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: Security presence increases in Taiz city; Saudi border guards seize grenades on the Yemeni border; al Houthis execute spies in Sa’ada

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab releases English-language recruitment tape; UN Secretary General urges troop surge in Somalia; Somali general announces upcoming offensive in Bay, Bakool, and Gedo regions; al Shabaab threw grenades into AMISOM bases in Lower Shabelle region; U.S. Marines train Ugandan troops for AMISOM

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni security forces deployed military vehicles to enforce a ban on civilians carrying weapons in Taiz city on October 17. Sources reported the increased security presence is a response to an attack by tribesmen on October 16.[1]
  • Saudi border guards seized three people smuggling weapons from Yemen into Saudi Arabia on October 17. The smugglers had thirty-five grenades and thirty-two grenade fuses.[2]
  • Al Houthis executed two people in Sabr, Sa’ada governorate on October 15. Al Houthis accused the victims of being Salafist spies.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab released a recruitment video starring an al Shabaab militant speaking English with a natural British accent. The al Shabaab member called for more Woolwich- and Boston-style attacks. The recruiter showcased terrorist attacks in the UK and asked listeners to follow those examples.[4]
  • UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the international community to support a surge of 4,400 additional African troops for AMISOM operations in Somalia on October 16.[5]
  • A Somali National Army general announced on October 16 a large-scale upcoming offensive against al Shabaab bases in remote areas of Bay, Bakool, and Gedo regions.[6]
  • Al Shabaab militants threw grenades into AMISOM bases in Marka and Janale towns, Lower Shabelle region, on October 16. AMISOM did not release casualty figures from the attack.[7] 
  • U.S. Marines concluded a 10-week training exercise with Uganda People’s Defense Forces in Kakola, Uganda. The troops will be deployed to Somalia under the AMISOM mandate.[8]

[1] “Intelligence Information Reveals Plot to Blow Up the Situation in Taiz City,” Voice Yemen, October 17, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Saudi Authorities Foil Smuggling of 35 Grenades on the Yemen Border,” al Khabar Now, October 17, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Al Houthis Kill Two in Sa’ada After Accusing Them of Spying for the Salafists,” Hour News, October 16, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “A terrorist recruitment video with a difference,” Shabelle, October 17, 2013. Available:
[6] “Somali government prepares major assault,” Bar Kulan, October 17, 2013. Available:
[7] “Heavy explosions occur in lower Shabelle region,” Shabelle, October 17, 2013. Available:
[8] “Marines, Sailors enhance Ugandan force capabilities,” Shabelle, October 17, 2013. Available:
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