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: U.S. State Department designates AQAP member as SDGT; suspected AQAP militants assassinate popular committee member in Aden; al Houthi militants clash with villagers in Sana’a; Yemeni air force strikes al Houthi positions in Amran
Horn of Africa: al Shabaab claims responsibility for June 15 attack in Kenya’s Coast Province; al Shabaab militants attack village in Kenya’s Coast Province; al Shabaab militants clash with Liyuu police along Ethiopia-Somalia border in Bakool region; Jubbaland security forces clash with rival militia in Lower Jubba region
Yemen Security Brief
- The U.S. State Department designated Shawki Ali Ahmed al Badani, a prominent member of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) on June 17. Separately, Tariq al Fadhli, leader of the al Fadhli tribe, announced that he officially joined Ansar al Sharia, the insurgent arm of AQAP in Abyan. He issued a declaration advocating armed struggle against the Yemeni government on June 16.
- Two suspected AQAP militants assassinated Murad Diba, a Popular Committee member, in the Bilal neighborhood in al Buraiqeh, Aden on June 16.
- Al Houthi militants clashed with local tribesmen in Bani Matar, Sana’a on June 17, killing 10 tribesmen and wounding two others. The Houthis reportedly blew up three houses in the village. Al Houthis also set up road blocks along the road leading away from the village.
- The Yemeni military conducted airstrikes on al Houthi-held villages in Amran on June 17.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the June 15 attack, which killed at least 48 people, in Mpeketoni in Kenya’s Coast Province. A statement, posted through an al Shabaab-affiliated Twitter account on June 16, declared the attack came as retribution for the killings of Muslim clerics in Mombasa, Kenya. A separate al Shabaab source justified the attack by stating that Mpeketoni was a historically Muslim area now “invaded and occupied by Christian settlers.” Local residents reportedly confirmed the religious motivation, claiming that the assailants targeted individuals who could not recite Islamic prayers and verses.
- Al Shabaab militants attacked Poromoko in the Lamu district of Kenya’s Coast Province on June 17. The militants raided houses within the village, killing at least 15 people. Local residents reported that the militants again targeted individuals who could not recite Islamic prayers and verses. Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Abdul Aziz Abu Musab claimed the attack for al Shabaab, stating that Kenya is now a war zone and encouraged tourists to leave the country.
- Al Shabaab militants clashed with Liyuu police, an Ethiopian paramilitary force operating in the Ogaden region of eastern Ethiopia, along the Ethiopia-Somalia border in Bakool region on June 16. The fighting reportedly killed as many as twenty combatants. Separately, al Shabaab militants ambushed a Kenyan AMISOM convoy near El Waq in Gedo region on June 17.
- Jubbaland security forces clashed with a rival militia near Kismayo in Lower Jubba region on June 16. The confrontation, which killed at least three people, came after the militia’s leader threatened to attack Ahmed Madobe’s Interim Jubbaland Administration, accusing Madobe of breaking regional governance agreements.