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 Sana’a launches SVEST attack on Sana’a mosque; al Houthis raid Saudi military sites

Horn of Africa: Joint Somali and Ethiopian forces capture Labatan Jirow district in Bay region

Yemen Security Brief

  • The Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) Wilayat Sana’a bombed an al Houthi-affiliated mosque in Sana’a on September 24. Two suicide bombers reportedly detonated suicide vests (SVESTs) at the al Balili mosque in the al Safya district during prayers for the Eid al Adha holiday, killing at least 25 people and injuring dozens. One of the bombs was reportedly disguised in a shoe and the second was stopped as he tried to enter the middle of the mosque. A pro-ISIS Twitter source identified one of the suicide bombers as Abu Amr al Hadidi. ISIS Wilayat Sana’a has conducted several similar attacks on al Houthi mosques in the Yemeni capital this year.[1]
  • Al Houthi forces in northern Yemen have intensified their attacks on Saudi Arabian territory. Al Houthi-controlled al Masirah TV shared a video on Twitter that reportedly shows al Houthi fighters raiding military sites in the Saudi Arabian provinces of Jazan, Najran, and Asir near the Saudi-Yemeni border. AssetSource reported that Saudi forces killed up to 40 al Houthis during an attempt to infiltrate Jazan province.[2] 

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Joint Somali and Ethiopian forces retook control of Labatan Jirow district in Somalia’s Bay region on September 23. This operation is part of a larger campaign, supplemented by air strikes, to remove al Shabaab’s foothold in central Somalia. Ten al Shabaab militants were killed in the operation and an unspecified number were captured as a result of the fighting.[3]




[1] “Twin suicide bombings target Houthi-run mosque in Yemen: witnesses,” Reuters, September 24, 2015. Available:
“Yemen IS Branch Says It’s Behind Mosque Blast that Killed 25,” Associated Press, September 24, 2015. Available:
Pro-ISIS Twitter source. Source available upon request.
[2] Sources available upon request.
[3] “Ten al Shabaab militants killed in S. Somalia: military,” Xinhua, September 23, 2015. Available:
“AU conducts air raids on Al-Shabaab militants in S. Somalia: official,” Xinhua, September 22, 2015. Available:



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