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, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/doctors-without-borders-workers-kidnapped-yemen-sources-2022-03-06/; SMA News, “Days after the Abyan operation, al Qaeda claimed the kidnapping of foreign employees in the Hadramawt valley,” https://smanews.org/%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%ac%d9%86%d9%88%d8%a8-%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b9%d8%b1%d8%a8%d9%8a/274199/.
[ii] Christopher Muth and Liam Karr, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – February 25, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-february-25-2022; Liam Karr and Brian Carter, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – February 14, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, February 14, 2022, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-february-14-2022.
[iii] Al Bawaba, “Saudi Arabia destroys Houthi drone targeting kingdom,” March 7, 2022, https://www.albawaba.com/news/saudi-arabia-destroys-houthi-drone-targeting-kingdom-1468864.
[v] NRK News, “Terrorist wanted Anders Dale from Nesodden has been arrested in Yemen,” March 7, 2022, https://www.nrk.no/norge/terrorlistede-anders-cameroon-ostensvig-dale-er-arrestert-i-jemen-1.15879696.
[vi] SONNA, “Kenyan Police arrest suspects, recover AK47 guns in Garrisa County,” March 4, 2022, https://sonna.so/en/kenyan-police-arrest-suspects-recover-ak47-guns-in-garissa-county/ ; and Hiiraan Online, “Kenyan Police nab two al Shabaab militants suspects, seize weapons,” March 4, 2022, http://www.hiiraan.com/news4/2022/Mar/185467/kenyan_police_nab_two_al_shabaab_militants_suspects_seize_weapons.aspx
[viii] Caasimada, “Al Shabaab members shot dead in Beledweyne after killing an officer,” March 5, 2022, https://www.caasimada.net/deg-deg-xubno-ka-tirsanaa-al-shabaab-oo-lagu-toogtay-beledweyne-kadib-dilkii-sarkaalka/
[ix] Somali Dispatch, “Al Shabaab executes a female presidential palace guard,” March 6, 2022, https://www.somalidispatch.com/latest-news/al-shabaab-executes-a-female-presidential-palace-guard/