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 counter-terrorism unit captures AQAP cell in Sana’a; AQAP judge praises ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi; Yemeni military fires artillery shells at AQAP militants in Abyan; Yemeni military repels al Houthi attack in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: al Shabaab militants attack SNA base in Middle Shabelle region; Kenya and Uganda enhance border security to counter al Shabaab threat; Kenyan police forcibly disperse demonstrators in Kenya’s Coast Province

Yemen Security Brief

  • A Yemeni counter-terrorism unit captured three al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants in a hotel in Sana’a on June 18.[1]
  • Ma'moun bin Abdul Hameed Hatem, an AQAP judge, praised Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS), in a statement, entitled "Moratoriums on the fruits of victory in the Land of Tigris and Euphrates,” posted on YouTube on June 17.[2]
  • The Yemeni 111th Infantry Brigade fired artillery shells at the Ma’jami Mountains in Abyan on June 18. A military source reported that the Yemeni military monitored the movements of AQAP militants to the Ma’jami Mountains after Tariq al Fadhli, a prominent tribal leader linked to AQAP insurgent arm Ansar al Sharia, reportedly arrived in the nearby Maraqesha Mountains.[3]
  • The Yemeni 310th Armored Brigade deployed tanks and repelled an al Houthi attack in Bani Matar, Sana’a on June 18.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants attacked a Somali National Army (SNA) base in Lafole, Middle Shabelle region on June 18. The militants reportedly fired mortar shells at the base during the attack, inadvertently killing at least one civilian.[5]
  • Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed announced on June 18 that the Kenyan and Somali governments plan to increase intelligence coordination in an effort to enhance security along the Kenya-Somalia border. Separately, the Ugandan government announced June 18 that additional security forces, including troops from the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) and officers from the Uganda Police Force, deployed to the Uganda-Somalia border. The expanded border security in the region came as a response to al Shabaab’s June 15 and June 17 attacks on towns in Kenya’s Coast province.[6]
  • Kenyan police arrested eight demonstrators and employed non-lethal deterrents to disperse approximately 200 people protesting Kenya’s nationwide insecurity in Mombasa in Kenya’s Coast Province on June 19. The demonstrators cited several grievances, including the alleged extra-judicial killings of Muslim clerics by Kenyan police and the Kenyan government’s failure to prevent the June 15 and June 17 attacks in Lamu district, as inspiring the protest.[7]

[1] “Counter-terrorism unit captures al Qaeda cell in a hotel in the capital,” Barakish Net, June 18, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Moratoriums on the fruits of victory in the Land of Tigris and Euphrates,” YouTube, June 17, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Happening Now: Yemeni army forces bomb the Ma’jami Mountains in Abyan,” Aden al Ghad, June 18, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Tanks repel al Houthi attack west of Amran city,” Barakish Net, June 19, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “One civilian killed in Middle Shabelle clashes,” Bar Kulan, June 19, 2014. Available:
[6] Muchemi Wachira, “Border residents to be part of a campaign against terror,” Daily Nation, June 19, 2014. Available:
Joseph Omolo, Felix Warom Okello, Matrin Okudi, Robert Muhezera, “Uganda beefs up security at all borders,” The East African, June 19, 2014. Available:
[7] “Kenyan police disperse protest over security concerns,” Reuters, June 19, 2014. Available:
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