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 to Yemen travels to Sa’ada to meet with al Houthi leader; Al Houthi militants continue clashes with Yemeni military in al Jawf and Sana’a; suspected AQAP gunmen attack a bank in Hadramawt; UN condemns al Houthi armed actions

Horn of Africa: Ugandan security forces dismantle VBIED in Kampala, Uganda; the government of Finland accuses four suspects of financing and recruiting for the al Shabaab militant group

Yemen Security Brief

  • United Nations (UN) Special Envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, flew to Sa’ada to meet with al Houthi leader Abdul Malik al Houthi on September 17 to discuss the cessation of current demonstrations in Sana’a.[1]
  • Al Houthi militants continued clashing with Yemeni soldiers and al Islah Party tribesmen in al Jawf and Sana’a on September 16, reportedly resulting in the deaths of at least 20 people. Additionally, al Houthi militants seized control of the Shamlan neighborhood in Sana'a.[2]
  • Suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) gunmen attacked the Cooperative and Agricultural Credit Bank in Mukalla, Hadramawt on September 17, resulting in the death of at least one civilian. Yemeni soldiers were able to stop the gunmen before they reached the interior of the bank.[3]
  • The UN Security Council released a statement on September 16 supporting President Hadi and condemning the al Houthi’s armed July 8 takeover of Amran. The statement expresses concern over Yemen’s current security situation due to the al Houthis’ continuing protests. Separately, the UN Human Rights office called for an independent investigation into an earlier incident in which several unarmed protestors were killed by government soldiers in Sana’a in early September.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Ugandan police announced on September 16 that Ugandan security forces dismantled a vehicle-born improvised explosive device (VBIED) in Kampala, Uganda on September 13. The incident occurred on the same day as the 13 September U.S. and Ugandan security operation that successfully disrupted an al Shabaab cell in Kampala.[5]
  • Finland authorities charged four suspects with financing al Shabaab on September 17. The court accused the suspects of fundraising, transferring thousands of euros to the group, and radicalizing young family members.[6] 

[1] “Source: Jamal Benomar leaves to Sa’ada to meet Abdulmalik al-Huthi,” al Masdar, September 17, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Fresh clashes in Yemen claim lives,” al Jazeera, September 17, 2014. Available:
“Toll rises confrontations north of the capital Sanaa for more than 20 dead,” Barakish, September 17, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Sources: Citizens Enclon the bodies of 16 soldiers and Houthis dominate the area Shamlan lost in the absence of military and security,” al Masdar, September 17, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Dead and wounded in the failed attack by gunmen on the Cooperative Credit Bank, Mukalla” Aden al Ghad, September 17, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “UN rights office urges impartial prove into killing of protesters in Yemeni capital,” UN News Center, September 16, 2014. Available:
“Security Council 2140 Sanctions Committee Discusses Interm Report of Panel of Experts on Yemen,” United Nations Security Council, September 16, 2014. Available:
[5] Steven Candia, Simon Masaba, and David Lumu, “Police intercept vehicle loaded with explosives,” New Vision, September 17, 2014. Available:
[6] “Four charged with financing terrorism,” Helsinki Times, September 17, 2014. Available: 
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