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 forms alliance with tribes in Ibb; Al Houthi militants search American Embassy delivery in Sana’a; AQAP militants clash with al Houthi gunmen in al Bayda; Southern Movement protestors demonstrate in Abyan

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab releases video of a confession by a French spy involved in operations against al Shabaab in 2013; Kenyan security forces reportedly arrest al Shabaab official in Kenya’s Eastern Province; unidentified gunmen attack village elder in Lower Shabelle region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Ansar al Sharia announced the formation of a Sunni tribal alliance comprised of Ansar al Sharia militants and Sunni tribesmen from the Udain and al Huzam districts of Ibb. The alliance will aim to combat al Houthi supporters in Ibb.[1]
  • Al Houthi militants stopped and searched through a U.S. embassy delivery plane directly after its arrival at Sana’a international airport on October 23. The al Houthis refused entry of unidentified contents on the plane.[2]
  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants continued fighting with al Houthi gunmen in Rada’a, al Bayda on October 23, claiming to have killed 18 al Houthis. Separately, al Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdul Salam al Houthi declared on October 23 that al Houthi militants will not depart from cities contested by AQAP and confirmed that earlier reports of the death of AQAP member Adel al Raymi were incorrect.[3]
  • Supporters of the Southern Movement protested in al Mahfad, Abyan on October 23, demanding separation from Sana’a.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab's media arm released a video on October 22 of a French spy confessing to involvement in the French raid that freed Denis Allex on January 16, 2013, and in the drone strike that killed al Shabaab official Ali Abdi (also known as Anta Anta and Adeer Ali) on October 28, 2013.[5]
  • Kenyan security forces arrested alleged al Shabaab official Mohammed Abdi Wahab at a road block in Mwingi in Kenya’s Eastern Province on October 23.[6]
  • Three unidentified gunmen wounded a village elder during an assassination attempt in Afgoi, Lower Shabelle region on October 23. Local security forces responded by arresting dozens of suspects in the area.[7] 

[1] Ansar al Sharia Twitter statement, October 22.
[2] “Houthis rummaging through parcels and boxes belonging to the American Embassy at Sana’a Airport and refuse to allow one to enter,” Barakish, October 23 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Three explosions shake Rada’a and al Qaeda claims to have killed 18 al Houthis,” Sahafah Net, October 23, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Houthi spokesman: we will not get out of the cities controlled by al Qaeda,’” Barakish, October 23, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “A massive march and oratory festival in Mahfad in support of the Southern Movement,” Aden al Ghad, October 23, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Wounded in armed clashes in Abyan,” Aden al Ghad, October 23, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Shabaab Video Shows Confession of Spy Involved in French Raid, Drone Strike on Official,” SITE Intelligence Group, October 22, 2014. Available at SITE.
[6] Kitavi Mutua, “Most wanted terror suspect arrested in Mwingi,” Daily Nation, October 22, 2014. Available:
[7] “Unknown gunmen wounded famous elder in Afgoye,” Goobjoog News, October 23, 2014. Available:
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