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: UN Special Envoy for Yemen supports Secretary Kerry’s proposed plan; al Houthi-Saleh delegation meets with the Iraqi Prime Minister; Saudi-led coalition airstrikes target al Houthi-Saleh supply depot Sana’a city; militants detonate an IED targeting al Houthi-Saleh forces in Hajjah governorate; Saudi-led coalition airstrike kills an imam and his family in Sa’ada governorate

Horn of Africa: U.S. Department of State adds ISIS-linked militant leader to global terror list; al Shabaab militants conduct IED attack on Ethiopian AMISOM convoy near Rabdhure, Bakool region; SNA forces drive al Shabaab from village near Burdhubo town, Gedo region; suspected al Shabaab militant assassinates elder in Beledweyne, Hiraan region

Yemen Security Brief

  • UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed announced that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s proposed peace plan is “not inconsistent” with the UN’s proposal at peace talks in Kuwait. Ould Cheikh Ahmed reiterated Secretary Kerry’s condition that al Houthi-Saleh forces must withdraw from Sana’a city and other seized territories before a unity government can be formed. Secretary Kerry outlined his peace plan in Saudi Arabia on August 25.[1]
  • An al Houthi-Saleh delegation met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi on September 1. Prime Minister al Abadi called the formation of the Supreme Political Council an “important step” and praised the Yemeni people for demonstrating in support of the Council on August 20 in Sana’a. Prime Minister al Abadi condemned the Saudi-led coalition’s air campaign against al Houthi-Saleh forces and encouraged the international community to focus on combating al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) in Yemen.[2]
  • Saudi-led coalition airstrikes targeted an al Houthi-Saleh military supply depot in western Sana’a city on September 1. Coalition airstrikes also targeted the al Manara and al Madfoun areas in Nihm district, northeast of Sana’a.[3]
  • Militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a pair of al Houthi-Saleh vehicles on September 1 in Abs district, Hajjah governorate. A pro-Hadi news source claimed that the attack was in response to al Houthi-Saleh abuses of local populations in Hajjah governorate.[4]
  • A Saudi-led coalition airstrike hit the house of an imam in Sa’ada governorate on August 31. The coalition airstrike killed the imam, Saleh Abu Zainah, and 16 other members of his family.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The U.S. Department of State added Abdiqadir Mumin to its Specifically Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) list on August 31. Mumin is a former al Shabaab commander who broke from the group and pledged bayat (allegiance) to Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) emir Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in October 2015. Mumin leads a band of 15-30 fighters in the Galgala Mountains of the semi-autonomous Puntland region in northern Somalia. He has reportedly kidnapped young boys to swell his ranks. Mumin is the first official recognition of an ISIS-linked presence in Somalia by the U.S. government.[6]
  • Al Shabaab militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting an Ethiopian African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) convoy near Rabdhure area in Bakool region on August 31. Militants engaged the AMISOM forces with small arms fire for several hours following the blast.[7]
  • Somali National Army (SNA) forces drove al Shabaab militants from a village near Burdhubo town in Gedo region on August 31. Al Shabaab militants killed two SNA soldiers and wounded multiple others. SNA and AMISOM forces detained 30 suspected al Shabaab fighters in Burdhubo town in May 2016.[8]
  • A suspected al Shabaab militant assassinated a prominent elder in Beledweyne in Hiraan region on August 31. The gunman threw a grenade at security forces before escaping.[9]
[1] “Sheikh explains on Kerry’s plan,” Barakish, September 1, 2016,
[2] “Iraqi PM Meets Yemen Delegation: Forming Political Council Important Step,” al Manar, September 1, 2016, [DO NOT CLICK LINK].
[3] “Coalition bombing west of the capital Sanaa,” Barakish, September 1, 2016,; and “See aircraft bomb military Supply Station in #Sanaa round era. 09.01.2016,” Youtube, September 1, 2016,
[4] “Popular resistance target site for the Houthis in Hajjah governorate Abs district,” al Masdar, September 1, 2016,
[5] Mohammed Ghobari, Mostafa Hashem and Michelle Nichols, “Air strike kills 16 members of Yemeni imam's family,” Reuters, August 21, 2016,
[6] “State Department Terrorist Designation of Abdiqadir Mumin,” U.S. Department of State, August 31, 2016,
[7] “AU troops convoy targeted in IED Blast in Somalia,” Shabelle News, August 31, 2016,
[8] “SNA forces retake village in Gedo region from Shebab,” Shabelle News, August 31, 2016,
[9] “Al Shabaab blamed for killing Elder in Beledweyne,” Shabelle News, September 1, 2016,
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