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 claim arresting two AQAP militants in al Bayda governorate; al Houthis claim killing eight Saudi soldiers in Ma’rib governorate; al Houthis allegedly fail to launch missile toward Saudi Arabia; Saudi-led coalition claims destroying two al Houthi mines in Red Sea

Horn of Africa: Unidentified forces kill CIA officer in Somalia; al Shabaab claims suicide attack in Mogadishu; al Shabaab militants reportedly attack SNA base in Mudug region; SFG executes al Shabaab militants

Yemen Security Brief:

Al Houthi militants claimed on November 29 arresting two al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants near Dhi Kalib in central Yemen’s al Bayda governorate. AQAP previously claimed attacking al Houthi militants in al Bayda governorate in early October.[1]

The al Houthi movement claimed on November 30 that an al Houthi ballistic missile killed eight Saudi soldiers and wounded several more during an attack on a Saudi-led coalition airbase, Tadawin camp, in central Yemen’s Ma’rib governorate. Al Houthi militants previously claimed launching a ballistic missile at Ma’rib governorate’s capital in early November.[2]

The Saudi-led coalition claimed on November 30 that al Houthi militants launched a ballistic missile from northern Yemen’s Amran governorate toward Saudi Arabia. The coalition said the missile failed to reach Saudi territory and landed in northern Yemen’s Sa’ada governorate instead. Al Houthi militants launched a ballistic missile at a Saudi oil facility near Jeddah city on November 23. [3]

The Saudi-led coalition claimed on November 27 to destroy two mines al Houthi militants planted in the southern Red Sea. The Saudi-led coalition previously claimed destroying five such mines in late November.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

Unidentified forces killed a US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) paramilitary officer embedded in the Somali National Army (SNA) during combat in Somalia. No further details are available at this time.[5]

Al Shabaab claimed a suicide vest attack that targeted an ice cream shop in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on November 27. The attack killed at least seven people and injured ten others. The attack occurred a few hours after the US Defense Secretary visited Mogadishu. Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that targeted a police academy in Mogadishu in mid-November.[6]

Al Shabaab militants reportedly attacked a SNA base in Ba’adweyne city in central Somalia’s Mudug region on November 30. Al Shabaab claimed seizing military vehicles and weapons. Somali security forces reportedly arrested an undisclosed number of al Shabaab militants responsible for supervising activity in the region in mid-November.[7]

The Somali Federal Government executed three al Shabaab militants by firing squad on November 29. The government convicted the militants of participating in IED attacks and assassinations in Somalia’s capital.[8]

[1] “Interior Ministry Spokesman: Thwarting a criminal operation of al Qaeda in al Bayda,” Saba, November 29, 2020,; and Sarah Gordon and Hannah Kuperman, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – October 19, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at American Enterprise Institute, October 19, 2020,

[2] “Yemen: Houthis claim killing of several Saudi soldiers in Marib,” Al Jazeera, November 30, 2020,; and Hannah Kuperman and Luc Sasseville, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – November 9,” Critical Threats Project at American Enterprise Institute, November 9, 2020,

[3] “Houthi Ballistic Missile falls inside Yemeni territory,” Mareb Press, November 30, 2020,; “Yemen’s Houthis hit Saudi Aramco site in Jeddah,” Al Jazeera, November 23, 2020,

[4] “Coalition destroys Houthi-laid marine mines in southern Red Sea,” Arab News, November 27, 2020,; and Reem Krimly, “Arab Coalition destroys naval mines planted by Houthis in Red Sea,” Al Arabiya, November 24, 2020,

[5] “CIA Officer Killed in Combat in Somalia,” CNN, November 25, 2020,; “CIA Officer is Killed in Fighting in Somalia,” Wall Street Journal, November 25, 2020,; and “C.I.A. Officer Is Killed in Somalia,” The New York Times, November 25, 2020,

[6] “Bombing at Ice Cream Shop in Somali Capital Kills At Least 7,” ABC News, November 27, 2020,; “Al-Shabaab Claims Suicide Attack in Somalia’s Capital,” Anadolu Agency, November 28, 2020,; “Shabaab Claims Suicide Bombing in Mogadishu Just Hours After U.S. Defense Secretary Visit,” SITE Intelligence Group, November 27, 2020, available by subscription at; and Hannah Kuperman and Luc Sasseville, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – November 18, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, November 18, 2020,

[7] “Al Shabaab Attacks Ba’adweyne in Southern Mudug,” Horseed media, November 30,; “SNA Clash with Al-Shabaab in Mudug After Base Attack,” Goobjoog, November 30, 2020,; and “Somalia Puntland Police Arrest Al-Shabaab Operatives,” Garowe Online, November 10, 2020,

[8] “Three Shabaab Militants Executed in Mogadishu,” Hiiraan, November 29, 2020,; and “Somalia Executes Al-Shabab Members Over Deadly Attacks,” BBC Monitoring, November 29, 2020, available by subscription at


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