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 capture Saudi ship in Red Sea; UAE-backed forces thwart AQAP attack in Abyan

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab assassinates Puntland intelligence official; Somali police and SNA clash in Mogadishu over land dispute; UN adds explosives ingredients to Somalia arms embargo

Yemen Security Brief

The al Houthi movement seized a Saudi naval vessel and two South Korean vessels three miles from Uqban Island off Yemen’s southwestern coast on November 17. The Saudi vessel was towing a South Korean drilling rig when al Houthi militants hijacked it, according to Saudi officials.[1]

UAE-backed al Hizam Security Forces thwarted an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) attack in Mudia district in Abyan governorate in southern Yemen on November 19. AQAP last attacked al Hizam forces in Mudia in late August.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab assassinated a senior Puntland State intelligence official near his residence in Galkayo town in north-central Somalia on November 18. Al Shabaab separately claimed to assassinate an elder in Kismayo port city in southern Somalia on November 18.[3]

Somali police and Somali National Army (SNA) forces exchanged fire in Heliwa district in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on November 18. The fighting broke out over a land dispute.[4]

The UN Security Council added ingredients used in home-made explosives to an arms embargo on Somalia on November 15. The decision comes after a UN Panel of Experts found definitive evidence that al Shabaab is manufacturing explosives.[5]

Visit our YemenSaudi Arabia, and Somalia storystreams.

[1] “Yemen’s Houthi rebels seize Saudi Arabian ship in Red Sea,” CNN, November 19, 2019,; and “Vessel seized by Yemen’s Houthis: Ministry Official,” The New York Times, November 18, 2019,

[2] “Security Belt Forces break a terrorist attack on the directorate,” Pulse of Hadramout, November 19, 2019,

[3] “A top intelligence official killed in Somalia’s Puntland,” Garowe, November 18, 2019,; Tuuryare, Abdirisak, “Somali police officer injured in Mogadishu skirmish,” Mareeg, November 18, 2019,

[4] Tuuryare, Abdirisak, “Somali police officer injured in Mogadishu skirmish,” Mareeg, November 18, 2019,

[5] “UN adds bomb-making materials to Somalia arms embargo,” Business Standard, November 16, 2019,; “Letter dated 1 November 2019 from the Chair of the

Security Council Committee pursuant to resolution 751 (1992) concerning Somalia addressed to the President of the Security Council,” United Nations Security Council, November 1, 2019,

View Citations
Arrow down red
Dec '19
Nov '19
Oct '19