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 claims VBIED attack against al Houthis in Sana’a: AQAP claims responsibility for four separate attacks in al Bayda; al Houthis killed in IED attack in Shabwah

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab briefly holds territory in Lower Shabelle; security forces thwart al Shabaab attack on Mogadishu intelligence training center; Somali intelligence announces death of senior al Shabaab member

Yemen Security Review

  • The Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) Wilayat Sana’a detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) at the Qiba al Mahdi mosque on June 20, killing two and wounding another six. Wilayat Sana’a claimed that they were targeting al Houthi militias who frequent the mosque. Unidentified militants also detonated a VBIED targeting the al Houthis in Ibb city, Ibb on June 20.[1]
  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility for a series of attacks on June 18 targeting the al Houthis in al Bayda.  The group claimed responsibility for a suicide VBIED (SVBIED) attack targeting al Houthis in Makiras as well as an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in the Masha’ba area. Additionally, AQAP claimed responsibility for both an IED attack in al Bayda city as well as an attack on al Houthi positions in al Taffa.[2]
  • Five members of the al Houthi movement were killed on June 21 after an IED targeted their vehicle in Ataq, Shabwah.[3]  

Horn of Africa Security Review

  • Local reporting indicates that al Shabaab briefly held a military instillation and a police station in Afgooye, Lower Shabelle region, on June 20. At least eight Somali troops were killed and two military vehicles were destroyed in the siege.[4]
  • Al Shabaab militants detonated an SVBIED outside a Somali intelligence agency training center in Mogadishu on June 21. The militants mistakenly raided a nearby home they believed to be part of the center, allowing security forces to thwart the attack. Somali officials claimed the attack left four militants dead but denied al Shabaab’s claims that the group’s militants killed ten intelligence officials.[5]
  • The Somali National Security and Intelligence Agency reported that al Shabaab senior member Yussuf Haji was killed by an grenade in Bardere, Gedo region, on June 22. The attack was in retaliation for al Shabaab’s June 21 attack on a Mogadishu intelligence training center.[6]

[1] “Car bomb explodes in Yemen capital near mosque used by Houthis, two dead” Reuters, June 20, 2015. Available:
[2] “AQAP Claims Multiple Attacks on Houthi Targets in al-Bayda’” SITE Intelligence Group, June 20, 2015. Available:
[3] “Five Houthi gunmen killed in IED attack in Ataq, Shabwah” al Masdar, June 21, 2015. [Arabic] Available:
[4] “Somalia: militants briefly overrun town near Mogadishu,” Garowe Online, June 20, 2015. Available:
“al Shabaab claims 15 dead,” Live from Mogadishu, Twitter, June 20, 2015. Available:
[5] “Somalia jihadists al-Shabab launch Mogadishu attack,” BBC, June 21, 2015. Available:
“Four militants killed in raid on Somali government site, attack over,” Reuters, June 21, 2015. Available:
[6] “Senior al Shabaab figure killed in South West Somalia,” Radio Dalsan, June 22, 2015. Available:
“Somalia: Intelligence service claims to have conducted surprise operation,” Garowe Online, June 22, 2015. Available:
"Grenade attack kills senior al Shabaab member," National Intellegence and Security Agency, Twitter, June 21, 2015. Available:
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