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: AQAP renews pledge of allegiance to al Qaeda leader and Mullah Omar; AQAP vows more attacks on al Houthis; militants kill one soldier at military checkpoint in Ma’rib

Horn of Africa: Somali Federal Parliament to hold voting session next week on the motion of no confidence in prime minister; unidentified assailants attack power plant in Kenya’s North Eastern Province

Yemen Security Review

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) senior religious official Harith bin Nadhari criticized in a November 21 statement the Islamic State (IS) Caliphate for not following the correct path for its establishment and challenged IS Caliph Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s recent statement that al Houthis would not have spread in Yemen if there were people fighting them. Al Nadhari also reaffirmed AQAP’s allegiance to both Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar and al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri. [1]
  • AQAP military commander Qasim al Raymi threatened the al Houthi movement in a November 21 statement, vowing to carry out fierce attacks on the group in revenge for al Houthi attacks on Sunnis in Yemen. Al Raymi also accused the al Houthis of working with the U.S.[2]
  • Unidentified militants attacked a military checkpoint in Wadi Abayda, Ma’rib, 130 km directly east of Sana’a, killing one soldier and wounding another. Tribes from Ma’rib often disrupt oil and electricity lines in the governorate, but recently both AQAP and al Houthi militants have sent fighters to Ma’rib.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Review

  • Sources indicated on November 21 that the Somali Federal Parliament will vote next week on a motion of confidence in the Somali Prime Minister amidst the ongoing dispute between the Somali president and prime minister. Parliament previously attempted to hold a voting session on confidence in the prime minister on November 11, however National Assembly speaker Mohammed Osman Jawari canceled the session due to constant loud disruptions.[4]
  • Unidentified assailants threw a grenade at a power plant and shot and killed a civilian during an attack in Wajir in Kenya’s North Eastern Province on November 19. The suspects successfully fled the scene after the incident.[5]

[1] “AQAP Rebukes Abu Bakr al-Baghdad, Rejects IS’ ‘Caliphate’,” SITE Intel Group, November 21, 2014. Available:
[2] “AQAP official Qasim al-Rimi speaks on American-Houthi alliance in Yemen,” SITE Intel Group, November 21, 2014. Available:
[3] “One killed and another injured in attack on military checkpoint in Ma’rib,” Barakish, November 21, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4]“SOMALIA: Parliament to hold another session on motion of confidence next week- sources,” RBC Radio, November 21, 2014. Available:
[5] “Wajir electricity plant attack, 2 injured in shootings,” Sabahi Online, November 20, 2014. Available:
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