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: Yemen releases IRGC and Hezbollah members in deal with Tehran; AQAP claims credit for execution of political security director in al Dhaleh; Ansar al Sharia releases statements claiming credit for detonating separate IEDs in Sana’a; U.S. condemns al Houthi takeover; unidentified forces launch airstrikes against AQAP in Shabwah

Horn of Africa: Unidentified armed assailants kill senior Puntland official in Nugal region; Somali pirate militias clash over ransom for the released German-American journalist in Mudug region

Yemen Security Brief:

  • Yemen freed two suspected Hezbollah members on September 24 and three suspected Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) members on September 25. Both groups of prisoners were accused of assisting the al Houthis. The prisoner releases were brokered by neighboring Oman. Yemen is also expected to free nine other IRGC members who were arrested in connection with the interdiction of a weapons shipment to the al Houthis in January 2013.[1]
  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a statement via Twitter on September 24, claiming credit for abducting and executing the al Dhaleh Director of Political Security , Mohammed Taher al Shami, and four of his companions in Dimit, al Dhaleh on September 22.[2]
  • Ansar al Sharia claimed credit for detonating an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) targeting three al Houthi patrols near the al Aqsa School in Sana’a on September 23 and for an IED near an al Houthi patrol at the Ministry of Information in Sana’a also on September 23.[3]
  • The U.S. Homeland Security Advisor, Lisa Monaco, condemned the al Houthi seizure of Sana’a and stated that the U.S. strongly supports President Hadi’s efforts to continue Yemen’s political transition.[4]
  • Unidentified forces carried out airstrikes against AQAP gunmen traveling in a car in Nisab, Shabwah on September 25, killing four militants.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

  • Unidentified armed assailants killed a senior official of the Puntland administration, Abdirashid Bulhan Boqor Osman, in Garowe, Nugal region on September 25 before fleeing the scene. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.[6]
  • Somali pirates fought in Galkayo, Mudug region on September 25 over the rights to the ransom for the release of German American journalist Michael Moore, who was kidnapped on January 21, 2012 in Galkayo. The incident left four dead, and three wounded.[7]

[1] “Update 1- Yemen frees members of Iran Revolutionary Guards – Sources,” Reuters, September 25, 2014. Available:
“Yemen releases two Hezbollah members in deal with Iran,” Haaertz, September 25, 2014. Available:
“Yemen frees two suspected Hezbollah members after rebel advance – Source,” September 25, 2014. Available:
[2] Pro AQAP Twitter Account
“Al-Qaeda executed political security directory and four of his companions in the province of Rada,” al Masdar, September 25, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Al-Qaeda executes director of political security in al-Dhali and 4 of his companions,” Barakish, September 24, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] Ansar al Sharia Twitter Account
[4] “US Condemns Shiite rebels in Yemen,” Yahoo News, September 25, 2014. Available:
[5] “Aajl.. Four members of Al-Qaeda in an air raid in Shabwa,” Barakish, September 25, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Armed men kill senior Puntland official in Garowe,” Goobjoog News, September 25, 2014. Available:
[7] “Breaking News: Four dead after militias fight over ransom in Galkayo,” Goobjoog News, September 25, 2014. Available:
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