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 video for July 4 attack on Wadia border post and clashes with Yemeni security forces in Hadramawt; AQAP militants attack Yemeni army posts in Abyan; suspected AQAP militant detonates car bomb in Abyan; Yemeni security forces defuse VBIED near presidential palace in Hadramawt; IED detonates in Dhamar; unidentified militants fire mortar shells at Yemeni military in al Dhaleh

Horn of Africa: AMISOM and SNA forces clash with al Shabaab militants in Bay region and Mogadishu; al Shabaab spokesman implores Muslims to attack Israelis; roadside IED detonates near vehicle transporting Banadir regional governor in Mogadishu; al Shabaab militants torture and kill prominent Hizb al Islam member in Lower Shabelle region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) media arm, al Malahem Media Foundation, released a video entitled, “Battle of Revenge for the Female Prisoners,” to YouTube on July 28. The video contained footage of AQAP’s July 4 attack on the Wadia border post along the Yemeni-Saudi border in Hadramawt and martyrdom videos from all of the participating AQAP militants. Separately, AQAP militants clashed with Yemeni security forces at the police station in al Ghayl Ba Wazir, Hadramawt, on July 26. There were no casualties reported.[1]
  • AQAP militants simultaneously drove three vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) toward three Yemeni 39th Armored Brigade posts in Mahfad, Abyan, on July 27. Two of the three VBIEDs exploded before reaching their intended targets. Following the explosions, AQAP militants clashed with soldiers from the Yemeni 39th Armored Brigade, supported by soldiers from the Yemeni 119th Brigade and the local popular committee militiamen. Two soldiers and seven militants were killed and 11 soldiers injured in the fighting.[2]
  • A suspected AQAP militant detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) planted in a water truck in Lawder, Abyan, on July 25. There were no casualties.[3]
  • Yemeni security forces defused a VBIED located near the presidential palace and Electrical Department in Sayun, Hadramawt, on July 26. Yemeni security forces added that the VBIED was remotely controlled via a cell phone connection.[4]
  • An IED detonated in al Sharq, Dhamar, on July 25, killing two civilians riding on a motorcycle. No group has claimed responsibility.[5]
  • Unidentified militants fired mortar shells at Brigadier General Abdullah Dhabaan, commander of the Yemeni 33rd Armored Brigade, during his inspection tour of military sites in al Dhaleh on July 28, wounding six soldiers.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali National Army (SNA) forces clashed with al Shabaab militants in Gofgadud, Bay region on July 25 after the AMISOM and SNA forces reportedly foiled an al Shabaab attack in the area. Separately, al Shabaab militants attacked AMISOM and SNA forces in the Daynile, Heliwa, and Yaqshid districts of Mogadishu on July 26. Neither side specified the extent of casualties incurred during the confrontations.[7]
  • Al Shabaab spokesman Ali Mohamed Rage, also known as Ali Dhere, delivered a speech on June 25 addressing the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza. During the speech, Rage expressed solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza and called for the Muslim umma to target Israelis and their interests throughout the world. Rage also vowed that al Shabaab would attack Israeli and UN, as a proponent of Israeli interests, targets in the region.[8]
  • A roadside IED detonated near a vehicle transporting the Banadir regional governor and Mogadishu mayor, Hasaan Mohamed Hussein “Mungab,” in the Heliwa district of Mogadishu on July 27. Although the blast killed at least one civilian bystander, Hussein reportedly escaped without injury.[9]
  • Al Shabaab militants reportedly tortured and killed a prominent Hizb al Islam member, Bashir Laq Laqaaye, in Barawe, Lower Shabelle region on July 23. Al Shabaab detained Laq Laqaaye in June 2013 after he attempted to defect to the Somali Federal Government alongside Hizb al Islam leader Hassan Dahir Aweys.[10]

[1] Video retrieved through an AQAP-linked Twitter account, July 28, 2014.
“Al Qaeda attacks police station in Hadramawt and militants execute soldier and write on his body, ‘Eye for an Eye,’” al Masdar, July 26, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Twelve dead in Yemen suicide car bomb bids,” The Daily Star, July 27, 2014. Available:
“Two soldiers and 10 al Qaeda militants killed, including al Qaeda leadership, when Yemeni military prevents wide attack against military sites,” Aden al Ghad, July 27, 2014 [Arabic]. Available: 
“Terrorist attacks on Yemeni 39th Armored Brigade sites prevented in Mahfad, Abyan,” Sahafah Net, July 27, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “IED planted in car of Lawder citizen explodes..tension spreads in Mahfad,” Yemen Today, July 25, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Attack on presidential palace prevented in Seiyun,” Barakish Net, July 26, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Two people killed in mysterious explosion in Dhamar,” al Watanye, July 25, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Al Dhaleh.. Leader of the Yemeni 33rd Armored Brigade escapes assassination attempt,” Sahafah Net, July 28, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Gof Gadud administration claim victory on clashes between government forces and Al-shabab,” Goobjoog News, July 26, 2014. Available:
“Battles erupt in Mogadishu,” Shabelle News, July 27, 2014. Available:
[8] “SOMALIA: Al Shabab calls Muslims to carry revenge attacks on Israeli interest, citizens across the world,” July 26, 2014. Available:
“Somalian jihadist group Al-Shabab calls for attacks on Jewish targets worldwide,” The Jerusalem Post, July 27, 2014. Available:
[9] “SOMALIA: Mogadishu Mayor survives as landmine explosion targets his convoy,” RBC Radio, July 27, 2014. Available:
[10] “Hizbul Islam member Bashir Laq Laqaaye dies in al-Shabaab custody,” July 25, 2014. Available:
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