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: Al Houthi gunmen fight with Ansar al Sharia militants in al Bayda; car bomb targets journalist in al Mukalla; al Houthi gunmen storm mosque in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: U.S. threatens to suspend aid to Somalia over political turmoil; al Shabaab militants execute and kidnap civilians in Lower Jubba region; unidentified gunmen kill prison guard and his son in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Houthi gunmen attacked Ansar al Sharia militants and took control of Khabza, al Bayda, 200 km southeast of Sana’a, on November 14. Ansar al Sharia militants later retaliated and regained control of the village, killing at least 25 al Houthis. As many as 70 people total were reportedly killed during the fighting.[1]
  • Unidentified militants placed a car bomb on the vehicle of the editor of the news website Mukalla Today in al Mukalla on November 14. The bomb detonated but resulted in no injuries.[2]
  • Al Houthi militants stormed the al Andalus mosque located in southern Sana’a on November 14, forcing Friday prayers at the mosque to be cancelled.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Review

  • The U.S. reportedly informed the Somali Federal Government that the U.S. would make significant cuts in aid to Somalia if the ongoing dispute between the prime minister and president over cabinet appointments remains unresolved. The report follows a November 10 U.S. Department of State announcement expressing deep concern over the continued dispute.[4] 
  • Al Shabaab militants allegedly beheaded two women and kidnapped more than twenty civilians accused of spying on November 8 after recapturing Kudha Island, Lower Jubba on the same day. The militants withdrew from the locality on November 10.[5]
  • Unidentified gunmen shot and killed an off duty prison guard and his son in Mogadishu on November 14. The targeted killing occurred after Al Shabaab militants carried out three assassination attempts in Mogadishu from November 11 to November 12.[6]

[1] “25 Houthis killed in central Yemen ambush,” World Bulletin, November 14, 2014. Available:
“Black day for the al Houthis, more than 70 armed and 10 of the tribes were killed in the fiercest battles of Khabza in al Bayda,” al Masdar, November 14, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Unidentified places IED on car of journalist Bayashoot and explosion causes significant damage,” Hona Hadramawt, November 14, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Al Houthi gunmen stormed the al Andalus mosque in Sana’a and imposed it by force orator,” al Masdr, November 14, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] AP, “Officials say US threatens aid cuts to Somalia,” The New Zealand Herald, November 15, 2014. Available: 
[5] Fuad Ahmed, “Al-Shabaab kidnaps residents, beheads 2 women in Kudha,” November 13, 2014. Available:
[6] “Breaking News: Father and His Son were Shot Dead in Mogadishu,” November 14, 2014. Available:
View Citations
Arrow down red
Dec '14
Nov '14
Oct '14