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: Saudi-led coalition forces intercept al Houthi explosive-laden drones targeting southwestern Saudi Arabia; anti–al Houthi media reports intra–al Houthi clashes in al Jawf governorate
Horn of Africa: NISA reportedly seizes tons of bomb-making material from suspected al Shabaab militants in Mogadishu; SNA deploys additional troops to Gedo region; al Shabaab militants attack town official’s residence and police station in Hiraan region; al Shabaab targets AMISOM vehicle in Lower Shabelle region
Yemen Security Brief:
Saudi-led coalition forces claimed intercepting an al Houthi explosive-laden drone targeting Najran city in southwestern Saudi Arabia on October 11. Coalition forces additionally claimed intercepting two al Houthi drones targeting Saudi Arabia on October 10. The al Houthi movement previously launched drones targeting Saudi Arabia in mid-September.[i]
Rival al Houthi factions clashed in northern Yemen’s al Jawf governorate on October 13, according to anti–al Houthi media. Al Houthi militants aligned with the al Houthi governor of al Jawf reportedly assassinated the al Houthi director of al Jawf’s al Matun district after an unspecified disagreement. Al Houthi militants previously clashed among themselves in Yemen's capital, Sana’a, in mid-July.[ii]
Horn of Africa Security Brief:
The Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency reportedly seized nearly eighty tons of sulfuric acid, a bomb-making ingredient, from suspected al Shabaab militants in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on October 14. An al Shabaab militant conducted a suicide vest attack targeting police in Mogadishu in early October.[iii]
The Somali National Army (SNA) deployed additional troops into Jubbaland state’s Gedo region in southern Somalia reportedly in response to local complaints of alleged Kenyan Defense Forces’ (KDF) abuses. The Gedo region’s governor accused the KDF of abducting Somali citizens from Gedo on October 6.[iv]
Suspected al Shabaab militants launched a grenade targeting the residence of the mayor of Jalalaqsi town in Somalia’s south-central Hiraan region on October 11. A local news source reported that the mayor survived the attack. Al Shabaab militants also attacked a police station in Jalalaqsi town the same day.[v]
Al Shabaab claimed an improvised explosive device attack against an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) armored vehicle on the outskirts of Shalanbod district in Somalia’s southern Lower Shabelle region on October 10. The blast allegedly killed at least two Ugandan AMISOM soldiers. Al Shabaab militants ambushed a SNA convoy in the Lower Shabelle region in early October.[vi]
[i]”Saudi-led coalition says it destroyed two explosive drones fired by Houthis,” Reuters, October 9, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-saudi-yemen/saudi-led-coalition-says-it-destroyed-two-explosive-drones-fired-by-houthis-idUSKBN26V035; “Saudi-led coalition intercepts explosive-laden drone launched by Houthis, says state news agency,” Reuters, October 10, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/saudi-yemen-security-int/saudi-led-coalition-intercepts-explosive-laden-drone-launched-by-houthis-says-state-news-agency-idUSKBN26V0ZO; and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - September 18, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, September 18, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-september-18-2020.
[ii] “Al Jawf…A Houthi leader was killed by gunmen affiliated with another leader in the group,” Khabar Agency, October 13, 2020, https://www.khabaragency.net/news133914.html; and Matthew Eady and Zachary Jaynes, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - July 15, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, July 15, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-july-15-2020.
[iii] “Somali Forces Seize 79 Tons of Bomb Making Sulphuric Acid,” Hiiraan, October 14, 2020, http://www.hiiraan.com/news4/2020/Oct/180288/somali_forces_seize_79_tons_of_bomb_making_sulphuric_acid.aspx; “Somali Forces Seize 79 Tons of Bomb Making Sulphuric Acid as Country Marks 3 Years After Truck Bombing,” Goobjoog, October 14, 2020, http://goobjoog.com/english/somali-forces-sieze-79-tones-of-sulphuric-acid-as-country-marks-3-years-after-truck-bombing/; and Jessica Kocan and Rahma Bayrakdar, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – October 2, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, October 2, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-october-2-2020.
[iv] “More SNA Troops Deployed in Conflict-Prone Gedo After Complaints About KDF Presence,” Garowe, October 12, 2020, https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/more-sna-troops-deployed-in-conflict-prone-gedo-after-complaints-over-kdf-presence; and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – September 28, 2020,” Critical Threats Project and the American Enterprise Institute, September 28, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-september-28-2020.
[v] “Al Shabaab Attacks Police Station in Hiran Region,” Mareeg, October 11, 2020, https://mareeg.com/al-shabaab-attacks-police-station-in-hiran-region/; and “Jalalaqsi Mayor Mohamed Nur Escapes Grenade Attack on His Home,” Hiiraan, October 12, 2020, http://www.hiiraan.com/news4/2020/Oct/180259/jalalaqsi_mayor_mohamed_nur_escapes_grenade_attack_on_his_home.aspx.
[vi] “Two soldiers killed as blast hits AU troops in Somalia,” Mareeg, October 10, 2020, https://mareeg.com/two-soldiers-killed-as-blast-hits-au-troops-in-somalia/; and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – October 5, 2020,” Critical Threats Project and the American Enterprise Institute, October 5, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-october-5-2020.