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: Pro-Hadi popular committees clash with Special Security Forces in Aden; unidentified gunmen assassinate pro-al Houthi journalist in Sana’a; U.S. loses track of military equipment in Yemen

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab attacks civilians in North Eastern province, Kenya

Yemen Security Brief

  • Pro-Hadi popular committees clashed with Special Security Forces (SSF) in al Mualla, Aden on March 18. The fighting began after popular committee militants kidnapped a SSF soldier. There are no casualty reports available from the conflict.[1]
  • Unidentified gunmen assassinated pro-al Houthi human rights activist and journalist Mohammad Abdul Karim al Khaiwani on March 18 in the capital, Sana’a. Khaiwani openly supported the al Houthi constitutional declaration of February 6 and had represented the movement at negotiations in 2014. The assassins were riding on a motorcycle, which is consistent with past Ansar al Sharia attacks.[2]
  • The Pentagon has reportedly lost track of an estimated $500 million of weapons and military equipment given to Yemen since 2007. In response the U.S. State Department has halted scheduled military aid shipments to Yemen for this year.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants killed at least four people in an attack in Wajir, North Eastern province, Kenya on March 17. Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack which involved locking people in a building and then setting it on fire. This is the third suspected and second confirmed al Shabaab attack in Northern Kenya in the last week.[4]

[1] “Kidnapping of soldier in Aden leads to violent clashes,” al Watanye, March 18, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Clashes between Security Forces and militants in al Mualla,” Barakish, March 18, 2015 [Arabic]. Available: 
[2] “Yemeni prominent journalist assassinated in Sana’a,” SABA, March 18, 2015. Available:
“Prominent Yemeni journalist and Houthi activist killed,” Reuters, March 18, 2015. Available:
“Unidentified gunmen assassinate journalist Abdulkarim al Khaiwani next to his home in Sana’a,” al Masdar, March 18, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Somali Islamists kill 4 in cross-border attack on Kenyan town,” Reuters, March 18. Available:
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