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: Militias loyal to Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi clash with Special Security Forces in Aden; security forces thwart SVBIED attack; unidentified militants assassinate intelligence officer in Aden

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab recruits arrested in Lower Jubba region; unidentified militants carry out grenade attack in Lower Shabelle region; police station attacked in Lower Shabelle region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Local militias known as popular committees loyal to Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi attacked Special Security Forces (SSF) near Aden International Airport in Aden on March 11. The clashes occurred after the SSF commander and reported al Houthi-loyalist Abdul Hafiz al Saqqaf refused to surrender command of the unit. It has been reported that 400 SSF members defected from al Saqqaf’s command.[1]
  • Security Forces thwarted a suspected Ansar al Sharia suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) attack in Aden city, Aden on March 11. Security forces cleared the explosive and captured the driver.[2]
  • Unidentified militants assassinated a political security officer in al Mansour, Aden on March 10. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali security forces arrested six al Shabaab recruits crossing the Somalia-Kenya border near Dhobley, Lower Jubba region on March 11. Two of the recruits were Kenyan, two Tanzanian, and two Somali.[4]
  • Unknown militants carried out a grenade attack in Hantiwadag, Middle Shabelle region on March 11. At least four were injured in the attack with no reported deaths. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but government officials alleged al Shabaab was responsible.[5]
  • The Governor of Lower Shabelle credited al Shabaab with an attack on a police station in Wanlaweyn district, Lower Shabelle region on March 11. The attack killed one police officer and one civilian.[6]

[1] “Rebellion in the ranks of Special Security Forces in Aden against Saqqaf,” Yemen News, March 11, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Popular committees try to seize Aden International Airport from SSF,” al Tagheer, March 11, 2015 [Arabic]. Available: 
“Fighting between pro Hadi militias and Security Forces,” Facebook, Haykal Bafana, March 11, 2015. Available:
[2] “Suicide bomber thwarted in Aden,” Barakish, March 11, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Unidentified gunmen assassinate intelligence officer in Aden,” March 10, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Political Security officer assassinated in Aden,” March 10, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Al Shabaab foreign recruits captured near Somalia-Kenya border,” Garowe Online, March 11. Available:
[5] “Grenade attack injures four in Jowhar,” Dalsan Radio, March 11. Available:
[6] “Al Shabaab kills two in Wanlaweyn,” Bar Kulan, March 11. Available:
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