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 posts video accusing Yemeni government of betrayal; Assailants clear Yemeni government compound in al Bayda governorate; Gunmen attack Yemeni soldiers in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: al Shabaab restricts aid to recently liberated town in Bakool region; Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a militia initiates offensive against al Shabaab in Galgadud region

Yemen Security Brief 

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) media arm, al Malahem Foundation, posted a 6-minute video to jihadist forums on March 19. In the video, Jalal al Marqishi, leader of Ansar al Sharia, blamed the Yemeni government for betraying Muslims. Marqishi cited the recent violence in Hamdan district and purported government mishandling of prisoners as evidence. [1]
  • Unidentified assailants cleared a Yemeni government compound in al Sawma district in al Bayda governorate on March 19. Reports indicate that the assailants evacuated all personnel from the compound before entering. No casualties were reported and the motive remains unknown. [2] 
  • Unidentified gunmen attacked Yemeni soldiers in the capital of Sana’a on March 21. Although no Yemeni soldiers were injured during the attack, one of the gunmen was injured in the exchange of fire. [3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief 

  • Al Shabaab militants imposed a blockade on aid to Hudur in Bakool region, denying supply trucks access to the recently liberated town. According to Bakool Governor Mohamed Abdi Tool, al Shabaab militants have maintained a presence around Hudur after AMISOM and Somali forces drove the militants from the town on March 7.[4]
  • The Somali Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mahad Mohamed Salaad, reported on March 21 that the Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a (ASWJ) militia has initiated a military offensive against al Shabaab in Galgudud region. Salaad indicated that the ASWJ’s militia is supporting the Federal Government of Somalia, despite reports yesterday that government ministers failed to broker an agreement with ASWJ leaders to ensure military cooperation.[5]

[1] “AQAP Official Accuses Yemeni Government of Betraying Muslims,” SITE Intel Group, March 19, 2014. Available at SITE.
[2] Nassar al Sakkaf, “Gunmen Attack Government Compound In Al-Beidha,” Yemen Times, March 19, 2014. Available:
[3] “Injury to a person in clashes between militants and security in the capital Rabat Street,” News Yemen, March 21, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Somalia: Al Shabaab imposes sanction on liberated town,” Garowe Online, March 20, 2014. Available:
[5] “Somali govt. starts military offensives in Galgaduud,” Shabelle News, March 21, 2014. Available:
View Citations
Arrow down red
Apr '14
Mar '14
Feb '14