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: Human Rights Watch condemns al Houthi and Yemeni military fighting; al Houthi militants detain Minister of Electricity in Sana’a; al Houthi militants use bomb-sniffing dogs to sweep through Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Suspected al Shabaab militants kill Somali-American engineer in Mogadishu; Kenyan security forces raid third mosque linked to al Shabaab in Kenya’s Coast Province; Somali Prime Minister chairs first cabinet meeting in more than two weeks; unidentified gunmen assassinated a journalist in Mudug region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Human Rights Watch claimed on November 19 that al Houthi militants and Yemen’s Sixth Regional Command committed human rights violations against civilians in fighting leading up to the September 21 al Houthi takeover of Sana’a. Al Houthi militants and the Yemeni military both allegedly attacked civilians and hospitals during the al Houthi revolution.[1]
  • Al Houthi militants detained the Minister of Electricity, Abdulla al Akhwa, in Sana’a on November 19 for unknown reasons. President Hadi and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah negotiated al Akhwa’s release.[2]
  • Al Houthi militants used bomb-sniffing police dogs to sweep the streets of Sana’a on November 19 in a search for improvised explosive devices (IED). No IEDs were reportedly found.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Suspected al Shabaab militants shot and killed Somali-American engineer Abdullahi Ali Anshur in Mogadishu on November 18. Anshur, who was U.S. citizen with a master’s degree, left his home in Minneapolis, Minnesota in order to help the Mogadishu government with urban planning.[4]
  • Kenyan anti-terror police raided a third mosque linked to al Shabaab in Mombasa in Kenya’s Coast Province on November 19, marking the third mosque raid in three days. Government forces arrested more than a hundred suspects and confiscated a petrol bomb, a hand grenade, ammunition and CDs containing al Shabaab teachings. Separately, security officials in Mandera in Kenya’s North Eastern Province warned of an al Shabaab plot to cross the border between Kenya and Somalia in order to attack Nairobi.[5]
  • Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed chaired a meeting with the cabinet of ministers in Mogadishu on November 18 for the first time in more than two weeks since the beginning of an ongoing dispute between the Somali prime minister and president. Some members of the cabinet attended the meeting and discussed legislation with the prime minister.[6]
  • Unidentified gunmen assassinated a journalist in Galkayo, Mudug region on November 19. The incident marks the third killing of a Somali journalist in 2014.[7]

[1] “Yemen: Civilian toll of fighting in capital,” Human Rights Watch, November 19, 2014. Available:
[2] “al Houthis holding minister of electricity and his companions inside the Prime Minister,” Barakish, November 19, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Photos of the group al Houthi and possession of sniffer dogs looted operations within a wide vid in the capital,” al Masdar, November 19, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] Mike Durkin, “Civil engineer from Minneapolis assassinated in Somalia,” Fox Twin Cities, November 18, 2014. Available:
Abdi Guled, “Somali-American who helped Mogadishu government with Urban planning killed by gunmen,” AP, November 19, 2014. Available:
[5] Elkana Jacob, “Grenade, petrol bomb, ammunition found in third Mombasa mosque raid,” the Star, November 19, 2014. Available:
Cyrus Ombati, “Police raid Swafaa Mosque, recover assorted weapons,” Standard Digital, November 19, 2014. Available:
Bosire Boniface, “Mandera County officials warn of al-Shabaab plot,” Sabahi Online, November 18, 2014. Available:
[6] “SOMALIA: PM chairs first cabinet meeting for more than two weeks,” RBC Radio, November 18, 2014. Available:
[7] “Journalist killed in Somalia, third this year says union,” Reuters, November 19, 2014. Available:
View Citations
Arrow down red
Dec '14
Nov '14
Oct '14