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: Ansar al Sharia militants target al Houthis in Ibb and al Bayda; AQAP militants attack military checkpoint in Hadramawt; tribes protest al Houthi control in Ibb

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants detonate fourth VBIED in Mogadishu in as many days; al Shabaab militants ambush AMISOM forces in Lower Shabelle and Banadir regions; unidentified assailants target Mandera governor’s convoy with IED in Kenya’s North Eastern Province

Yemen Security Brief

  • Ansar al Sharia temporarily seized control of Udain, Ibb on October 16, killing five policemen and setting fire to multiple government buildings before withdrawing from the city. The group later claimed the attack was an attempt to thwart al Houthi control over the city. Separately, al Houthi gunmen continued to clash with AQAP militants in Rada’a, al Bayda, west of Ibb, on October 16, resulting in the deaths of 12 people.[1]
  • Suspected AQAP militants attacked a military checkpoint in al Mukalla, Hadramawt on October 16, killing one soldier. Separately, suspected Ansar al Sharia militants ambushed and killed two soldiers in Ahwar, Abyan on October 16. Unidentified assailants also detonated a car bomb on a truck belonging to a Hadrhami government official in al Mukalla, Hadramawt on October 16. No casualties were reported during the attack.[2]
  • Tribal militants gathered in Ibb City, Ibb to protest al Houthi control on October 16. No clashes were reported during the protests.  Separately, Major General Mahmoud al Subaihi stated in Taiz City, Taiz that he will protect the city from an AQAP or an al Houthi takeover on October 16.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) near restaurants in the Hamar Weyne district of Mogadishu, killing 5 people and wounding 15 others, on October 15. Al Shabaab later claimed credit for the attack, making it the fourth al Shabaab VBIED attack in the capital in four days targeting government and security officials.[4]
  • Al Shabaab militants ambushed a convoy of Ugandan African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) soldiers, killing one solider, in Marka, Lower Shabelle on October 15. Separately, militants detonated an IED near Burundian AMISOM forces in Banadir region on October 15, resulting in an unknown number of casualties.[5]
  • Unidentified assailants targeted the convoy of Mandera Governor with an IED, injuring one of his body guards, near Mandera in Kenya’s North Eastern Province on October 15. In response to the attack, Kenya police conducted a security operation on October 16, arresting 35 suspects.[6]

[1]“’Al Qaida’ militants seize Yemen town,” Gulf News, October 16, 2014. Available:
“Qaeda, Shia rebels clash in Yemen: 12 killed,” The Daily Star, October 16, 2014. Available:
Pro Ansar al Sharia Twitter account, October 16, 2014
[2] “Soldier killed in an attack on a military post on Mukalla,” Barakish, October 16, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“A car bomb explosion, a local official in Mukalla, no injuries reported,” Aden al Ghad, October 16, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“The killing of two soldiers shot dead by unknown assailants in Abyan, south Yemen,” Aden al Ghad, October 16, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Dozens of gunmen flock to the province of Ibb to demand that the local authorities to bring the al-Huthi militants,” al Masdar, October 16, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Taiz refuse entry.. Houthis and al-Qaeda in Udayn,” Aden al Ghad, October 16, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] Feisal Omar, “Somalia militants kill five with car bomb in Mogadishu,” Retuers, October 15, 2014. Available:
[5] “AMISOM condemns al-Shabaab ambushes against troops,” Sabahi, October 15, 2014. Available:
[6] “Mandera Governor survives an attempted assassination attack,” Bar Kulan, October 15, 2014. Available:
“More than 30 suspects arrested over Mandera governor’s convoy attack,” Bar Kulan, October 16, 2014. Available:
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