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: Ansar al Sharia militants temporarily seize al Mahfad city in Abyan; Yemeni Minister of Defense arrives in Aden after surviving ambush in al Hudaydah; tribal militants with suspected ties to Ansar al Sharia attack al Houthis in al Bayda
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab bomb maker defects in Galgudud region; gunmen kill government soldier in Mogadishu; gunmen kill government soldier in Hiraan region
Yemen Security Brief
- Ansar al Sharia militants temporarily seized al Mahfad city in Abyan on March 9 and attacked the camp of the Yemeni 39th Armored Brigade stationed in the city. Three soldiers and three Ansar al Sharia militants died in the fighting. Popular Committees reportedly loyal to Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi announced later on March 9 that they had driven the Ansar al Sharia forces out of the city.
- The Yemeni Minister of Defense Mahmoud al Subaihi arrived in Aden city on March 8 after escaping al Houthi house arrest in the capital, Sana’a. Suspected al Houthi militants ambushed al Subaihi and his escort in al Khawkhah, al Hudaydah, reportedly killing six soldiers.
- Tribal militants allied with Ansar al Sharia forces attacked al Houthi sites in Dhi Na’im, al Bayda on March 8. Twelve al Houthi militants were killed in the fighting. Separately, local tribesmen suspected to be allied with Ansar al Sharia detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting al Houthi militants in al Zahir, bordering Dhi Na’im, on March 8.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Al Shabaab bomb maker Abdullahi Ahmed Muhumed surrendered to the government in Galgudud region on March 7. Muhumed is reportedly an explosives specialist who was trained by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) as well as a senior leader in al Shabaab’s intelligence unit known as amniyat.
- Unknown gunmen killed a Somali soldier in the Wadajir district of Mogadishu on March 8. The soldier was shot as he was leaving his home in the morning. The gunmen fled after the shooting and police have not arrested any suspects.
- Unknown gunmen killed a Somali soldier in Beledweyne, Hiraan region on March 8. The gunmen killed the soldier in his home in the evening. A police official claimed that security operations were being undertaken in the town but that no one had been apprehended.
 “Al Qaeda militants in control of Mahfid city, Abyan,” al Masdar, March 9, 2015 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/article/69126
“Popular Committees liberate Mahfid after hours of al Qaeda control,” al Masdar, March 9, 2015 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/article/69138
“Al Qaeda attacks Yemen army base, four dead,” Reuters, March 9, 2015. Available: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/09/us-yemen-security-idUSKBN0M50KJ20150309
 “Six soldiers of Subaihi’s escort killed in ambush,” al Masdar, March 8, 2015 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/article/69086
“al Houthi gunmen ambushed Subaihi’s escort in al Hudaydah,” al Masdar, March 8, 2015 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/article/69067
 “Twelve al Houthis killed by tribesmen and al Qaeda in Dhi Na’im, al Bayda,” March 8, 2015 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/article/69107
“Eight killed in attack by tribesmen affliliated with al Qaeda in al Bayda,” al Masdar, March 8 2015 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/article/69117
 Yasmin Juma, “Al-Shabaab bomb expert surrenders in Somalia,” Hiiraan Online, March 7. Available: http://www.hiiraan.com/news4/2015/Mar/98493/al_shabaab_bomb_expert_surrenders_in_somalia.aspx
“Somalia: Al Shabaab ‘Bomb Specialist’ defects to the government,”Horseed Media, March 7. Available: http://horseedmedia.net/2015/03/07/somalia-al-shabaab-bomb-specialist-defects-to-the-government/
 “Gunmen kill government soldier in Wadajir,” Bar Kulan, March 8. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2015/03/08/gunmen-kill-government-soldier-in-wadajir/
 “Gunmen kill government soldier in Beledweyne,” Bar Kulan, March 8. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2015/03/09/gunmen-kill-government-soldier-in-beledweyne/