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: AQAP detonates SVBIED near al Houthi gunmen in Ma’rib; Ansar al Sharia claims attacks on U.S. Embassy in Sana’a; al Houthi gunmen continue transporting heavy military equipment from Sana’a to Sa’ada; Saudi Arabia increases presence along border with Yemen

Horn of Africa: Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency announces a bounty for the killing of new al Shabaab leader; AMISOM forces disrupt an al Shabaab plan to blockade a road in Galgudud region; al Shabaab executes a woman for adultery in Lower Shabelle region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) detonated a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) near the al Houthi-controlled al Jafra hospital in Majzar, Ma’rib, just east of Sana’a, on September 28, killing at least seven al Houthi gunmen. Separately, AQAP ambushed an al Houthi convoy and killed five in al Badya on September 28. AQAP later claimed credit for both attacks.[1]
  • Ansar al Sharia carried out a rocket attack on the U.S. embassy in Sana’a on September 27. The U.S. State Department stated that no staff were wounded in the attack. Ansar al Sharia later claimed the attack was in retaliation for an alleged September 26 drone strike in al Jawf.[2]
  • Al Houthi gunmen continued to loot and transport heavy weapons and vehicles from military bases in Sana’a to al Houthi strongholds in Sa’ada on September 29. Additionally, al Houthi militants seized control of multiple buildings associated with the Ministry of Oil and Minerals in Sana’a on September 29 despite having signed the military and security annex of the recent peace agreement that requires the al Houthis to withdraw their fighters from the capital.[3]
  • Saudi Arabia has increased its security along its southern border with Yemen and Oman in an effort to prevent smuggling into the kingdom.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) announced a two million U.S. dollar bounty for the killing of al Shabaab Emir Ahmad Umar, also known as Abu Ubaidah, on September 27. The agency also offered a one million U.S. dollar reward for information leading to the killing of Umar.[5]
  • African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces attacked al Shabaab militants allegedly planning to blockade the main road linking Dhusamareb and El Bur in Galgudud region on September 29.  No casualties have been reported for the incident, a component of the ongoing Operation Indian Ocean.[6]
  • Al Shabaab publicly stoned a woman to death for adultery in Barawe, Lower Shabelle region on September 26.[7]

[1] “Yemen bombing kills 7 near hospital,” CNN, September 28, 2014. Available:
“Al-Qaida-linked attack on Houthi in Yemen kills at least 15,” Voice of America, September 28, 2014. Available:
“Al-Qaeda attacks in Yemen escalate. 5 gunmen killed in an attack on the Houthis car they were traveling in al Bayda,” al Masdar, September 28, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Militants kill 20 in two separate Yemen attacks,” Reuters, September 28, 2014. Available:
[2] “Al Qaeda-linked militants in Yemen say fire rocket toward U.S. embassy, Reuters, September 27, 2014. Available:
[3] “Houthis continue to transport equipment and heavy military vehicles from the capital to Saada,” al Masdar, September 29, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“New institutions Khiria campaigns looting carried out by the al-Houthi militias in the capital Sana’a,” al Masdar, September 29, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Houthi group in control of the oil firms in Sana’a,” Barakish, September 29, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
Mohammed Albasha via Twitter, September 27, 2014. Available:
[4] “Saudi security project begins implementation of the border with Yemen,” Barakish, September 29, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “SOMALIA: NISA announces $2 million bounty on the head of the new Al Shabab Emir,” RBC Radio, September 27, 2014. Available:
[6] “SOMALIA: AMISOM says it has thwarted Al-Shabaab plot to cut off main road in Galgadud region,” RBC Radio, September 29, 2014. Available:
[7] Feisal Omar, “Somali militants stone woman to death,” Reuters, September 27, 2014. Available:
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