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 Houthis shell Damaj, Sa’ada; AQAP attacks security officer in Shabwah; security forces seize RPGs and explosive belts; IED explodes in Hadramawt

Horn of Africa: Kenyan police arrest al Shabaab recruiter; Somali government announces new rehabilitation and training centers for al Shabaab defectors; Somali forces kill 11 member of local militia in Lower Shabelle region; AMISOM expresses concern with political tensions; al Shabaab burns vehicles transporting alcohol

Yemen Security Brief

  • The al Houthis shelled Damaj, Sa’ada governorate on November 17, killing eight people and wounding eleven. The al Houthis used tanks, mortars, and artillery to target the Salafist school Dar al Hadith in Damaj. A presidential and parliamentary delegation reached a ceasefire with leaders on November 18. However, Salafist sources reported that clashes with al Houthis continued in Kataf and renewed in Damaj after the committee left.[1]
  • Gunmen suspected to be from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) attacked a security officer in Mayfa’a, Shabwah governorate on November 18. The officer survived the attack, but is in critical condition at the hospital. Security forces were on high alert after the attack.[2]
  • Security forces seized a car carrying dozens of rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) shells in al Mukalla, Hadramawt governorate on November 17. Security forces also found and disarmed two explosive belts in Zinjibar, Abyan governorate. The explosives were hidden near a popular committee site.[3]
  • An improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a police car exploded in Sayun, Hadramawt governorate on November 17. There were no injuries or damage to the car.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Kenyan police arrested a suspected al Shabaab recruiter in Nyeri, Kenya on November 18.[5]
  • Somali Federal Government announced the establishment of religious rehabilitation and skills-training centers for al Shabaab defectors in Dhusamareb, Galgudud region on November 17.[6]
  • Somali forces killed 11 members of a local militia during a scuffle in Lower Shabelle region on November 18. Reports indicated that the local militia sparked the fighting over disaffection for federal troops in the region. [7]
  • AMISOM officials expressed concerns over the current political tension between President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon. [8]
  • Al Shabaab militants set fire to vehicles transporting alcohol in Dinsor, Bay region on November 18.[9]

[1] “8 People Killed and 11 More Wounded in Houthi Bombing of Damaj,” Mareb Press, November 18, 2013. Available:
“Ceasefire Agreement in Damaj and Deployment of Observers by Tomorrow,” Barakish, November 18, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Security Alert After Attack by Gunmen from AQAP on Security Officer in Shabwah,” Wefaq Press, November 18, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Security Source: Car Carrying Dozens of RPG Shells Seized in al Mukalla,” Aden Post, November 18, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Interior Ministry Stops Terrorist Plot in Abyan,” al Khabar Now, November 18, 2013. Available:
[4] “Explosion of IED on the Main Road in Sayun,” Yemen Saeed, November 18, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Suspected Al-Shabaab follower arrested in Nyeri,” Bar Kulan, November 18, 2013. Available:
[6] “Dhusamareb officials to set up rehabilitation centers for Al Shabaab defectors,” Bar Kulan, November 17, 2013. Available:
[7] “Somalia: 11 killed in a fresh gun battle in Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region,” Raxanreeb, Available:
[8] “AMISOM express concern over the row between Somali leaders,” Bar Kulan, November 17, 2013. Available:
[9] “Alshabab burn down vehicles transporting liquor,” Dalsan Radio, November 18, 2013. Available:
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