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: Drone strike in al Mahfad, Abyan; rocket found aimed at military camp in Lahij; unidentified explosion in Sana’a; gunmen kidnap soldiers in Taiz; militants cut off electricity in Taiz; gunmen attack 139th Mechanized Infantry Brigade in al Bayda; Saudi border guards clash with gunmen entering Yemen; U.K. intelligence report calls AQAP the most innovative and dangerous al Qaeda group
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab attacks Turkish embassy in Mogadishu; car bomb kills former district commissioner in Mogadishu; al Shabaab leader Zubair arrests all foreign commanders within al Shabaab; al Shabaab attacks Somali base in Baidoa, Bay region; grenade attack targets police station in Wadajir district, Mogadishu; al Shabaab attacks AMISOM base in Yaaq Biri Weyne, Lower Shabelle region; grenade attack targets AMISOM vehicle in Marka, Lower Shabelle region; Somali troops conduct security operations in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region; Somali military court executes four Somali soldiers; grenade attack targets Somali troops in Hodan district, Mogadishu; unknown gunmen attack Somali soldiers at café in Mogadishu, Somalia; unknown attackers raid Somali base in Afgoi, Lower Shabelle region; Somali troops fight each other in Marka, Lower Shabelle region; UN report discloses Kenyan parliamentarian is helping fund al Shabaab
Yemen Security Brief
- A suspected drone strike in al Mahfad, Abyan governorate killed between four and seven suspected members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), including an unnamed “prominent leader,” on July 27.
- Police found and disposed of a small rocket aimed at the Special Forces camp in al Hawta, Lahij on July 29.
- An explosion near the Sana’a Supermarket in Hasaba, Sana’a killed at least one on July 29. Security forces are investigating if it was a terrorist act.
- Gunmen kidnapped ten coast guard sailors in al Hawban, Taiz governorate on July 28 in response to two residents of Taiz being kidnapped in al Dhaleh last week.
- Gunmen stormed a power station and cut off electricity in Taiziyya, Taiz governorate on July 28.
- Unknown gunmen killed a soldier of the 139th Mechanized Infantry Brigade and seriously wounded another in Rada’a, al Bayda governorate on July 29.
- A clash with three men trying to enter Yemen illegally at the Najran border crossing wounded a Saudi border guard on July 27. The three men were captured and are being questioned.
- A report issued on July 10 by the U.K. House of Commons Intelligence and Security Committee called AQAP the “most innovative” al Qaeda franchise. It also reported that AQAP continues to plot attacks against Western targets.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Al Shabaab militants drove an explosives-laden vehicle into Turkish diplomatic residencies in Mogadishu on July 27. One Turkish security official, two civilians and three al Shabaab fighters were killed in the explosion. Nine others were injured. Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the suicide attack via its Twitter account. Somali, United Nations and Turkish officials denounced the bombing.
- A car bomb detonated in the vehicle of the former Mahaday, Lower Shabelle district commissioner in northern Mogadishu on July 27. The district commissioner was killed in the explosion. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
- Al Shabaab leader Mukhtar Abu Zubair arrested all foreign commanders within al Shabaab. The arrests followed a prolonged internal fight. Some of the arrested militant commanders come from Yemen, Kenya and Sudan.
- Al Shabaab militants attacked Somali bases in Baidoa, Bay region on July 26. At least four people from both sides were killed in the clashes.
- A grenade attack targeted a police station in Wadajir district, Mogadishu on July 29. No one was injured in the explosion but Somali security officials conducted searches following the explosion.
- Al Shabaab militants attacked an AMISOM base in Yaaq Biri Weyne, Lower Shabelle region on July 28. The exact casualty count has not been reported. Al Shabaab retreated after the initial attack.
- A grenade attack targeted an AMISOM convoy in Marka, Lower Shabelle region on July 28. One AMISOM soldier was injured in the attack.
- Somali troops carried out security operations in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region on July 29. The number of people arrested is unknown.
- Four Somali soldiers were executed by a military court in Mogadishu on July 27. The four men were found guilty of murder.
- A grenade attack targeted government security forces in Hodan district, Mogadishu on July 25. Five civilians were injured in the blast. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
- Unknown gunmen attacked Somali soldiers sitting at a café in Mogadishu on July 26. Three soldiers were killed in the shooting. No group has claimed responsibility.
- Unknown attackers raided a Somali Army base in Afgoi, Lower Shabelle region on July 26. One soldier was killed in the attack.
- Somali government troops fought each other outside Marka, Lower Shabelle region on July 24. Clashes began because of clan rivalries between two brigades. Casualties from the incident are not known.
- The UN report released on July 17 documented that a member of the Kenyan parliament funds al Shabaab operations in Kenya and Somalia. The official, who isn’t named, has ties to al Hijra (formerly the Muslim Youth Center) and al Shabaab.