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 targets post office in Hadramawt governorate; UN envoy meets Houthi and Omani officials to discuss truce; Houthi negotiating delegation member discusses Houthi-Saudi talks; former ANA chief of staff says Iran is forcibly recruiting former ANA soldiers to fight in Yemen; Houthi media claims Israel deploys radars to the UAE

Somalia: Al Shabaab attacks the SFG Education Ministry with two SVBIEDs in deadliest attack since 2017; SNA special forces clear a major al Shabaab stronghold in south-central Somalia after days of fighting

Yemen Security Brief:

Likely al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) fighters targeted a local post office al Hawtah, Hadramawt governorate, eastern Yemen on October 29. AQAP reportedly stole government salaries and pensions.[i]

UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg concluded his initial visit with Omani and Houthi officials in Muscat, Oman on October 30.[ii] The talks focused on renewing Yemen’s truce, which expired on October 2.[iii]

Houthi negotiating delegation member Abdul Malik al Ajri said on October 29 that Houthi and Saudi talks will not “exclude other Yemeni parties.”[iv] Ajri said that initial talks with Saudi Arabia aimed to “stop the war and lift the siege.” Ajri added that the remainder of Yemen’s parties would be “part of a political solution” but that the negotiations must first “terminate” the “dependency” of the Yemeni government on foreign power. Saudi Arabia and the Houthis met last to discuss a prisoner exchange in mid-October.[v]

The former Afghan National Army chief of staff claimed Iran may be forcibly recruiting Afghan soldiers and commandos to send to Yemen.[vi] The chief of staff said that when Afghan soldiers and commandos living in Iran went to Iranian immigration offices to renew their visas, Iran “asked [them] to go to war in Yemen in support of the Houthis.”

Houthi media outlet Al Masirah claimed on October 30 that Israel deployed air search radars at Dhafra Airbase, Abu Dhabi, UAE.[vii] Dhafra airbase houses French and US personnel.[viii]

Somalia Security Brief:

Al Shabaab militants attacked the Somali Federal Government (SFG) Education Ministry with two suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices near KM4 Junction, Mogadishu, on October 29.[ix] The SFG claimed that the attack killed at least 104 people and wounded over 300 others.[x] The attack is the deadliest al Shabaab attack since a suicide bombing in the same area in October 2017 that killed over 500 people.[xi]

Somali National Army (SNA) Gorgor and Danab special forces and local militia cleared the al Shabaab stronghold of Cali Gadud, Adale district, Middle Shabelle region, south-central Somalia, on October 30.[xii] The SNA claimed that the operation killed over 100 militants.[xiii] The operation to clear Cali Gadud began on October 22.[xiv]

[i] News Yemen, “Al-Qaeda returns to the ‘postal raids’ in Hadramout to face its financial crisis”, October 29, 2022,

[ii] Mahra Post, “The UN Envoy concludes a visit to Muscat, during which he met with Omani officials”, October 30, 2022,

[iii] Office of Special Envoy, Twitter, October 30, 2022

[iv] Abdul Malik al Ajri, Twitter, October 29, 2022,

[v] Abdul Qader al Murtada, October 15, 2022,

[vi] Voice of America (Pashto), “Alizi: Iran is forcing former Afghan soldiers to fight in Yemen,” October 31, 2022,

[vii] Al Masirah, “Satellite Images Show Israeli Missile System Deployed in UAE Amid Fears of Yemen’s Retaliatory Attacks”, October 30, 2022,

[viii] Atalayar, “Emirati Armed Forces train with US and French forces,” February 3, 2021,

[ix] Omar Faruk, “Somalia car bombings kill at least 100, president says,” The Washington Post, October 30, 2022,

[x] SONNA, ”President Hassan visits scene of Saturday’s heinous terrorist attacks,” October 30, 2022,

[xi] Reuters, “Death toll from Somalia truck bomb in October now at 512: probe committee,” November 30, 2017,

[xii] SONNA, ”SNA and the local forces take over Ali Gadud Mosque area in the Middle Shabelle,” October 30, 2022,

[xiii] Goobjoog News, @GoobjoogNews, Twitter, October 30, 2022,

[xiv] Brian Carter and David Hessen, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – October 24, 2022,: Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, October 24, 2022,

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