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: AQAP claims attacks on al Houthis in al Bayda governorate; al Houthi–run court issues death sentence for US and Saudi leaders; Saudi-led coalition forces reportedly intercept al Houthi ballistic missile over western Yemen; al Houthis allegedly kidnap civilians in Dhamar governorate
Horn of Africa: Somali special forces claim killing al Shabaab intelligence chief and recapturing al Shabaab–held town in Lower Shabelle region; suspected female al Shabaab militant conducts suicide attack in Mogadishu; Somali government officials announce presidential and parliamentary election dates
Yemen Security Brief:
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed several attacks targeting al Houthi militants in central Yemen’s al Bayda governorate on September 26 and 30, respectively. AQAP claimed fatally shooting an al Houthi militant in Tayyab on September 25. The group also claimed firing mortar and detonating an improvised explosive device targeting al Houthi militants in Tayyab on September 26. AQAP claimed launching mortar on al Houthi positions in al Bayda governorate’s Sawma’ah district on September 29.
An al Houthi–run court in northern Yemen’s Sa’ada governorate sentenced ten defendants to death in late September, accusing them of responsibility for a 2018 Saudi-led coalition airstrike that accidentally killed several civilians. The defendants include US President Donald Trump and the Saudi king and crown prince. The August 2018 airstrike hit a student bus in a market in Sa’ada governorate’s Majz district, killing at least 40 people.
Saudi-led coalition forces reportedly intercepted an al Houthi ballistic missile over al Mokha city in western Yemen’s Taiz governorate on October 2. Al Houthi militants reportedly launched a ballistic missile targeting an internationally recognized Yemeni government military parade in the capital of northern Yemen’s Ma’rib governorate in late September.
Al Houthi militants kidnapped five civilians from a village in al Manar Anas district in Yemen’s Dhamar governorate on October 2, according to local sources. The al Houthi movement reportedly kidnapped several civilians in al Bayda governorate in early September.
Horn of Africa Security Brief:
Somalia’s Danab special forces claimed killing an al Shabaab intelligence chief in Lego town in southern Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region on September 30. Danab forces recaptured the al Shabaab–held town of Lego on the same day. Somali forces killed 12 al Shabaab militants in Lower Shabelle region in late September.
A suspected female al Shabaab militant conducted a suicide vest attack against Somali policemen in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on October 1. The attack killed a police commander and injured two others. A suspected al Shabaab militant conducted a suicide vest attack on a restaurant in Mogadishu in early September.
Somali government officials announced dates for Somalia’s presidential and parliamentary elections on October 1. The parliamentary elections will be held from December 1 to 27. The presidential election will occur on February 8, 2021. Somalia’s first general election in 50 years was originally planned for this October.
 “Yemen court sentences Saudi king, crown prince, Trump to death,” Middle East Monitor, October 2, 2020, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201002-yemen-court-sentences-saudi-king-crown-prince-trump-to-death/; “A Yemeni court sentences 10 accused of the crime in Dahyan,” Alalam TV, October 1, 2020, https://www.alalamtv.net/news/5192736; and Maher Farrukh and James Barnett, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – August 9, 2018,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, August 9, 2018, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-august-9-2018.
 “Coalition defenses intercept a ballistic missile over Mocha,” 7adramout, October 2, 2020, https://www.7adramout.net/4MAY/7502617/%D8%AF%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81-%D8%AA%D8%B9%D8%AA%D8%B1%D8%B6-%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%AE%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%8A%D8%AA%D9%8A%D8%A7-%D9%81%D9%88%D9%82-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%AE%D8%A7.html; and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – September 28, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprises Institute, September 28, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-september-28-2020.
 “Al Houthi militia kidnapped citizens in Dhamar governorate after their village was overrun,” Al Mashhad al Yemeni, October 2, 2020, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/180605; and Rahma Bayrakdar and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – September 4, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, September 4, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-september-4-2020.
 “Somalia’s army kills Al-Shabaab intelligence chief killed in operation,” Garowe, October 1, 2020, https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/somalias-army-kills-al-shabaab-intelligence-chief-killed-in-operation; “Somali Special Forces Retake Town From Al-Shabaab,” Radio Shabelle, September 30, 2020, https://www.radioshabelle.com/somali-special-forces-retake-town-from-al-shabab/; and Rahma Bayrakdar and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – September 23, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, September 23, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-september-23-2020.
 “One Killed, Several Wounded in Somalia Suicide Bombing,” Radio Shabelle, October 1, 2020, https://www.radioshabelle.com/one-killed-several-wounded-in-somalia-suicide-bombing/; Abdirisak M. Tuuryare, “Deadly Suicide Explosion Hits Mogadishu,” Mareeg, October 1, 2020, https://mareeg.com/deadly-suicide-explosion-hits-mogadishu/; and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – September 14, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, September 14, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-september-14-2020.
 Abdulkadir Khalif, “Somalia sets election dates, doubles candidates fees,” The East African, October 2, 2020, https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/tea/news/east-africa/somalia-sets-election-dates-doubles-candidates-fees--2455238; and Matthew Eady and Zachary Jaynes, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – June 29, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, June 29, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-june-29-2020#_ftn6.