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 Houthi gunmen seize port city al Hudaydah; president Hadi appoints new Prime Minister in Sana’a; Yemen’s southern movement organizes protests in Aden and Hadramawt; AQAP militants attack Yemeni military in Hadramawt

Horn of Africa: Suspected al Shabaab militants conduct multiple VBIED attacks in Mogadishu; Kenyan AMISOM forces conduct complex operation targeting al Shabaab in Middle Jubba region; suspected al Shabaab militants kidnap five civilians in Kenya’s Coast Province; unidentified assailant beheads civilian in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Houthi militants seized al Hudaydah city, a strategic port city on Yemen’s Red Sea coast 200 km west of Sana’a, on October 14. The militants reportedly seized the city’s airport and have set up checkpoints along roads throughout Hudaydah. Reports indicate that Yemeni security forces in the city put up little to no resistance as the al Houthis seized the city.[1]
  • President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi appointed Khaled Mahfoodh Abdulla Bahah as Prime Minister of Yemen on October 13. Bahah has previously served as Ambassador to Canada and as a representative to the United Nations (UN). Abdelmalek al Ejri, a spokesman for the al Houthi movement approved Bahah’s nomination[2]
  • Yemen’s Southern Movement organized massive protests in Aden City, Aden and al Mukalla, Hadramawt on October 14, calling for secession from Sana’a. Separately, suspected AQAP militants planted a car bomb on the vehicle of Southern Movement leader, Mohammed Saleh Timah, on October 14. Security forces were able to dismantle the bomb. [3]
  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants detonated a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) near a military vehicle in Shibam, Hadramawt on October 11, killing two and wounding three soldiers. Separately, suspected AQAP militants attacked al Houthi gunmen in Rada'a, al Bayda on October 14, resulting in the death of two AQAP gunmen and two al Houthis. Lastly, Ansar al Sharia claimed credit for the October 9 bombings in Sana’a and Hadramawt on October 11.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Suspected al Shabaab militants detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) near a café in Mogadishu, killing more than 15 civilians and injuring 18 others, on October 12. Separately, a suspected al Shabaab militant detonated a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) near a public garage, injuring five civilians, in the Hodan district of Mogadishu on October 13.[5] 
  • Kenyan African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces conducted a complex operation, featuring air strikes and a ground assault, targeting al Shabaab militants near Jilib, Middle Jubba region, Somalia on October 10. Kenyan security officials reported that the AMISOM forces killed sixty militants and destroyed five vehicles. Separately, Somali security forces conducted a security operation in Mogadishu, arresting 15 suspected al Shabaab militants on October 14.[6]
  • Suspected al Shabaab militants kidnapped five civilians from Lamu in Kenya’s Coast Province on October 10. The militants reportedly transported the hostage to an al Shabaab safe haven in Jilib, Middle Jubba region.[7]
  • An unidentified assailant beheaded a civilian outside a mosque in the Karan district of Mogadishu on October 14. Somali security forces later arrested the culprit.[8]

 “A military source: Houthi gunmen seize large weapons store in Hodeidah and loot its contents,” al Masdar, October 13, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Yemen Officials: Shiite Rebels Take Control of Red Sea City, Southern Province in Latest Blitz,” ABC News, October 14, 2014. Available:
“Officials: After overrunning capital, Yemen’s Shiite rebels close in on key Red Sea city,” Fox News, October 14, 2014. Available:
Iona Craig Twitter Account, October 14, 2014. Available:
[2] “Yemen appoints new PM to end crisis,” al Jazeera, October 13, 2014. Available:
“Bio of Yemen’s Newly Appointed Prime Minister,” Yemen Post, October 13, 2014. Available:
[3] “Yemen southerners call for secession,” The Peninsula Qatar, October 14, 2014. Available:
“Yemen southerners plan huge protests to demand secession,” Daily Star, October 13, 2014. Available:
“Source: dismantling an explosive device planted car leader, Mohammed Saleh Tmah,” Aden al Ghad, October 14, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Suspected Qaeda attack kills two Yemen soldiers,” al Arabiya, October 11, 2014. Available:
Pro AQAP Twitter account
“Killing and injuring eight people in an ambush of al Qaeda targeted Houthis,” Barakish, October 14, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5]Mohammed Ibrahim, “Car Bomb Kills at Least 15 in Somalia,” New York Times, October 13, 2014. Available:
“Car explosion wounds five in Mogadishu,” Goobjoog News, October 13, 2014. Available: 
[6] “KDF bombard Al Shabaab base in Jubaland killing 60 militants,” the Star, October 11, 2014. Available:
15 arrested in Mogadishu market for suspected links with al Shabaab,” Bar Kulan, October 14, 2014. Available:
[7] “Fate of five kidnapped by suspected Al-Shabaab militants in Lamu unknown,” Standard Digital, October 13, 2014. Available:
[8] “A Man Beheads Another in Kaaraan,” Dalsan Radio, October 14, 2014. Available:
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