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.

The Critical Threats Project will not publish the Gulf of Aden Security Review on November 23 and November 25 due to the Thanksgiving Holiday. The Gulf of Aden Security Review will resume on November 28.

Yemen: Houthis target oil facility in Hadramawt with explosive-laden drone; AQAP condemns 2022 World Cup; AQAP fighters target STC-backed forces with IED; Houthis demand World Bank cease support to Yemeni government Central Bank

Somalia: SNA and local security forces kill two al Shabaab officials in charge of Zakat collection in southern Somalia; al Shabaab claims to attack government forces several times in Mogadishu; clan elders begin peace talks between rival clans in south-central Somalia

Yemen Security Brief:

The Houthis launched at least one explosive-laden drone targeting al Dabba port, Hadramawt governorate, southeastern Yemen, on November 21.[i] The drone hit an oil tanker at al Dabba.[ii] The Houthis also targeted al Dabba port on October 21.[iii]

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) issued a statement condemning the 2022 World Cup in Qatar on November 19.[iv] AQAP claimed that the “Jews and tyrants” use FIFA and other sports organizations to oppress Muslims. Al Qaeda Core issued a similar statement to AQAP’s on November 20.[v]

AQAP fighters detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting Southern Transitional Council (STC)-affiliated al Hizam Security Forces near Wadi Omran, Abyan governorate, southern Yemen on November 19.[vi] AQAP claimed the IED killed four STC-affiliated fighters and wounded a “group of others.”[vii]

The Houthi deputy foreign minister demanded the World Bank end its support for the Yemeni government (ROYG)-controlled Central Bank based in Aden.[viii] The minister called the World Bank’s support for the ROYG-controlled Central Bank a “hostile act.”

Somalia Security Brief:

Somali National Army (SNA) and Southwest State forces cleared the town of Dhursheen, El Barde district, Bakool region, southern Somalia, on November 21.[ix] SNA officials claimed the operation killed two al Shabaab leaders in charge of local zakat collection.[x]

Al Shabaab claimed to stage multiple attacks on government forces throughout Mogadishu on November 20. Al Shabaab claimed the attacks killed a Gorgor commando and three National Intelligence and Security Agency agents.[xi]

Traditional clan elders began peace talks aimed at ending inter-clan violence in Adale, Middle Shabelle region, south-central Somalia, on November 16.[xii] Local clan forces had previously clashed over control of Adale on November 12.[xiii]

[i] Ali al Sakani, Twitter, November 21, 2022,

[ii] SMA News, ”Urgent.. Houthi terrorist attack targets an oil ship off al Dabba port,” November 21, 2022,

[iii] Brian Carter and David Hessen, ”Gulf of Aden Security Review – October 21, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, October 21, 2022,

[iv] SITE Intelligence Group, ”AQAP condemns holding of FIFA World Cup in Qatar, demands Muslims ignore event and focus on major issues,” November 19, 2022. Available by subscription at:

[v] SITE Intelligence Group, ”Echoing AQAP, AQ Central slams Qatar hosting world cup and alleges event hides intellectual and political aims,” November 20, 2022. Available by subscription at:

[vi] SITE Intelligence Group, ”AQAP bombs military convoy and vehicle of UAE_backed forces in Abyan, follows with photo and video documentation,” November 21, 2022. Available by subscription at:

[vii] Al Mashhad al Yemeni, “An explosion targets the Southern Transitional Forces… dead and wounded (toll),” November 19, 2022,

[viii] Hussein al Ezzi, Twitter, November 19, 2022,

[ix] Goobjoog News, “Two Khawarij Ringleaders Killed in Bakool Region,” November 21, 2022,

[x] SONNA, ”National army neutralises two al-shabab khawarij ringleaders,” November 21, 2022,

[xi] Radio al-Furqaan, ”A special operation and a war that took place in a neighborhood of Hamar,” November 20, 2022,

[xii] Facility for Talo and Leadership, “Peace Talks Commence in Adale Town,” November 18, 2022,

[xiii] Radio Dalsan, ”Clan Militias Contesting Control for Newly Liberated Regions in Middle Shabelle Asked to Stop Fighting,” November 14, 2022,

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