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: U.S. citizen dies in Yemen; U.S. citizen arrested in 2010 on terrorism charges faces potential execution in Sana’a; Cyclone Megh hits Socotra

Horn of Africa: IED blast hits AMISOM convoy in Mogadishu, Banadir region; al Shabaab releases video of Janale base attack; KDF forces arrest Somali villagers along Kenyan-Somali border

Yemen Security Brief

  • U.S. citizen John Hamen died in Yemen, according to a U.S. State Department announcement on November 9. Hamen was a contractor at a UN facility in Sana’a, which some reports indicate was located at the U.S. embassy. He was detained in Sana’a International Airport on October 20 along with one other contractor.[1]
  • Lawyers for an American prisoner named Sharif Mobley held on murder charges in Yemen report that he may be sentenced to execution without a trial. Mobley was detained on suspicion of terrorist activities in January 2010. He was later charged with the murder of a hospital guard whom he had killed during an escape attempt. Mobley remains imprisoned in Sana’a. An international human rights organization, Reprieve, hired a local attorney for Mobley and sought U.S. government intervention in his case.[2]
  • Cyclone Megh killed ten people and wounded sixty more on the island of Socotra. Megh is the second cyclone to hit Socotra this week, following Cyclone Chapala. The storm also displaced hundreds of people and destroyed fleets of fishing boats. The storm made landfall 70 km east of Aden on the morning of November 10. An Emirati cargo ship delivered humanitarian aid to Socotra.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • An improvised explosive device (IED) targeting an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) convoy detonated on November 10 in Mogadishu, Banadir region. The blast killed one civilian, wounded another, and damaged an AMISOM vehicle. It is unknown who planted the device, but its target suggests al Shabaab.[4]
  • Al Shabaab released a video on November 10 detailing its September 1 attack on Janale military base, located in the Lower Shabelle region. The video shows al Shabaab militants attacking the Ugandan-manned base, looting weapons and munitions, and taking prisoners. The video also showed the executions of a number of captured soldiers. The fate of the remaining soldiers is unknown.[5]
  • Kenyan Defense forces (KDF) arrested ten Somali villagers accused being al Shabaab sympathizers in various unspecified villages along the Kenyan-Somali border. Village elders protested the arrests, which took place on November 10, claiming the accusations to be baseless. The arrests accompany growing tensions along the Kenyan-Somali border. The Kenyan government stands accused of encroaching on Somalia’s territory by building a wall that crosses the Kenyan-Somali border.[6]

[1] “U.S. citizen dies in battle-torn Yemen,” USA Today, November 10, 2015. Available:
[2] “American prisoner in Yemen said to face death sentence,” New York Times, November 9, 2015. Available:
[3] “The outcome of devastation by Hurricane Megh in Socotra,” Barakish News, November 10, 2015. Available:
“Emirate Foundation sends aid to residents of Socotra,” Barakish News, November 10, 2015 Available:
[4] “Roadside bomb explosion hits AMISOM convoy in Mogadishu, 1 dead,” Shabelle News, November 9, 2015. Available:
“Civilian killed as AMISOM suffer landmine attack outside Mogadishu,” Wacaal Media, November 9, 2015. Available:
[5] “Al-Shabaab video shows executions of African Union troops,” The Daily Star, November 10, 2015. Available:
“Shabaab releases video on storming AU base in Janane, shows captive Ugandan soldier,” SITE Intelligence Group, November 10, 2015. Available:
[6] “Somali elders accuse Kenya encroaching on Somali land,” Goobjoog News, November 10, 2015. Available:
“Kenyan police arrest 10 Somali nationals at the border,” Shabelle News, November 10, 2015. Available:
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