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 militant detonates SVBIED in Hajjah; al Houthis fire mortars into Najran city, Saudi Arabia; popular resistance fighters retake Aden airport from al Houthi forces

Horn of Africa: Pro-al Shabaab group al Muhajiroun in East Africa issues statement; al Shabaab militants attack police station in Bari region; al Shabaab militants attack checkpoint in Bari region; Somali security forces conduct operation in Gedo region

Yemen Security Brief

  • An unidentified militant detonated a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) targeting the al Islah Party headquarters in Abs city, Hajjah, on May 5. Islah party forces and al Houthi militants had reportedly engaged in light clashes earlier on May 5 in Abs. No group has claimed credit for the SVBIED attack.[1]
  • Al Houthi militants fired mortars into Najran city, Saudi Arabia, on May 5. There are no reported deaths from the attack. There are also unconfirmed reports from pro-al Houthi sources that al Houthi-allied militants attacked and seized equipment from Saudi Border Guard positions within Najran and Jizan, Saudi Arabia.[2]
  • Popular resistance fighters retook Aden airport from al Houthi militants on May 5 after receiving reinforcements from Saudi-trained-and-equipped Yemeni soldiers who arrived in Aden city on May 3.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Pro-al Shabaab group al Muhajiroun in East Africa issued a statement on May 4. In addition to praising al Shabaab, the statement declared that the group had awakened in East Africa and threatened the United Nations and the governments of Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya.[4]
  • Al Shabaab militants stormed a police station in Yalho, Bari region, on May 4. The militants were later driven out of the station by police. The militants killed three police officers during the attack, while police claimed to have killed several militants. Al Shabaab later claimed responsibility for the attack.[5]
  • Al Shabaab militants attacked a checkpoint in Boosaaso, Bari region, with grenades on May 4. At least two grenades detonated killing one civilian and wounding two others.[6]
  • Somali security forces conducted a security operation in Elwaq, Gedo region, on May 4. The security operation was aimed at detaining the unknown militants behind the May 3 improvised explosive device (IED) attack in the town.[7]
[1] “Clashes between al Houthis and Islah party in Hajjah,” Barakish, May 5, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Suicide bomber blows himself up in Abs, Hajjah,” Barakish, May 5, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“SVBIED targeting Islah party in Hajjah,” Akhbar Yemen, May 5, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Yemeni tribesmen enter Jezan/Najran again,” News 786, May 5, 2015. Available:
“Houthis shell Saudi Arabia border town,” Middle East Eye, May 5, 2015. Available:
“Houthis shell Najran,” al Masdar, May 5, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Fall of Saudi military sites to Yemeni tribes,” al Watanye, May 5, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Hadi supporters retake Aden airport,” el Hadas,” May 5, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Yemeni foreign minister: Aden troops were Gulf-trained locals,” Reuters, May 4, 2015. Available:
[4] “Al-Muhajiroun in East Africa Threatens UN, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda,” SITE, May 4. Available:
[5] Abdiqani Hassan and Feisal Omar, “Somalia Islamists storm Puntland police station, kill three –police,” Reuters, May 5. Available:
[6] “Somalia: Grenade explosions rattle Bossaso Port City,” Garowe Online, May 4. Available:
[7] “Somalia forces carried out an operation in Elwak,” Mareeg Media, May 4. Available:
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