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 denies responsibility for attack on Giants Brigades troops; AQAP seizes an ambulance in southern Yemen

Somalia: Al Shabaab suicide bomber targets checkpoint near Mogadishu airport; al Shabaab claims to kill five Ethiopian soldiers in latest ambush in southwestern Somalia; al Shabaab IED targets Somali police chief near Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief:

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a statement on May 10 denying responsibility for an improvised explosive device attack on troops of the UAE-backed Giants Brigades near al Mahfad, Abyan governorate, southern Yemen, on May 7.[i] Yemeni sources previously reported that AQAP was responsible for the attack.[ii]

Possible AQAP militants seized a Giants Brigades ambulance in Khabr al Muraqisha, Abyan governorate, southern Yemen, on May 10.[iii]

Somalia Security Brief:

An al Shabaab suicide bomber detonated a suicide vest targeting a security checkpoint near the KM4 Junction, Waberi district, Mogadishu, on May 11.[iv] The attack killed at least two National Intelligence and Security Agency soldiers and also killed two other people .[v] Al Shabaab claimed the attack was targeting senior government officials traveling to the presidential election venue in the Mogadishu airport.[vi]

Al Shabaab ambushed an Ethiopian African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) convoy near Garsaaley, Rabdhure district, Bakool region, southwestern Somalia, on May 10.[vii] Al Shabaab claimed to kill five soldiers.[viii] The convoy was traveling south to Wajid district, Bakool region.

Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting Somali police chief Farhan Qarole near Elasha Biyaha, Mogadishu outskirts, on May 9.[ix] Qarole survived the attack. The explosion killed one civilian, injured five civilians, and wounded three security personnel. Al Shabaab claimed to wound six bodyguards.[x] This is the second time al Shabaab has targeted Qarole since April 22.[xi]

[i] “AQAP Denies Bombing UAE-backed Giants Brigades in Abyan,” SITE Intelligence Group, May 10, 2022, available by subscription at

[ii] Christopher Muth and Liam Karr, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – May 9, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, May 9, 2022,

[iii] SMA News, “Gunmen kidnapped an ambulance belonging to the Southern Giants in Khabr al Muraqisha, west of Ahwar,” May 11, 2022,

[iv] Omar Faruk, “Police: 4 killed in Somalia blast ahead of presidential vote,” Associated Press, May 11, 2022,

[v] Mareeg News, “Suicide blast kills 4 people, ahead of Somalia’s presidential election,” May 11, 2022,

[vi] Radio al Furqaan, “Al-Shabaab claims explosion near airport,” May 11, 2022,

[vii] Radio Risaala, “Heavy fighting erupts in Bakool region,” May 10, 2022,

[viii] Radio al Furqaan, “5 Ethiopians killed in Wajid outskirts,” May 11, 2022,

[ix] Mareeg News, “Five wounded as Mogadishu’s police chief survives explosion,” May 10, 2022,

[x] Goobjoog News, “Police spokesperson issues statement on bomb attack targeted at Mogadishu police boss,” May 10, 2022,

[xi] Voice of America Somali, “Attack on a restaurant on Lido Beach,” April 22, 2022,

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