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: ISIS Wilayat Sana’a detonates VBIED in Sana’a; VBIED kills at least 10 people in al Bayda city

Horn of Africa: Kenyan police deny al Shabaab attacked bus convoy in Lamu County; Kenyan officials launch security operation following July 7 attack

Yemen Security Brief

  • The Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham’s (ISIS) Wilayat Sana’a claimed responsibility for a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) attack on the al Raoudh mosque in the al Ramah neighborhood of Sana’a on July 7, targeting the al Houthis. This is the fourth VBIED attack claimed by Wilayat Sana’a targeting the al Houthis since the beginning of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.[1] 
  • A VBIED detonated in front of a security management building in al Bayda city, targeting the al Houthi movement. The attack killed at least 10 people and has not yet been claimed. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s insurgent force, Ansar al Sharia, has previously claimed similar attacks in al Bayda city.[2]   

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Several reports indicate that heavily armed al Shabaab militants attacked a convoy of buses near Mpeketoni, Lamu County, on July 7. No injuries are reported, and witnesses stated that the militants targeted the convoy’s police escorts. Kenyan Police Inspector General Joseph Boinnet tweeted that reports of the attack were false and that al Shabaab has faced severe setbacks within the past 12 hours.[3]
  • Kenyan officials announced that the government evacuated the remaining 136 quarry workers from Soko Mbuzi, Mandera County, following al Shabaab’s July 7 attack that killed 14 people and injured 11 others. Kenyan security forces also launched a manhunt for the militants involved, whom local residents suggested may be young men inspired by al Shabaab, despite the group’s claim that they conducted the attack.[4]

[1] “ISIS claims mosque attack in Yemeni capital,” al Arabiya, July 8, 2015. Available:
[2] “Deadly car bombs hit Yemen, day after almost 200 killed,” Reuters, July 7, 2015. Available:
“Car bomb hits security management building in al Bayda city,” al Masdar, July 7, 2015. [Arabic] Available: 
[3] “Heavily-armed militants attack busses in Lamu, repulsed by police,” Standard Digital, July 8, 2015. Available:
“Kenya: al Shabab ambushes on bus in Lamu,” Shabelle News, July 8, 2015. Available:
Cheti Praxides, “Passengers tell of attempted attack on Lamu buses, state rubbishes reports as ‘unreliable rumors’,” The Star, July 8, 2015. Available:
“Reports of Mpeketoni bus attacks false,” Joseph Boinnet, Twitter, July 8, 2015. Available:
[4] “Kenya mounts security operation in north following Shabaab attack,” Hiiraan Online, July 7, 2015. Available:
“Police pursue gunmen behind murder of 14 in Kenya’s border town,” Hiiraan Online, July 8, 2015. Available:
“Al Shabaab planned to kill 150 in Mandera attack – Nkaissery,” Bar Kulan, July 8, 2015. Available:
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