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: Unidentified militants attack police station in Tarim, Hadramawt; ceasefire holds in Yemen despite violations; al Houthis fire mortars at Najran city, Saudi Arabia

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab captures two towns in Lower Shabelle region; Ugandan police are put on high alert following al Shabaab video; Kenyan police increase security in Nairobi

Yemen Security Brief

  • Unidentified militants attacked a police station in Tarim, Hadramawt, on May 15. No group has claimed credit for the attack, though pro-Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) militants previously carried out an attack against security forces in Tarim on April 30.[1]
  • The five-day humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen continued to hold despite ongoing violations. The ceasefire has allowed humanitarian aid to enter Yemen, though the UN has urged Saudi Arabia to ease its inspections on aid-carrying ships, as the inspections are hindering the process. Al Mukalla port, Hadramawt, is one of several sites in Yemen receiving aid shipments despite being under the control of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)-affiliated organizations.[2]
  • Al Houthi militants fired mortars at Najran city, Saudi Arabia, on May 15. There are no casualty reports available from the attack.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants captured two towns in Lower Shabelle region on May 15. The governor of Lower Shabelle, Abdikadir Nur Sidi, said that the towns of Aw dheegle and Mubarak had been attacked and that he was mobilizing forces to retake the towns.[4]
  • Ugandan police were put on high alert on May 14. This comes after al Shabaab released a video on May 9, which featured a suicide bomber who conducted an attack in Kampala in 2010 and called for further attacks.[5]
  • Kenyan police increased security in Nairobi to prevent possible terror attacks on May 14. A police official said that there was no specific threat and that this move was precautionary.[6]

[1] “Gunmen attack police station in Tarim, Hadramawt,” Barakish, May 15, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Gunmen attack police station in Tarim, Hadramawt,” Aden al Ghad, May 15, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Petroleum derivatives arrive to Yemen,” Yemen Times, May 14, 2015. Available:
“UN seeks speedier inspection on Yemen-bound goods,” Reuters, May 15, 2015. Available:
“Saudi Arabia says Houthis violate truce again,” al Arabiya, May 15, 2015. Available:
[3] “Houthis bomb Najran, Saudi Arabia again,” BBC, May 15, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Al Shabaab Attacks Somali Towns,” Voice of America, May 15. Available:
[5] “Uganda on high alert of terror threat,” Somaliweyn, May 15. Available:
[6] “Kenyan police enhance security in Nairobi,” Hiiraan Online, May 15. Available:
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