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: ISIS Wilayat Aden-Abyan and al Houthis claim attacks on Yemeni government and coalition compounds in Aden

Horn of Africa: SNA forces enforce ceasefire between clans in Bulo-Hawo, Gedo region; ASWJ announces military offensive on al Shabaab militants in Galgudud region

Yemen Security Brief

  • A series of explosions targeted Yemeni government and Arab coalition sites in Aden on October 6. Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) Wilayat Aden-Abyan claimed to detonate two suicide vehicle-borne improved explosive devices (SVBIEDs) in front of the Qasr hotel, which has housed several ministers from President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government since their return to Aden last month. ISIS Wilayat Aden-Abyan also claimed SVBIED attacks on a Saudi-Emirati operations center and a Saudi-Emirati administrative camp in Aden. A Yemeni government spokesman did not acknowledge ISIS’s claimed role in the attacks, instead stating that the explosions were caused by rockets. Emirati state media attributed the attacks to rocket-propelled grenades. The al Houthis have also claimed credit for the attacks, stating that the group targeted the Yemeni government headquarters in Aden in retaliation for airstrikes in Mokha, Taiz last week. The bombings reportedly killed approximately 15 Yemeni and Emirati soldiers.  No ministers were injured in the attacks, but Vice President Khaled Bahah and other government officials were reportedly moved to a secure site. A spokesman announced the government’s intention to continue its work in Aden.[1]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali National Army (SNA) forces intervened in an inter-clan conflict at the town of Bulo-Hawo in the Gedo region. Two people were killed in clashes before the SNA involved itself by arresting key members from both clans and forcing the clan leaders to negotiate while a ceasefire is being enforced. The intervention occurred on October 5, and tensions have since been reduced.[2]
  • Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a (ASWJ) official Sheikh Mohamed Ali Hassan announced on October 5 that the group will begin operations against al Shabaab in the central Galgudud region. This announcement comes as al Shabaab is increasing its presence in the region and capturing under-defended towns. It should be noted that due to ASWJ’s stated declaration of war between against the local government, it is likely that the paramilitary group will refuse relinquish control of liberated territories to the administration.[3] 
[1] Pro-ISIS Twitter accounts. Sources available upon request.
Mohammed Mukhashef, “Explosions hit Aden compounds of Yemen government, Gulf Arab troops,” Reuters, October 6, 2015. Available:
“Aden attacks kill 15 soldiers from coalition, Yemen allies: agency,” Reuters, October 6, 2015. Available:
“Government spokesman says that the Aden bombings were from rockets, and al Houthi leaders claim responsibility,” Al Masdar, October 6, 2015. [Arabic] Available:
“Official: The government is continuing its work in Aden until Yemen is purged of the militias,” Al Masdar, October 6, 2015. [Arabic] Available: 
[2] “National Army intervenes in Bulo-Hawo clan clashes,” Goobjoog News, October 6, 2015. Available:
[3] “Somalia: Ahlu Sunna admin announces war on Al Shabaab,” Shabelle News, October 6, 2015. Available:
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