abdullah Mutawakkil, a Yemeni government official, in Sana’a on July 19, wounding Mutawakkil and one of his sons. AQAP, however, released a statement on Twitter claiming credit for the assassination attempt.[4]
  • An IED detonated near the residence of the General Director of Emigration in Mabr, Dhamar on July 18, resulting in no casualties. Following the explosion, another IED detonated near the Commercial Transportation center in Mabr, Dhamar, damaging the center. No group has yet claimed responsibility.[5]
  • Unidentified gunmen opened fire on the office of education in al Bayda on July 18, wounding three soldiers. Separately, unidentified gunmen opened fire in al Bayda on July 19, killing one person and wounding Sheikh Sawd al Awadi and two others.[6]
  • Al Houthi militants continued to clash with al Islah tribesmen in al Safra, al Jawf on July 21. The clashes continue despite a ceasefire that was agreed to by both parties on July 20.[7]
  • The Yemeni government confirmed the death of the commander of the 310th Armored Brigade, Hamid al Qushaybi, on July 20.[8]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab claimed responsibility on July 19 for an attack on a bus near Witu, Lamu County in Kenya’s Coast Province on July 18. The assailants ambushed and fired upon the bus, killing seven people and injuring at least eight more. An al Shabaab spokesman, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Abu Musab, stated that the attack was in response to Kenyan claims of increased security in the region.[9]
  • Somali National Army (SNA) forces clashed with al Shabaab militants in Baidoa, Bay region on July 20.  The confrontation occurred after al Shabaab militants reportedly raided a Somali police station, killing ten police officers, near Bardale, Bay region on July 19. Separately, Ethiopian forces under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) clashed with al Shabaab militants near Toosweyne, Bakool region on July 20. At least 15 people, including eight al Shabaab militants, were reportedly killed in the fighting. Finally, al Shabaab militants attacked Jubbaland security forces during a security sweep in Kismayo, Lower Jubba on July 21.[10]
  • An al Shabaab militant conducted a suicide vest (SVEST) attack targeting a senior Jubbaland security officer, Iftin Hassan Basto, in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on July 18. The militant detonated the SVEST near Basto’s residence, killing six people and injuring seven others. Basto was uninjured by the blast.[11]
  • Unidentified gunmen fired indiscriminately, killing at least four people, during an assault in Likoni, Mombasa County in Kenya’s Coast Province on July 20. The gunmen distributed leaflets, stating that the violence was retribution for al Shabaab’s June 15 Mpeketoni attack, during the assault. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.[12]
  • Kenyan police disrupted a suspected terrorist cell in the Majengo neighborhood of Nairobi on July 19. The police detained four ethnic Kenyan suspects and confiscated materials commonly used to construct explosive devices during the operation.[13]

[1] “(If it violates sanctions, those who have been forewarned will face strong sanctions) al Qaeda warns against shopping without a male or a veil,” Sahafah Net, July 18, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Yemeni military campaign to purge Mahfad district of al Qaeda militants,” Sahwa Net, July 18, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “150 military trucks arrive in Sada,” Yemen Today, July 20, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Yemen: al Houthis accuse Muslim Brotherhood of participating in assassination plot against government official,” Aden al Ghad, July 20, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Son of Sana’a Airport director wounded when IED exploded underneath car,” Yemen Today, July 20, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
AQAP Twitter Statement:
“Account specialist news of # Qaeda announce the organization of targeting Abdullah Mutawakkil assistant director Sanaa airport because ‘Houthi’” [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Two IEDs detonate in Mabr city,” Barakish Net, July 19, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “3 wounded, including two soldiers, in armed attack on office of education in al Bayda,” Akhbar al Yom, July 19, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“3 soldiers wounded in al Bayda when gunmen open fire,” al Watanye, July 19, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Tribal leader wounded and his nephew killed in armed attack in al Bayda,” al Watanye, July 19, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Jawf .. Houthis violating the truce agreement in the first day and the outbreak of clashes,” Akhbar Alyom, July 20, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “President condoles martyrdom in Brigadier Hamid Alakecaba,” July 20, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[9] “Al-Shabab claims deadly Kenya bus attack,” Al Jazeera, July 19, 2014. Available:
Feisal Omar and Joseph Akwiri, “Somalia’s al Shabaab claim responsibility for Kenya bus attack,” Reuters Africa, July 19, 2014. Available:
[10] “Intense clashes erupt between Al-Shabaab and govt troops,” Shabelle News, July 20, 2014. Available:
“Somali police officers raided and killed in Bay,” Shabelle News, July 19, 2014. Available:
“More than a dozen killed in South-western Somalia fighting,” Hiiraan Online, July 20, 2014. Available:
“Interim Jubba militia standoff with Al-Shabaab in Kismayo,” Shabelle News, July 21, 2014. Available:
[11] “Somalia: Suicide bomber kills six in attack in Kismayu,” AFP, July 19, 2014. Available:
“SOMALIA: Al Shabab claims the responsibility of suicide attack in Kismayo,” RBC Radio, July 19, 2014. Available:
[12] Joseph Akwiri, “Gunmen kill at least four in Kenyan port city, scatter leaflets,” Reuters, July 20, 2014. Available:
[13] Cyrus Ombati, “Fourt terror suspects arrested with materials used to make explosives in Majengo, Nairobi,” Standard Digital, July 20, 2014. Available:
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