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 releases biographies of deceased fighters to Twitter; Haraz tribesmen erect roadblocks between Sana’a capital and Hudaydah governorate; AQAP releases video footage of attack in Hadramawt governorate; al Houthi rebels attack Yemeni 310 Brigade in Amran city

Horn of Africa: al Shabaab executes three alleged spies in Lower Shabelle region; rival ethnic-Somali clan militias clash in Kenya’s North Eastern Province; AMISOM and SNA forces attack al Shabaab base in Lower Shabelle region; Tanzanian police arrest suspected al Shabaab militants in Arusha

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released biographies of deceased fighters Abdul Rahman bin Muhammad Barashid and Ahmed bin Abu Bakr al Beiti to its “Nafeh al Teeb” Twitter account on May 23 and May 27. Both Barashid and Beiti escaped from al Mukalla prison in Hadramawt governorate in June 2011. Following their escape, Barashid continued to fight as a member of the Islamic State in Iraq (ISI) before he was killed by a U.S. airstrike. Beiti reportedly failed several attempts to join the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was later killed by Yemeni security forces in Abyan governorate.[1]
  • Haraz tribesmen erected road blocks on the main road between Sana’a capital and Hudaydah governorate on May 29. Tribal leaders claim that the Governor of Sana’a failed to investigate the death of four tribesmen killed by security forces near the Presidential Palace in Sana’a capital on May 11. Although security officials initially linked the four men to AQAP, tribal leaders assert that the men were innocent civilians and are demanding an investigation into their deaths. The roadblocks currently prohibit large vehicles including oil tankers from moving between the two governorates.[2]
  • AQAP’s media arm, al Malahem Media Foundation, released a video, entitled “Echoes of Epics,” to YouTube on May 30. The video contains footage of an AQAP attack on Yemeni security forces, in which five Yemeni soldiers were killed and two others wounded, in Hadramawt governorate on April 4.[3]
  • The Yemeni 310 Brigade successfully repelled an attack by al Houthi rebels near an eastern entrance to Amran city in the early morning hours of May 30. Further details regarding the event remain unclear.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab executed three alleged spies in Bulo Mareer in Lower Shabelle region on May 29. An al Shabaab judge convicted two of the individuals, Ali Isak Abdi and Osman Mahad Osman, for spying on behalf of the Somali government. The third individual, Marale Maallim Ali Abdirahman, was convicted for spying on behalf of the Ethiopian government.[5]
  • The militia of an ethnic Somali clan, the Garre, attacked a village of a rival ethnic Somali clan, the Degodia, near Wajir in Kenya’s North Eastern Province on May 29. The attack, prompted by clan disputes, featured heavy gunfire and resulted in the death of at least 12 people. A Wajir County police official reported that several houses were burned during the fighting.[6]
  • AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) forces attacked an al Shabaab base near Qoryoley in Lower Shabelle region on May 30. A local administrator, Omar Mohamud Ilmi, reported that the AMISOM and SNA forces effectively drove al Shabaab from the area, killing an unspecified number of militants. Ilmi indicated that the attack was part of a renewed offensive to eradicate al Shabaab from the region.[7]
  • Tanzanian police announced the arrest of 16 individuals, suspected to be linked to al Shabaab, in Arusha on May 30. Tanzanian police spokesman, Issaya Mungulu, reported that eight of the individuals operated a recruitment network in Arusha, radicalizing local youth and trafficking the recruits from Tanzania to Somalia. Mungulu identified the other eight individuals as part of a separate network, closely affiliated with the recruitment network, responsible for a series of bombings in Arusha over the past year. Finally, Mungulu stated that police continue to search for 25 additional suspects linked to unidentified international terror groups.[8]

[1] “AQAP Gives Biographies of Two al-Mukalla Prison Escapees,” SITE Intel Group, May 30, 2014. Available:
[2] “Tribesmen Bring tribal barriers on the road between Sana'a and Hodeidah after mediation MP,” Al Masdar, May 29, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Al-Qaeda video broadcast documenting the attack in Hadramout and shows gruesome killings affected soldiers,” Al Masdar, May 30, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “After withdrawal - he considered military experts - a tactical .. Houthi militants attacked several military sites Amran,” News Yemen, May 30, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Al Shabaab executes three men in Lower Shabelle region,” Bar Kulan, May 30, 2014. Available:
[7] “Somalia: heavy fighting erupts outside Qoryooley,” Shabelle News, May 30, 2014. Available:
[8] “16 arrested over links with Al-Shabaab in Arusha,” Daily News, May 30, 2014. Available:
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