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: Yemeni Regional Military Command prepares for military operation against AQAP in Lahij; Jahm tribal gunmen kidnap six oil company employees in Asheil, Ma’rib; gunmen attack military checkpoint in al Hawtah, Lahij; gunmen sabotage power lines in Ma’rib.

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants attack Jubbaland security forces in Lower Jubba region; al Shabaab militants attack AMISOM and SNA forces in Bakool region; unidentified assailants kill prominent Muslim cleric in Kenya’s Coast Province

Yemen Security Brief

  • The Yemeni 4th Regional Military Command began preparations for a military operation against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives residing in al Hawtah, Lahij on June 9. Brig. Gen. Saleh Ali Hassan, Chief of Staff of the Yemeni 4th Regional Military Command, and Brig. Gen. Osman Hydra, security director for the Lahij governorate, will lead the operation.[1]
  • Jahm tribal gunmen kidnapped six employees that worked for various oil companies along the road to Sana’a in Asheil, Ma’rib on June 9.[2]
  • Unidentified gunmen attacked a military checkpoint near al Hawtah, Lahij on June 10, killing one soldier and wounding another.[3]
  • Unknown assailants attacked power lines in Ma’rib on June 10, which disabled electricity for the entire country. After repair teams fixed the lines following the first assault, gunmen then attacked a second time and stopped technicians from repairing the lines again.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants attacked Jubbaland security forces in the Via Afmadow section of Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on June 9. The militants killed two security forces during the attack, prompting an extended confrontation between the two sides. An Interim Jubba Administration official reported that the security forces eventually repelled the attack, killing five al Shabaab militants.[5]
  • Al Shabaab militants attacked AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) forces near Rabdhure and Garas Weyne, Bakool region on June 9. The governor of Bakool region, Mohamed Abdi Tool, reported that 13 al Shabaab militants and four friendly soldiers were killed during the fighting. The attack came five days after AMISOM and SNA forces seized Rabdhure and several other surrounding localities from al Shabaab on June 4.[6]
  • Unidentified assailants killed a prominent, moderate Muslim cleric, Sheikh Mohammed Idris, in Likoni near Mombasa in Kenya’s Coast Province on June 10. Kenyan police suspect that the assailants targeted Idris, chairman of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya, to prevent him from assuming leadership of Sakina mosque, formerly known as Masjid Mussa and reportedly linked to al Shabaab recruitment and radicalization in Mombasa. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta lamented Idris’ death, stating that Idris “was at the forefront in the fight against the radicalization of youth and therefore his death is a big blow to the country’s efforts to stop religious extremism.”[7]

[1] “Impending military operation to track al Qaeda in Lahij,” al Masdar Online, June 10, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Gunmen kidnap two people, including one foreigner, after the kidnapping of oil company director,” Barakish Net, June 9, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Tribesmen kidnap seven oil company employees, including foreigners, in Ma’rib,” al Masdar Online, June 10, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] "One soldier killed and another wounded when gunmen open fire west of al Hawtah city,” Barakish Net, June 10, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Yemen in total blackout after power lines sabotage,” Ahram Online, June 10, 2014. Available:
“Power outages on entirety of Yemen as a result of sabotage in Ma’rib,” June 10, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “7 killed in clashes between Al Shabaab and IJA forces,” Bar Kulan, June 10, 2014. Available:
“Soldiers serving Jubbaland Administration Killed in Kismayo,” Dalsan Radio, June 10, 2014. Available:
[6] “Somalia: 13 militants reported killed after fierce clashes in Bakool,” Garowe Online, June 9, 2014. Available:
[7] Joseph Akwiri, “Moderate Muslim preacher shot dead in Kenya,” Reuters, June 10, 2014. Available:
Joseph Burite and Ilya Gridneff, “Muslim Moderate Cleric Killed by Gunmen in Kenyan Port City,” Bloomberg, June 10, 2014. Available:
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