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: AQAP militants detonate SVBIED and attack Sayun airport in Hadramawt; Yemeni counter-terrorism units arrive in Hadramawt; Yemeni security forces capture AQAP cell in Hadramawt; IEDs detonate in Amran; gunmen attack Yemeni military vehicle in al Bayda; assailants attack power lines in Ma’rib

Horn of Africa: al Shabaab militants attack Djiboutian AMISOM and SNA forces stationed at hotel in Hiraan region; Kenyan police arrest Lamu district governor and suspected Mombasa Republic Council members and in Kenya’s Coast Province; Somali President Mohamud replaces SNA leadership

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants detonated a suicide vehicle-borne improvised device (SVBIED) at the entrance of the Yemeni 1st Regional Military Command base in Sayun, Hadramawt on June 26, killing four soldiers. AQAP militants clashed with the Yemeni military at the base following the explosion, killing seven soldiers. Separately, the Yemeni military and a Yemeni counter-terrorism unit repelled an AQAP attack on the Sayun airport on June 26. Two AQAP militants and one soldier were killed during the fighting.[1] 
  • The Yemeni security forces cut off all communication services in Hadramawt and flew in two planes carrying Yemeni counter-terrorism units to Mukalla, Hadramawt on June 25. An anonymous security source reported that the units were tasked with tracking and capturing an AQAP cell in one of Hadramawt’s valleys.[2]
  • Yemeni security forces clashed with and captured AQAP militant, Rushdie Abdullah Baaweidan, also known as Abu Abdullah al Hadrami, and the rest of his seven-man AQAP cell in Halfun, Hadramawt on June 25. An anonymous security source reported that the AQAP cell planned on bombing oil tankers and oil installations in Hadramawt.[3]
  • Improvised explosive devices (IED) detonated in al Aswad, Amran on June 25, killing one person and wounding four others. No group has yet claimed responsibility.[4]
  • Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a Yemeni 139th Infantry Brigade vehicle in Rada'a, al Bayda on June 25, wounding one soldier.[5]
  • Unknown assailants destroyed power lines in Ma’rib on June 25, causing power outages in Sana’a and other unspecified provinces.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants, reportedly outfitted in military uniform, attacked Djiboutian AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) forces stationed at the Amalow hotel in Bulo-Burde, Hiraan region on June 26. An AMISOM spokesman claimed that the AMISOM and SNA guards prevented the militants from entering the hotel and killed two militants. Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Abdul Aziz Abu Musab stated that the operation was effective, claiming that the militants killed six Djiboutian AMISOM soldiers.[7]
  • Kenyan police arrested the Lamu district governor, Issa Timamy, in Lamu on June 25. A Kenyan security official reported that Timamy is facing charges related to the June 15 Mpeketoni attack, supporting President Uhuru Kenyatta’s insistence that the attack was conducted by political discontents rather than al Shabaab militants. Separately, Kenyan police arrested 13 suspected members of the Mombasa Republican Council, a coastal secessionist group, in Lamu County in Kenya’s Coast Province on June 25. The Kenyan Ministry of Interior reported that the suspects were “planning an ethnic cleansing attack similar to [the June 15 attack in] Mpeketoni.”[8]
  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud dismissed SNA Chief General Dahir Adan Elmi and SNA Deputy Chief General Abdirisaq Khalif Hussein in a decree issued this week. President Mohamud’s decree also appointed General Abdullahi Anod, the former commander of the presidential guard unit, as the new SNA chief and General Abdullahi Osman Agey as the new SNA deputy chief.[9]

[1] “UPDATE 2-Islamists attack Yemeni airport as bomber hits army base - sources,” Reuters, June 26 2014. Available:
“Killed and wounded in new suicide attack targeting the Yemeni 1st Regional Command base in Seiyun (Addition),” al Masdar,” June 26, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Urgent.. al Qaeda militants attack Seiyun airport, wounding 1,” Barakish Net, June 26, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Detained Yemeni plane takes off in Seiyun,” Barakish Net, June 26, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “High Security: 7-man terrorist cell operation curbed in Haflun, Hadramawt,” Aden al Ghad, June 26, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Video.. explosive-laden gifts kill and wound number of citizens in Amran and more explosive-laden gifts are discovered,” Barakish Net, June 25, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “One soldier wounded when gunmen opened fire in Rada,” Barakish Net, June 25, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “New arson attack on power transmission lines in Mareb,” Barkish Net, June 25, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Al-Shabab gunmen attack hotel in Somalia,” Al Jazeera, June 26, 2014. Available:
Feisal Omar and Abdi Sheikh, “Islamist militants raid hotel in central Somalia: witnesses,” Reuters, June 26, 2014. Available:
[8] “Reconstruction of Mpeketoni begins as 13 suspected MRC members arrest,” Sabahi Online, June 25, 2014. Available:
“Kenya police arrest regional governor after coastal attacks,” BBC, June 25, 2014. Available:
[9] “SOMALIA: President Mohamud fires senior military commanders,” RBC Radio, June 25, 2014. Available:
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