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: Houthis seize Egyptian vessel in the Red Sea; AQAP member escapes prison in eastern Yemen

Somalia: Al Shabaab roadside IED targets SNA colonel; US-trained Danab forces secure villages in southern Somalia; al Shabaab holds Eid al Fitr celebrations in central and southern Somalia

Yemen Security Brief:

Egyptian media reported on May 1 that the Houthis detained an Egyptian fishing vessel in the Red Sea in March or April.[i] The Houthis seized the vessel and detained its 29 crewmembers.

An al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) fighter reportedly escaped from a prison in Seiyun, Hadramawt governorate, eastern Yemen.[ii] Ten AQAP fighters escaped from the same prison on April 14.[iii]

Somalia Security Brief:

Al Shabaab detonated a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a Somali National Army (SNA) colonel convoy along the Balad-Jowhar Road, Middle Shabelle, south-central Somalia, on April 30.[iv] The blast killed at least nine soldiers, but the colonel survived. Al Shabaab claimed to kill 12 soldiers.[v]

US-trained Danab forces secured Leego, Jameo, and other undisclosed villages in Burhakaba district, Bay region, southern Somalia on May 1.[vi] Danab officials said they destroyed al Shabaab bases and money transfer points.[vii]

Al Shabaab’s regional administrations held Eid al Fitr celebrations in Middle Jubba, Lower Jubba, and Bakool regions, southern Somalia and Galgudud region, central Somalia, on May 2.[viii]

[i] Al Masry Al Youm, “Houthi pirates hijack an Egyptian ship and its crew in the Red Sea,” May 1, 2022,

[ii] Aden Lang, “Smuggling a new prisoner from al Qaeda from Seiyun prison,” May 2, 2022,

[iii] Liam Karr, Brian Carter, and Max Ryabinin, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 15, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 15, 2022,

[iv] Somali Dispatch, “Blast kills dozens of soldiers in Middle Shabelle,” April 30, 2022,; Abdirisak Tuuryare, “Deadly blast kills ten soldiers near Mogadishu,” Mareeg News, April 30, 2022,  

[v] Radio al Furqaan, “Col. Saney Survives Explosion Kills 12 of his Guardians,” April 30, 2022,

[vi] Abdirisak Tuuryare, “Somali special forces take over new areas from Al Shabab,” Mareeg News, May 1, 2022,

[vii] Radio Risaala, “DANAB forces take control of Lower Shabelle & Bay regions,” May 1, 2022,

[viii] Calamada, “Pictures: how it was celebrated in Galhareri district,” May 2, 2022,; Calamada, “Pictures: Eid al Fitr celebrations in Sakow district,” May 2, 2022,; Calamada, “Pictures: Eid al Fitr celebrations in the Islamic provinces,” May 2, 2022,

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