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 accuses Islamic State of targeting Muslim public; Mohammad Ali al Houthi requests UN arrange mechanism for selling Yemeni oil

Horn of Africa: Danab special forces capture town in Lower Shabelle; al Shabaab Da’wa official surrenders in Gedo; suspected al Shabaab militants detonate IED in Balad town; Somali police conduct security sweep in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) published a statement on April 30 criticizing the Islamic State in Yemen’s recent attack in al Qurayshiyah district in al Bayda governorate in central Yemen. AQAP denied the Islamic State’s claim that the April 26 attack had killed members of AQAP and claimed to have repulsed the Islamic State militants. AQAP accused the Islamic State of attacking the Muslim public and using a child suicide bomber in the attack. AQAP separately announced the names of three new “martyrs” on April 27. The three individuals may have worked for the AQAP-affiliated al Malahem Media Foundation.[1]

Chairman of the al Houthi Supreme Revolutionary Committee Mohammad Ali al Houthi requested that the United Nations create a mechanism to sell Yemeni crude oil on April 30. Al Houthi proposed that revenue from the oil would be split evenly between the al Houthi movement and President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government. Al Houthi stated that such a mechanism would prevent the arrival of Iranian oil in Yemen.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Somali Danab special forces captured Barire town in Lower Shabelle region in southern Somalia on May 1. Al Shabaab militants had established checkpoints and a taxation office in Barire, which is located 60 kilometers south of the Somali capital Mogadishu.[3]

Three al Shabaab operatives defected to the Somali Federal Government (SFG) in Gedo region in southern Somalia on April 30 and May 1. One of the operatives, Abdiwahab Ahmed, was an official in al Shabaab’s Da’wa division.[4]

Suspected al Shabaab militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting Somali National Army (SNA) soldiers in Balad town 30 kilometers northeast of Mogadishu on May 1. The explosion caused multiple casualties.[5]

Somali police arrested dozens of al Shabaab suspects during a security sweep in Mogadishu’s Wadajir district on April 30. Somali police previously arrested dozens of al Shabaab suspects in Mogadishu’s Dharkenley district on April 29.[6]

[1] Elisabeth Kendall, Twitter, May 1, 2019,; “AQAP denies IS hitting its fighters, charges the group targeted the general public,” SITE Intelligence Group, April 30, 2019, English translation available by subscription at; and Elisabeth Kendall, Twitter, April 27, 2019,

[2] “Houthis ask U.N. to sell Yemeni crude and use revenues for imports, salaries,” Reuters, April 30, 2019.; and Mohammad Ali al Houthi, Twitter, April 30, 2019,

[3] “Somalia: Forces seize key town from Al Shabaab,” Mareeg, May 1, 2019,; and Harun Maruf, Twitter, May 1, 2019,

[4] “Al Shabaab fighters surrender to army forces,” Mareeg, May 1, 2019,; and Harun Maruf, Twitter, May 1, 2019,

[5] “Somalia soldiers hit by explosion in Balad town,” Mareeg, May 1, 2019,

[6] “Somali police detain dozens in security operation in Mogadishu,” Mareeg, May 1, 2019,; and “Somali police arrest Al Shabaab suspects in Mogadishu,” Mareeg, April 29, 2019,

View Citations
Arrow down red
May '19
Apr '19