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: Al Houthi rebels take over northwestern Sana’a and force government to capitulate to demands; AQAP militants ambush al Houthi rebels in Sana’a; Ansar al Sharia releases statement claiming credit for attacks in al Dhaleh

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants ambush a Somali government official in Mogadishu; suspected al Shabaab militants ambush AMISOM convoy in Lower Jubba Region; Somali security forces conduct security operations in Galgudud and Lower Shabelle regions

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Houthi militants seized control of multiple government buildings, including the army command center and the state television headquarters, forcing the government to sign a peace deal that gives the al Houthis broader political power and pushes the Sunni al Islah party out of power.  Additionally, militants attacked and looted the residences of Major General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar and leaders of the al Islah party on September 22. The Yemeni Health Ministry reported that approximately two hundred people were killed in fighting over the last six days. Additionally, Yemeni Prime Minister, Mohammed Basindwa, allegedly resigned in requisite of the aforementioned peace deal.[1]
  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants allegedly ambushed al Houthi rebels near the al Iman University in northwestern Sana’a on September 20, resulting in the deaths of 17 rebels. Additionally, suspected AQAP militants detonated a suicide vehicular born improvised explosive device (SVBIED) in Sa'ada near a gathering of al Houthi militants on September 22. No deaths have yet been reported.[2]
  • Ansar al Sharia released statements on September 21 and 22 claiming credit for kidnapping and executing Senior General People’s Congress (GPC) official, Nasser al Aoudi, during a raid on  al Houthi militants in Dimit, al Dhaleh on September 20. Separately, AQAP militants attacked a security checkpoint in Mayfaa, Shabwah on September 19, resulting in the death of one civilian.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants ambushed a Somali Civil Aviation Authority official, Ali Mohamed Ibrahim Madobe, killing two and injuring Madobe in Mogadishu on September 20. Al Shabaab spokesman Abdul Aziz Abu Musab claimed responsibility for the attack on behalf of the group.[4] 
  • Suspected al Shabaab militants targeted a Burundian African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) convoy with a roadside improvised explosive device (IED), killing four civilians in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on September 20. Jubbaland security forces arrested two suspects linked to the ambush on September 21.[5]
  • Somali police arrested four suspected al Shabaab militants allegedly constructing explosive materials in Guriel, Galgudud region on September 19. Somali police also confiscated a vehicle carrying explosive materials and identified seven additional suspects believed at large. Separately, Somali security forces arrested 45 people, mostly youth, during a security operation in Afgoi, Lower Shabelle region on September 22.[6]

[1] “Houthi rebels sign deal with Yemen parties to form new government,” Reuters, September 21, 2014. Available:
“UN: Yemen’s rival sides agree peace deal,” al Jazeera, September 21, 2014. Available:
“The ministry of health says that two hundred dead bodies recovered from areas of armed clashes in the capital Sana’a,” al Masdar, September 22, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Houthi gunmen storm house of Major Genearl Ali Mohsen and Hamid al-Ahmar and loot their contents,” al Masdar, September 22, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Source: Hotheon gunmen storming the home of leader Mohammed Qahtan and loot some of its contents,” al Masdar, September 22, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Thousand displaced outside of the Capital Sanaa and violent clashes in the vicinity of camp band,” Yemen Akhbar, September 20, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“A suicide attack targeted a gathering of Houthis,” Barakish, September 22, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] Pro AQAP Twitter account
“Death toll rises in clashes after the killing of al-Dhali long as President of the Conference,” Barakish, September 20, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Clashes between the army and al-Qaeda in Shabwa,” Yemen Today, September 20, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Al-Shabaab kills two people in an attack on Somali government official,” Hiiraan Online, September 20, 2014. Available:
[5] “Explosion in Kismayo kills over three people,” Goobjoog News, September 20, 2014. Available:
“SOMALIA: Roadside bomb targets AMISOM convoy in Kismayo,” RBC Radio, September 20, 2014 Available:
“Explosive Attack Suspects Arrested in Kismayo,” Dalsan Radio, September 21, 2014. Available:
[6] “Guri-el: Three arrested with bomb making materials,” Bar-Kulan. September 9, 2014. Available:
 “Government forces arrests over 45 people in Afgoye,” Goobjoog News, September 22, 2014. Available:
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