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: President Hadi releases decree appointing new presidential advisers in Sana’a; al Houthi militants refuse to turn over recently acquired government weapons; AQAP releases statements criticizing the al Houthi takeover of Sana’a; The UNSC supports the recent al Houthi peace accord; unidentified assailants detonate IED in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Somali pirates release German-American journalist in Mogadishu after more than two and a half years of detention; Somali security forces arrest over twenty suspected al Shabaab militants in Lower Shabelle region; Al Shabaab militants ambush an AMISOM and Somali National Army base in Galgudud region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi issued a decree appointing new Presidential Advisers in Sana’a on September 24. Saleh Ali al Simad has been appointed as an adviser for the al Houthi’s political wing, Ansar Allah, while Yassin Omar Makawi has been appointed to advise on the Southern Movement.[1]
  • Al Houthi militants have thus far refused to turn over government weapons and infrastructure that they recently acquired through days of fighting in Sana’a. Additionally, al Houthi gunmen imposed a blockade on the Yemeni National Security Agency building in Sana’a on September 24.[2]
  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released two statements via Twitter. The first statement, entitled “Appeal to the Sunni People,” criticized the al Houthi takeover of Sana’a and al Houthi support for Shi’a regimes in Iran, Syria, and Iraq. The statement also called for Sunnis to band together and support AQAP in fighting the al Houthis. The second statement re-emphasized AQAP’s desire to wage war against the al Houthis and defend the Sunni people in Yemen.[3]
  • The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) released a statement on September 23 hailing the recently signed al Houthi peace deal. The statement reiterated UNSC support for President Hadi and called for the formation of new government leadership as soon as possible. Additionally, United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, sent a message to various political parties in Yemen calling on them to cease hostilities and work together in the future.[4]
  • Unidentified assailants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) in Sana’a on September 24. No deaths were reported in the incident, however one civilian was injured.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • German-American journalist Michael Scott Moore was released on September 23 in Mogadishu after Somali pirates held him in Galkayo, Mudug region for two years and eight months. German and U.S. authorities worked closely with Somali intermediaries to negotiate a $1.6 million ransom in exchange for Moore’s release.[6]
  • Somali security forces arrested more than twenty suspected al Shabaab militants during a security operation carried out in multiple locations in Lower Shabelle region on September 24.[7] 
  • Al Shabaab militants ambushed an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali National Army (SNA) base in El Garas, Galgudud region region on September 22. Somali security officials reported the attack on September 23, noting zero casualties on their side.[8]

[1] “Urgent: a republic decree appointing advisers to the President of the Republic of .. Ansar Allah and the Southern Movement,” Yemen Super News, September 24, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Houthis refuse to hand over heavy weapons,” Yemen Super News, September 24, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Houthis impose a blockade on the building of the National Security Agency Yemeni Sanaa,” Sahafah, September 24, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] Pro AQAP Twitter account
[4] “Yemen: UN Security Council hails new peace accord, warns against violent disruptions,” UN News Centre, September 23, 2014. Available:
“Ban Ki-Moon send a message to the political parties in Yemen,” Barakish, September 24, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Injury to a person in a bomb explosion near the capital verse tour,” Barakish, September 14, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] Associated Press, “Pirate: $1.6 million ransom paid for journalist,” The Washington Post, September 24, 2014. Available:
[7] “Over twenty suspected Al-shabab members apprehended in Lower Shabelle,” Goobjoog News, September 24, 2014. Available:
[8] “Al Shabaab militant group attacks Somali military base in Galgudud region,” Bar Kulan, September 23, 2014. Available:
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