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: Saudi-led coalition forces claim to intercept and destroy two al Houthi explosive-laden boats in the Red Sea; al Houthi militants launch ballistic missile at Hadi government office in al Jawf governorate; al Houthi militants burn international relief food supplies in Taiz governorate
Horn of Africa: SNA and AMISOM forces retake Janaale from al Shabaab in southern Somalia; al Shabaab leader takes over intelligence operations in Mogadishu; unidentified gunmen assassinate Somaliland intelligence officer in northern Somalia
Yemen Security Brief:
A Saudi-led coalition spokesman stated that the coalition naval forces intercepted and destroyed two al Houthi explosive-laden boats in the Red Sea on March 17. The spokesman said that the militants launched the boats from al Hudaydah governorate. Saudi-led coalition forces claimed to have foiled an attack on an oil tanker in the Arabian Sea in early March. The coalition forces did not attribute that attack to an actor.
The al Houthi militants reportedly launched a ballistic missile at an office belonging to the internationally recognized Yemeni government in al Yatma in al Jawf governorate in northern Yemen on March 16. Hadi government military officials were in a meeting with tribal leaders at the time of the attack. The attack injured a Hadi government chief commander and wounded an unspecified number of Hadi government soldiers.
The al Houthi militants claimed that they burned 160 tons of wheat from the World Food Program (WFP) in Taiz governorate. The WFP has not yet commented on this event. The United States Agency for International Development threatened in late February to suspend humanitarian aid to al Houthi-controlled areas in northern Yemen starting in late March if the al Houthi movement does not stop obstructing aid operations.
Horn of Africa Security Brief:
Somali National Army (SNA) and Ugandan African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) forces retook the al Shabaab stronghold Janaale in southern Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region on March 16. Al Shabaab claimed several ambushes and improvised explosive device attacks against advancing SNA and AMISOM forces during the operation. Al Shabaab last seized Janaale in 2015 when AMISOM forces withdrew from the town.
Al Shabaab leader Ahmed Umar took over a division of the group’s Amniyat (intelligence) wing responsible for operations in the Somali capital Mogadishu, according to a March 15 report from the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency. Al Shabaab executed the former Amniyat division leader of Mogadishu, Muse Moalim, in Saakow in southern Somalia’s Lower Jubba region on March 9.
Unidentified gunmen assassinated a Somaliland regional intelligence officer in Lasanod in northern Somalia’s Sool region on March 16. Unidentified militants previously detonated an improvised explosive device killing a regional court chairman in Lasanod in early March.
 “Thwarting a serious Houthi attack launched from Hodeidah and the coalition announces details of what happened,” Mareb press, March 17, 2020, https://marebpress.net/news_details.php?lang=arabic&sid=161813; and Samuel Bloebaum and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – March 4, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 4, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-4-2020.
 “Saudi-backed Yemen official survives assassination attempt,” Middle east monitor, March 17, 2020, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200317-saudi-backed-yemen-official-survives-assassination-attempt/.
“Houthis burn 160 Tons of WFP Wheat in Taiz,” Asharq al Awsat, March 17, 2020, https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/2184706/houthis-burn-160-tons-wfp-wheat-taiz; and Samuel Bloebaum and Pamela Makadsi, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - February 25, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 3, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-february-25-2020.
 “SNA troops liberate strategic town of Janaale from Al-Shabaab,” Garowe, March 17, 2020, https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/somalia-sna-troops-liberate-strategic-town-of-janaale-from-al-shabaab; “Shabaab Claims Suicide Bombing, 5 IED Blasts on SNA and AMISOM Forces in Lower Shabelle,” SITE Intelligence Group, March 16, 2020, available by subscription at http://www.siteintelgroup.com/; and “Gulf of Aden Security Review - July 6, 2015,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, July 6, 2015, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-july-6-2015.
 “Al-Shabaab leader takes charge of Amniyat in Mogadishu after Moalim’s death,” Garowe, March 16, 2020, https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/somalia-al-shabaab-leader-takes-charge-of-amniyat-in-mogadishu-after-moalims-death; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - March 11, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 11, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-11-2020.
 “Senior Somaliland Intelligence officer shot dead in Las’anod,” Mustaqbal Radio, March 17, 2020, https://www.mustaqbalradio.net/senior-somaliland-intelligence-officer-shot-dead-in-lasanod/; and Samuel Bloebaum and Pamela Makadsi, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - March 3, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 3, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-3-2020.