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 militants attack Saudi border post in Hadramawt; AQAP releases statement to Facebook; AQAP militants attack al Houthi checkpoint in al Jawf; suspected AQAP militants detonate SVEST and ambush military vehicle in Abyan; Yemeni military and Islah militias clash with al Houthis; Yemeni Air Force bombs al Houthi positions in Amran and Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Suspected al Shabaab militants raid two towns in Kenya’s Coast Province; al Shabaab claims responsibility for SVBIED blast near Somali parliament building in Mogadishu; Somali security forces clash with al Shabaab militants in Galgudud, Lower Shabelle,and Middle Shabelle regions; suspected al Shabaab militants kill Somali traffic police officers in Mogadishu; al Shabaab militants target civilians with IED blast in Gedo region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants attacked the Wadia border post in Hadramawt along the Yemeni-Saudi border on July 6. A suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) detonated at the border post, killing one Yemeni soldier and wounding another. AQAP militants clashed with Saudi security forces following the explosion, killing one Saudi security officer and three militants. Saudi security forces captured one militant. The Yemeni 23rd Armored Brigade deployed to the border post to search for two militant vehicles that fled following the explosion.[1]
  • AQAP released a statement to Facebook on July 3, claiming credit for the vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) that detonated at the Yemeni First Regional Military Command base and the attacks that damaged airport facilities in Seiyun, Hadramawt on June 26. The statement added that the attacks intended to destroy the facilities that recruit spies, distribute tracking chips, and operate U.S. drones. The statement concluded that AQAP would continue to target alleged drone operation centers.[2]
  • AQAP militants attacked an al Houthi checkpoint in al Safara, al Jawf on July 6, killing two al Houthi militants.[3]
  • A suspected AQAP militant wearing a suicide vest (SVEST) detonated near a gathering of Popular Committees near the al Sunna mosque in Lawder, Abyan on July 3, resulting in no casualities. Separately, suspected AQAP militants ambushed a Yemeni army vehicle in Mahfad, Abyan on July 6, killing 6 Yemeni soldiers.[4]
  • Clashes between the Yemeni 310th Armored Brigade, supported by al Islah Party tribesmen, and al Houthi militants continued in Amran on July 4 and continued through July 6.[5]
  • The Yemeni Air Force carried out air strikes on al Houthi positions in Sawda Adan, Amran and Hamdan, Sana’a on July 5.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Suspected al Shabaab militants raided two towns, Gamba and Hindi, in Kenya’s Coast Province on July 5. The militants reportedly fired indiscriminately upon both civilians and security forces, killing at least 22 people. Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Abdul Aziz Abu Musab claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that the militants targeted Christians as retribution for the Kenyan mistreatment of Muslims in Kenya and Somalia.[7]
  • An al Shabaab spokesman, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Abu Musab, claimed an al Shabaab militant conducted a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) attack targeting the Somali parliament in Mogadishu on July 5. The SVBIED detonated at the gate to the Somali parliament building, killing three security officers and two civilians.[8]
  • Al Shabaab militants attacked AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) forces near Qoryoley, Lower Shabelle region on July 5. The AMISOM and SNA forces reportedly repelled the attack, killing several al Shabaab militants, before driving the militants out of several strongholds in the area. Separately, Ethiopian AMISOM and SNA forces clashed with al Shabaab militants in Elbur, Galgudud region on July 4. Finally, al Shabaab militants attacked Somali security forces, killing two, in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region on July 6.[9]
  • Suspected al Shabaab militants killed two Somali traffic police officers in the Hamar Jabjab district of Mogadishu on July 5. Separately, suspected al Shabaab militants killed a traffic police officer in the Yaqshid district of Mogadishu on July 6. Although no group claimed responsibility for the killings, Sheikh Ali Mohamed Rage, also known as Ali Dhere, declared on July 6 that al Shabaab will target the Somali traffic police.[10]
  • Al Shabaab militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED), killing four civilians, in a restaurant in Beled Hawo, Gedo region on July 5. Al Shabaab stated that the blast targeted the restaurant and its patrons for breaking the fast during Ramadan.[11] 

[1] “Two killed in Yemeni-Saudi border post attack,” The Daily Star, July 4, 2014. Available:
“Saudi guard, three gunmen killed in clash on Yemen border,” Reuters, July 4, 2014. Available:
“Defense discovers details on the Wadi post attack,” Barakish Net, July 4, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Six people killed during attacks on Saudi Yemeni border post,” Reuters, July 4, 2014. Available:
[2] “Abdullah Zraq al Jamal,” Facebook, July 3, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Al Qaeda claims attack on Central Intelligence building in Seiyun and vows more,” Akhbar al Yom, July 5, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Killed and wounded in al Qaeda attack on al Houthi site in al Jawf,” Barakish Net, July 7, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Suicide bomber explodes near People’s Committees in Abyan.. and no casualties,” al Masdar, July 3, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Abyan..suicide bomber explodes near People’s Committees in ‘Lawder,’” Akhbar al Yom, July 4, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Six soldiers killed in trap launched by al Qaeda in Mahfad, Abyan,” al Masdar, July 6, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Yemen army continues fight in north and is attacked in south,” Reuters, July 6, 2014. Available:
“Clashes intensified between the army and al Houthis in Amran and planes fly at low altitude and break sound barrier,” al Masdar, July 5, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[6]“Yemen bombs Shi’ite rebels after truce collapses, 70 killed,” Reuters, July 5, 2014. Available:
 “Warplanes bomb al Houthi sites near Amran city and Bani Monis, Hamdan,” Barakish Net, July 7, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] Joseph Akwiri, “Gunmen kill at least 29 in latest raids on Kenyan Coast,” Reuters, July 6, 2014. Available:
Heidi Vogt, “Twenty-Two Dead in Attacks by Militants on Kenyan Coast,” The Wall Street Journal, July 6, 2014. Available:
“SOMALIA: Al Shabaab says it has controlled five Kenyan towns on Saturday night attacks,” RBC Radio, July 6, 2014. Available:
[8] “Somalia parliament suicide car bomb kills four,” BBC, July 5, 2014. Available:
Hamza Mohamed, “Car bomb targets Somalia parliament complex,” Al Jazeera, July 5, 2014. Available:
[9] “Renewed fighting breaks out near Qoryoley,” Shabelle News, July 5, 2014. Available:
“SNA backed by AMISOM advances to new areas under Qoryoley district,” Goobjoog News, July 6, 2014. Available:
“Fierce confrontations breaks out in Eel Bur district,” Shabelle News, July 4, 2014. Available:
“Two men in government army uniform killed in Jowhar town,” Bar Kulan, July 7, 2014. Available:
“Ali Dheere Warns the Traffic Police,” Dalsan Radio, July 6, 2014. Available:
“Somali traffic police soldier shot dead in Mogadishu,” Bar Kulan, July 7, 2014. Available:
[11] “Somalia: Bomb blast at restaurant kills 2 in Gedo region town of Beled Hawo,” Garowe Online, July 6, 2014. Available:
“Four non fasting people killed by Al Shabaab,” Dalsan Radio, July 6, 2014. Available:
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