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 kills government security personnel at military checkpoint in Shabwah governorate; airstrike kills three reported AQAP militants in Ma’rib; Yemeni troops deploy in Shabwah governorate

Horn of Africa: Ethiopian counterterrorism police arrest suspected al Shabaab militant in Addis Ababa; al Shabaab militants detain clan elders in Middle Jubba region; al Shabaab militants ambush local traders in Hiraan region; unidentified gunmen kill Somali security officer in Mogadishu

 Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) gunmen attacked a military checkpoint in Bayhan in Shabwah governorate on June 5, killing at least 13 soldiers. Official statements indicated eight of the dead were government soldiers while the remaining killed were tribesmen allied with the government. Two armored vehicles were also set ablaze before the AQAP gunmen fled.[1]
  • A reported airstrike killed three suspected AQAP militants in Ma’rib governorate on June 4. The strike occurred as the suspects were traveling in a vehicle in the Wadi Adiba district. The source of the airstrike remains unclear.[2]
  • Yemeni troops deployed to locations in Jabal Rida and Hura in Mayfaa district in Shabwah governorate on June 5 under the supervision of the military operations chief Maj. Gen. Nasser Abd Rabbu al Tahri, the commander of the 2nd Naval Infantry Brigade Brig. Gen. Qasem Rajeh Labouza, and the deputy director of military operations Brig. Gen. Saleh al Zindani.[3]

 Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Ethiopian security officials reported that the Ethiopian counterterrorism police unit disrupted an al Shabaab terror plot in Addis Ababa on June 3. The counterterrorism police arrested a suspected al Shabaab militant after receiving intelligence that the individual intended to conduct a suicide attack at one of several locations throughout the city. The arrest came less than a week after the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa issued a renewed threat advisory, specifically citing the possibility of an al Shabaab attack in Ethiopia, to its citizens in country on May 29.[4]
  • Al Shabaab militants abducted and detained four prominent clan elders in Bu’ale in Middle Jubba region on June 4. The militants abducted the four elders after the elders allegedly refused to pay a tax levied by al Shabaab on their respective communities.[5]
  • Al Shabaab militants ambushed suspected qat traders in Jeexin near Bulo-Burde in Hiraan region on June 4. The ambush sparked a confrontation between the militants and the traders, which killed as many as eight people. A local resident indicated that three al Shabaab militants and one trader were killed during the fighting, while al Shabaab reportedly claimed to have killed five traders and seized three firearms.[6]
  • Unidentified gunmen killed a Somali security officer in Bakara Market in the Hawl Wadag district of Mogadishu on June 4. Somali security forces responded to the incident by conducting a search operation throughout the area. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the killing.[7]

[1]“‘AQAP fighters’ attack Yemen army checkpoint,” al Jazeera Online, June 5, 2014.  Available:
“Killing of 12 soldiers and a civilian in new al Qaeda attack on security checkpoint in Shabwah,” al Masdar Online, June 5, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Drone Strike Kills three suspected militants in Yemen,” The Daily Star, June 4, 2014. Available:
[3] “Chief of Operations Oversees Deployments to Number of Military Sites in Shabwah,” SABA News, June 5, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Military Units Deployment Starts in Shabwa,” SABA News, June 5, 2014. Available:
[4] “Ethiopia thwarted suspected Al-Shabab attack in the capital,” Somali Current, June 4, 2014. Available:
“Threat from Al-Shabaab against Ethiopia and western interests in Ethiopia,” U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, May 29, 2014. Available:
[5] “Al Shabaab abducts four prominent traditional elders in Bu’ale,” Bar Kulan, June 5, 2014. Available:
[6] “4 killed in clashes between Khat vendors and al Shabaab fighters,” Bar Kulan, June 5, 2014. Available:
“SOMALIA: Four dies after al Shabab fighters attacked armed business people in Central Somalia,” RBC Radio, June 4, 2014. Available:
[7] “Somalia: A Gov’t soldier shot dead in Mogadishu,” Shabelle News, June 5, 2014. Available:
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