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 forces in al Mahrah reportedly raid AQAP cell

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab targets SNA with IED in Lower Shabelle region; ASWJ militants behead civilians in northern Mozambique

Yemen Security Brief:

Security forces in al Mahrah governorate reportedly raided an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) cell in al Ghaydah city on October 2, according to some local media reports. A security force officer claimed that an AQAP operative detonated a suicide vest, killing two fellow operatives. A separate local media outlet reported that security forces exchanged gunfire with Islamic State operatives, killing four militants.[1]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

Al Shabaab militants detonated an improvised explosive device targeting a Somali National Army convoy near Awdheegle town in southern Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region on October 3. Al Shabaab ambushed Ugandan African Union Mission to Somalia troops in Awdheegle around late August.[2]

Ahlu Sunna wa Jama'a (ASWJ) militants beheaded at least five civilians in northern Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province around early October, according to local witnesses. The Mozambican government allegedly hired mercenaries to fight ASWJ militants in Cabo Delgado in April.[3]

[1] “3 terrorists killed, others arrested in security operation in Al-Mahrah,” 26 Sep News, October 3, 2020,; and “4 terrorists were killed in clashes in Al-Mahra,” Adnlng, October 3, 2020,

[2] “Al Shabaab ambushed Turkish-trained SNA troops in Somalia,” Garowe, October 5, 2020,; and Rahma Bayrakdar and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – September 2, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, September 2, 2020,

[3] “Terrorists axe off civilians’ heads in Mozambique,” Caj News Africa, October 5, 2020,; and Samuel Bloebaum and Pamela Makadsi, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 10, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 10, 2020,

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