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 militants detonate SVBIED near mosque in Saudi Arabia; Yemeni governor of Sana’a killed during clashes with al Houthi militants; AQAP-affiliated militants sent to military outpost in Brom Mayfa, Hadramawt

Horn of Africa: Kenyan Interior Ministry announced success of amnesty offer; Ethiopian forces clash with Somali pastoralists in Galgudud region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Pro-Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham militants detonated a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) near a mosque in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, on May 29. The explosion reportedly killed four Saudi security officials, who prevented the SVBIED from reaching the mosque. Pro-ISIS Twitter accounts reportedly claimed credit for the attack.[1]
  • The Yemeni governor of Sana’a was killed during clashes with al Houthi militants in the capital, Sana’a, on May 28. The al Houthis reportedly attempted to put the governor under house arrest, to which he refused to submit, leading to fighting between the al Houthis and the governor’s body guards.[2]
  • The Hadrahmi People’s Council (HPC), an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)-affiliated organization in al Mukalla, Hadramawt, reportedly sent a battalion of recently recruited fighter to a military outpost in Brom Mayfa, Hadramawt, on May 28.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Unconfirmed reporting indicates that al Shabaab militants captured Mogadishu’s Kaxda district on May 28. The militants reportedly seized control of the district and then proceeded to lecture the populace. The reports of this event come from Twitter as there are has been no confirmation of the event in English.[4]
  • The Kenyan Interior Ministry announced on May 29, that 85 youths, who had joined al Shabaab, had surrendered to the government to accept an amnesty offer. The 85 are now being rehabilitated by the Kenyan government. The ministry also said that despite the official amnesty period having expired the government was still pardoning those who surrendered.[5]
  • Ethiopian forces from the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia clashed with Somali pastoralists near the Somali-Ethiopian border in Galgudud region, starting on May 26 and continuing to May 28. The fighting broke out when the Ethiopian forces allegedly attacked two villages in Somalia. It was reported that the clashes have resulted in at least 20 dead and more than 40 wounded.[6]

[1] “Daaish claims credit for bombing of mosque in Dammam,” Barakish, May 29, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Four killed in foiled Saudi mosque blast,” al Arabiya, May 29, 2015. Available:
[2] “Governor of Sana’a killed during clashes with al Houthis,” al Tagheer, May 29, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Yemeni governor of Sana’a killed after clashes with al Houthi militants,” 24, May 29, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “AQAP sends recruits to military outpost west of al Mukalla,” Khabar Agency, May 28, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Broad recruitment efforts and training camps open to Hadi an al Qaeda in al Mukalla,” al Montasaf, May 29, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Breaking News: Al Shabaab,” Twitter, Hamza Mohamed, May 28. Available:
“Update: Masked #AlShabaab,” Twitter, Hamza Mohamed, May 28. Available:
“Reports: Al-#Shabaab,” Twitter, Harun Maruf, May 28. Available:
“Breaking: Al Shabaab,” Twitter, Live From Somalia, May 28. Available:
[5] Stella Cherono, “Interior ministry says 85 have surrendered after amnesty offer for radicalized youth,” Daily Nation, May 29. Available:
[6] “At least 20 killed in fighting near Somalia-Ethiopia border,” Horseed Media, May 28. Available:
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