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 leader Nasser al Wahayshi praises AQ leader Ayman al Zawahiri in released statement; AQAP releases statement criticizing those who slander jihadi scholars; suspected AQAP militants attack Yemeni military in Abyan; al Houthi militants detonate IEDs in Amran

Horn of Africa: Unidentified gunmen kill former member of Somali parliament in Mogadishu; unidentified assailants raid police camp in Kenya’s Coast Province and attack restaurant in Kenya’s North Eastern Province; Somali security forces conduct security operations in Bay region and Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a statement to YouTube on July 3 in which Nasser al Wahayshi, the leader of AQAP, praises Ayman al Zawahiri, the leader of al Qaeda.[1]
  • AQAP’s media arm, al Malahim Media Foundation, released a statement, entitled “Responsibility of the Word,” to Twitter and YouTube on July 5. Within the statement, two AQAP religious officials, Harith bin Ghazi al Nadhari and Ibrahim al Rubaish, criticized Muslims who slander accomplished jihadi scholars.[2]
  • Suspected AQAP militants attacked the entrance of a public market in Mahfad, Abyan on July 7, killing two soldiers from the Yemeni 39th Armored Brigade.[3]
  • Al Houthi militants detonated improvised explosive devices (IED) in Amran on July 7, destroying al Islah party executive office and houses of several al Islah Party leaders. Separately, the al Houthis clashed with security forces in and around Amran, resulting in Yemeni security forces surrendering their weapons to the al Houthis. The al Houthi’s media arm, Ansaru Allah, released a statement following the attacks claiming that the al Houthis had taken complete control of Amran. [4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Unidentified gunmen killed a former member of Somali parliament, Hassan Bagadi, in the Wadajir district of Mogadishu on July 8. Although no group has yet claimed responsibility, al Shabaab continues to threaten and target Somali government and security personnel in Mogadishu during Ramadan.[5]
  • Unidentified assailants raided a Kenyan Police Reservist (KPR) camp, located between Hindi and Mpeketoni, in Lamu County in Kenya’s Coast Province on July 7. The assailants reportedly damaged property in the camp before clashing with KPR officers. Separately, unidentified assailants attacked a restaurant in Wajir in Kenya’s North Eastern Province on July 8. The assailants reportedly threw a grenade into the restaurant before firing upon the building, killing at least one person. No group has yet claimed responsibility for either attack.[6]
  • Somali security forces conducted security operations in Baidoa, Bay region on July 7 after receiving information indicating potential attacks in the city. The security forces disrupted activity and transportation in the town, arresting at least twenty suspects and confiscating suspicious vehicles. Separately, Somali security forces conducted security operations along the Makka al Mukarama road in the Hamar Weyne and Waberi districts of Mogadishu on July 8.[7]

[1] Thomas Jocelyn, “AQAP Praises Ayman al Zawahiri, defends jihadist scholars against ‘slander,’” The Long War Journal, July 08, 2014. Available:
“A psalm for Islam’s oldest brother,” YouTube, July 08, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “AQAP Officials Nadhari and Rubeish Denouncing Slandering of Scholars,” SITE INTEL, July 08, 2014. Available at SITE.
[3] “Abyan..two soldiers killed, including individuals from the Yemeni 39th Brigade, and others wounded,” Akhbar al Yom, July 08, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Al Houthis explode al Islah office in Amran city and houses of party leaders,” al Masdar, July 07, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Historic day: Sons of Amran regain their city and announce departure of forces and infidel groups,” Ansaru Allah, July 08, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Battles inside and around Amran and al Jamimah an al Mahashash and sources say leaders of security forces surrendered to al Houthis,” al Masdar, July 08, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Former Somali legislator shot dead in Mogadishu,” Bar Kulan, July 8, 2014. Available:
[6] Galgalo Bocha and Kalume Kazungu, “Gang attacks ranch in Lamu, burns vehicle and offices,” Daily Nation, July 8, 2014. Available:
Eugene Okumu, “Lamu Police Reservist camp razed by unknown assailants,” The Star, July 8, 2014. Available:
“One killed in grenade attack in Kenyan northeast,” AFP, July 8, 2014. Available:
[7] “Security heightened in Baidoa amid fears of terror attacks,” Bar Kulan, July 8, 2014. Available:
“Somali security forces carry out operations in Mogadishu,” Bar Kulan, July 8, 2014. Available:
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