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 militants target AQAP; U.S. State Department offers cash rewards for information on AQAP’s leadership; Southern Movement issues deadline for Yemni military to leave South; Saudi border guards clash with tribal militants in Sa’ada; air strike kills AQAP militants in Shabwah

Horn of Africa: U.S. Department of State warns of imminent al Shabaab attack in Ethiopia; suspected al Shabaab militants detonate VBIED in Mogadishu; unidentified gunmen target government official in Gedo region; Local militias clash and attack civilians in Hiraan and Lower Shabelle regions

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Houthi militants are reportedly carrying out operations targeting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) strongholds south of Sana’a. Al Houthi militants seized control of Ibb City, Ibb, south of Sana’a, on October 15. Reports indicate that security forces put up little resistance to the al Houthi’s advance. Separately, al Houthi gunmen attacked AQAP supporters in Rada’a, al Bayda on October 15, resulting in the deaths of over a dozen al Houthi and AQAP militants. Additionally, the Yemeni air force reportedly launched air strikes against AQAP positions in Rada’a.[1]
  • The U.S. State Department announced a total of $45 million in reward money for information on al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) leadership on October 14.[2]
  • Yemen’s Southern Movement issued a deadline to all civil servants and soldiers to depart from the South by November 30. Additionally, the Southern Movement asked all foreign oil firms to cease exporting oil from South Yemen on October 15.[3]
  • Saudi border guards clashed with a Yemeni tribe in Sa’ada near the Saudi Arabian border on October 14, after the Saudis allegedly attempted to establish security checkpoints within Yemen. No casualties were reported in the fighting.[4]
  • An air strike killed three AQAP suporters in Mayfaa, Shabwah on October 15. Yemen’s Ministry of Defense announced the target of the attack was Mahdi Badas, also known as Abu Hussein. Separately, two suspected AQAP militants assassinated the Yemeni Chief of Logistics for the Military in Sana’a on October 15.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The U.S. Embassy to Ethiopia issued a security message to U.S. citizens in country on October 14 warning of an imminent al Shabaab attack in the Bole area of Addis Ababa in central Ethiopia. The U.S. advised residents to maintain increased security awareness and to avoid frequented public areas, including restaurants, hotels, bars, malls, and places of worship.[6]
  • Suspected al Shabaab militants detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED), killing two people and injuring six others, in Mogadishu on October 15. The attack was the third VBIED explosion in the capital in four days.[7]
  • Unidentified gunmen attacked the residence of the Vice President of the Westland regional administratio in Garbaharey, Gedo region on October 15. The Somali official was unharmed and no casualties were reported.[8]
  • Rival clan militias clashed, killing 12 and injured more than forty others, in Deefow, Hiraan region on October 14. Separately, armed militiamen fired upon a civilian truck at an illegal roadblock, killing one civilian and injuring two others, in Afgoi, Lower Shabelle region on October 15.[9]  

[1] “Dozens of Huthi entering the city of Ibb and checkpoint at the entrance and stationed in a sports stadium,” al Masdar, October 15, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
Hussain Bukhaiti Twitter Account, October 15, 2014. Available:
 “Street war between Al Qaeda and the Houthis downtown Rada,” Baraksh, October 15, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“After days of threatening the leader in the organization for the Houthis.. Yemeni air force bombed sites for al Qaeda and violent clashes retardation killing and wounding dozens,” Aden al Ghad, October 15, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “US offers $45M reward to find al Qaeda leaders,” The Hill, October 14, 2014. Available:
“Reward for Juscie – Reward offers for information on al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leaders,” U.S. State Department, October 14, 2014. Available:
[3] “Yemen separatists tell oil firms to stop exports from south,” Reuters, October 15, 2014. Available:
[4] “Saudi forces, Yemeni tribesmen clash in Yemen’s Sa’ada province,” Press TV, October 14, 2014. Available:
Hussain Bukhaiti Twitter Account, October 15, 2014. Available:
[5] “Three people killed in a raid to drone in the village of Al-Assaf Shabwa,” Barakish, October 15, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Disclosure of the identity of the al Qaeda leader killed in an air raid in Shabwa,” Barakish, October 15, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Urgently.. The assassination of Colonel Ali Zaid Al-Zari capital Sanaa,” Barakish, October 15, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Emergency Message for U.S. Ctizens: Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Potential of an Imminent Terrorist Attack in Addis Ababa, Bole Area,” United States Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security (OSAC),” October 14, 2014. Available:
[7] “Breaking: Bomb planted in a car kills two in Mogadishu,” Goobjoog News, October 15, 2014. Available:
[8] “Vice president of South West Somalia administration survives murder, October 15, 2014. Available:
[9] “Twelve dies in clashes between two clan militias in Hiran region,” RBC Radio, October 14, 2014. Available:
“One dead after armed militia open fire on a truck near Afgoye,” Goobjoog News, October 15, 2014. Available:
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