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 Arabia lists al Houthis as terrorist group; AQAP has spy’s confession video; al Houthis and tribesmen fight in al Jawf

Horn of Africa: Ethiopian and Somali forces clash with al Shabaab in Bakool region; unidentified gunmen fire on a peaceful demonstration in Lower Shabelle region; Somali federal government appoints leader of reintegrated commando unit; al Shabaab attacks Interim Jubba Administration security forces in Lower Jubba region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Saudi Arabia listed Yemen’s al Houthi movement on a list of terrorist organizations released on March 7. Also included on the list are the Muslim Brotherhood, Syria’s Jabhat al Nusra, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and a Saudi Shiite group, Hizbollah in the Hijaz. Additionally, Saudi Arabia ordered Saudi citizens fighting abroad to return within 15 days.[1]
  • Yemeni journalist Abdul Razzaq al Jamali posted on his Facebook page on March 6 that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) had a confession video of the man executed for being a spy. The man, Amin Abdullah Muhammad al Mu’alimi, said that he had been recruited in Sweden by U.S. intelligence agents and he had been given three tracking chips. AQAP alleges he is responsible for the death of Majid al Hadrami (Saleh al Hiqi), Ashraf (Khaled al Hamoudi), Abu Khalid al Hadrami (Abdullah Bawazir), Abu al Zabir al Hadrami (Nabil al Kalidi), Abu al Bara al Hadrami (Musaad al Nahdi), and Abu Amr al Hudaydi (Abdulghani al Samkiri).[2]
  • Fighting broke out in al Aqrah in al Jawf governorate between local tribesmen and al Houthi militants on March 6. Six tribesmen and 16 al Houthis were reported to have been killed in the fighting.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Ethiopian AMISOM and Somali government forces clashed with al Shabaab near the Hudur district in Bakool region on March 7. The confrontation occurred as Ethiopian and Somali forces pursued al Shabaab militants driven out of Rabdhure on March 6. The district commissioner of Hudur, Mohamed Macalin Ahmed, reported that five al Shabaab militants were killed and five more captured during the confrontation.[4]
  • Unidentified gunmen fired upon a peaceful demonstration in Tixsile village in Lower Shabelle on March 6. The demonstration, protesting illegal roadblocks in the area, dispersed as the gunmen exchanged fire with local security forces. At least four civilians were wounded during the firefight.[5]
  • The Federal Government of Somalia appointed Colonel Hassan Mohamed Yusuf as the leader of Somalia’s commando unit, a recently reintegrated unit of highly trained soldiers, on March 6. The announcement comes a day after the U.S. Department of State donated military vehicles and equipment to the commando unit.[6]
  • Al Shabaab militants attacked Interim Jubba Administration security forces in Afmadow district in Lower Jubba region on March 7. The confrontation occurred as security forces conducted search operations throughout Afmadow. Casualty figures remain unclear.[7]   

[1] “Riyadh Lists ‘Terror’ Groups, Orders Foreign Fighters Home,” Gulf Today, March 7, 2014. Available:
[2] “Spy Executed by AQAP Reportedly Gave Confession in Video,” SITE Intel Group, March 6, 2014. Available at SITE.
“Al Qaeda Broadcast Video of Man Executed in Hadramawt and Says He Caused the Death of Seven Members of the Organization,” al Masdar, March 7, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Cautious Calm After Heavy Fighting between al Houthis and Tribesmen Left Over 22 Dead in al Jawf,” al Masdar Online, March 7, 2014. Available:
[4] “SOMALIA: Xudur administration talks about today’s fight at district’s outskirts,” RBC Radio, March 7, 2014. Available:
“Heavy clashes breaks out in Bakool,” Shabelle News, March 7, 2014. Available:
“Ethiopian troops take over Rabdhure and face Waajid,” Shabelle News, March 7, 2014. Available:
[5] “Peaceful demonstration turns into armed clash in Lower Shabelle region,” Dalsan Radio, March 6, 2014. Available:
[6] “Somalia appoints the chief of its newly-revived commandos,” Hiiraan Online, March 6, 2014. Available:
“United States donates military vehicles to new Somali commando unit,” Sabahi Online, March 6, 2014. Available:
[7] “Violent confrontations in the Afmadow district,” Shabelle News, March 7, 2014. Available:
View Citations
Arrow down red
Apr '14
Mar '14
Feb '14