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: Suspected AQAP militants attack soldiers in Ma’rib; Al Houthi gunmen cease payments from Ministry of Finance in Sana’a; al Houthi spokesmen acknowledges coordinating with Yemeni military prior to revolution in Sana’a; al Islah Party gunmen loot Yemeni military equipment in al Jawf

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants reportedly abandon stronghold in Lower Shabelle region; Somali National Army forces clash with al Shabaab militants in Bakol region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants attacked Yemeni soldiers in Ma’rib on October 3, wounding five. Separately, unidentified militants detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) in al Ahnum, Amran on October 2, killing up to 15 people.[1]
  • Al Houthi gunmen suspended outgoing payments from the Ministry of Finance in Sana’a on October 2, claiming they were protecting public funds from the former government.[2]
  • Al Houthi spokesman, Mohammed Abdul Salam, acknowledged on October 2 that the al Houthis coordinated with factions of the Yemeni military prior to the al Houthi revolution in Sana’a. Additionally, al Islah Party spokesmen accused Yemeni Defense Minister, General Mohammed Nasser Ahmed, of colluding with al Houthi militants during their demonstrations.[3]
  • Al Islah party tribesmen looted military equipment from the 115th infantry brigade in al Jawf on October 3.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief 

  • Al Shabaab militants reportedly fled from the group’s largest remaining stronghold in Barawe, Lower Shabelle region on October 3 amid advances by African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali National Army (SNA) forces into the region.  Separately, AMISOM and SNA forces seized Maryan-Gubaay village from al Shabaab on September 30, 20 KM from Barawe.[5] 
  • SNA forces clashed with al Shabaab militants, capturing unspecified territory 40 KM from Wajid, Bakol region on October 3. The number of casualties are not yet known.[6]

[1] “Five soldiers injured in clashes with al-Qaeda militants Mareb,” Barakish, October 3, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Aajl.. killed about 15 people in an explosion in a market in the area Almfajz in Amran,” Barakish, October 3, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Houthis dictate state spending in absence of Yemen govt,” Reuters, October 2, 2014. Available:
[3] “Houthi armed group recognizes the existence of coordination with military leaders and ambassadors before their control of Sanaa,” al Masdar, October 2, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Reform Party emerges from the silence and accuse the minister of defense and military leaders to hand over the camps in Sana’a the Houthis,” al Masdar, October 2, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Reform seizes 115 infantry brigade mechanisms in Al-Jawf,” Barakish, October 2, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “SOMALIA: Al Shabab fighters flee from Barawe town, the latest stronghold in Lower Shabelle region,” RBC Radio, October 3, 2014. Available:
[6] “SOMALIA: Somali government troops battle al shabab in Bakol reigon,” RBC Radio, October 3, 2014. Available:
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