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 kidnaps international aid workers; Houthi drone targets southern Saudi Arabia; Houthis arrest Norwegian AQAP fighter

Horn of Africa: Kenyan Police arrest two al Shabaab suspects in northeastern Kenya; SNA secures village in southern Somalia; al Shabaab assassinates police officer in central Somalia; al Shabaab kills security guard in central Somalia


Yemen Security Brief:

Likely al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants kidnapped two Doctors Without Borders employees near al ‘Abr and al Khasha’a districts, Hadramawt governorate, eastern Yemen, on March 5.[i] The militants abducted a German national and a Mexican national as they traveled to Seiyun city in Hadramawt governorate. This is AQAP’s third kidnapping of international aid workers since February 12.[ii]

The Houthis launched at least one explosives-laden drone targeting southern Saudi Arabia on March 7.[iii] Saudi air defenses intercepted the drones. The Saudi-led coalition retaliated against the Houthis with airstrikes in Sana’a city, Yemen, on March 7.[iv]

The Houthi movement arrested Norwegian AQAP member Anders Cameroon Ostensvig Dale in Sana’a city, Yemen, on March 7.[v] Dale, who joined AQAP around 2011, reportedly manufactured explosives for AQAP.

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

Kenyan Police arrested two suspected al Shabbab militants in Garissa County, northeastern Kenya, on March 4.[vi] Kenyan Police seized AK-47 guns belonging to the suspects.

The Somali National Army secured Madax Marodi village from al Shabaab militants in Qoriyoley district, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia, on March 4.[vii]

Al Shabaab assassinated a Hirshabelle police officer in Howlwadag neighborhood, Beledweyne, Hiraan region, central Somalia, on March 5.[viii] Hirshabelle security forces intercepted the fighters and killed two al Shabaab militants.

Al Shabaab killed a Hirshabelle security guard near the Hirshabelle Presidential Palace in Jowhar, Middle Shebelle region, central Somalia, on March 6.[ix]

[i] Reuters, “Doctors Without Borders workers kidnapped in Yemen -sources,” March 6, 2022,; SMA News, “Days after the Abyan operation, al Qaeda claimed the kidnapping of foreign employees in the Hadramawt valley,”

[ii] Christopher Muth and Liam Karr, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – February 25, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute,; Liam Karr and Brian Carter, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – February 14, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, February 14, 2022,

[iii] Al Bawaba, “Saudi Arabia destroys Houthi drone targeting kingdom,” March 7, 2022,

[iv] Al Mashhad Al Yemeni, “The coalition announces the launch of a new military operation against the Houthis,” March 7, 2022,

[v] NRK News, “Terrorist wanted Anders Dale from Nesodden has been arrested in Yemen,” March 7, 2022,

[vi] SONNA, “Kenyan Police arrest suspects, recover AK47 guns in Garrisa County,” March 4, 2022, ; and Hiiraan Online, “Kenyan Police nab two al Shabaab militants suspects, seize weapons,” March 4, 2022,

[vii] Radio Risaala, “Government forces carry out operations against al Shabaab,” March 4, 2022,

[viii] Caasimada, “Al Shabaab members shot dead in Beledweyne after killing an officer,” March 5, 2022,

[ix] Somali Dispatch, “Al Shabaab executes a female presidential palace guard,” March 6, 2022,

View Citations
Arrow down red
Apr '22
Mar '22
Feb '22