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: Pro-ISIS group releases video claiming credit for execution of Yemeni soldiers; al Houthis clash with Saudi border guards in Najran; popular resistance fighters push back al Houthis in Ma’rib

Horn of Africa: IEDs detonate in Lower Shabelle region; al Shabaab member surrenders to Kenyan authorities

Yemen Security Brief

  • A group supporting the Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) released a video via Youtube on April 30 claiming credit for the execution of 14 Yemeni soldiers from the 2nd Mountain Infantry Brigade in Mayfa’a, Shabwah. The video also detailed the beheadings of suspected al Houthi militants.[1]
  • Al Houthi militants clashed with Saudi border guards in Najran, Saudi, on April 30. A reported three Saudi soldiers and an unknown number of al Houthi militants were killed in the fighting. The Saudi Interior Ministry announced that a total of 14 Saudi soldiers have died since the beginning of Saudi operations in Yemen.[2]
  • Popular resistance fighters reportedly began pushing al Houthi militants back from Ma’rib city, Ma’rib, on May 1. Saudi airstrikes have continued to support popular resistance fighters in Ma’rib, and reportedly killed an estimated 40 al Houthi militants on May 1.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Unidentified militants detonated improvised explosive devices (IED) in Janale, Lower Shabelle region on April 30. It was reported that a market and a police station were targeted in two separate explosions in the town. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but al Shabaab has carried out similar attacks in the past.[4]
  • Kenyan officials revealed on April 30 that an al Shabaab militant surrendered to the Kenyan government in Kirinyaga County, Central Province. The defector, Solomon Kamau Osman, claimed that he had been forcibly recruited into the group. Kenyan Interior Cabinet Secretary Jospeh Nkaissery had previously issued an offer of amnesty to al Shabaab members who surrender to the government.[5]
[1] “ISIS film shows Yemen killings,” al Arabiya, April 30, 2015. Available:
[2] “Houthis clash with Saudi forces on Yemen border, dozens killed,” al Arabiya, April 30, 2015. Available:
“Saudi border guard killed by explosive shell near border,” al Masdar, April 30, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Three Saudi border guards killed in clashes with al Houthis,” al Masdar, April 30, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Popular committees push back al Houthis in Ma’rib,” Source 7, May 1, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Popular committees give al Houthis losses in Ma’rib,” Sada Yemen, May 1, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] Morgan Winsor, “Explosions Reported In Lower Shabelle Amid Recent Al Shabab Attacks in Mogadishu,” Hiiraan Online, April 30. Available:
[5] Kamau Munene, “Al-Shabaab member surrenders in Kirinyaga,” Hiiraan Online, May 1. Available:
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