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: Yemeni security forces open fire on al Houthi protesters in Sana’a; Ansar al Sharia detonates SVBIED targeting Yemeni military; AQAP congratulates AQ leader on the formation of AQIS; AQAP militants attack al Houthis in al Bayda; Yemeni Air Force bombs al Houthis in Amran

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab pledges allegiance to its new leader in statement; al Shabaab claims responsibility for SVBIED in Lower Shabelle region; an unspecified explosive detonates in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni security forces opened fire on al Houthi demonstrators near the Yemeni prime minister’s house in Sana’a on September 9, killing four al Houthi protesters. Al Houthis subsequently exchanged fire with the Yemeni military in Sana’a. No casualties have been reported.[1]
  • Ansar al Sharia militants detonated a suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) at a Yemeni military checkpoint in al Qatan, Hadramawt on September 9. Ansar al Sharia militants subsequently fought with soldiers from the Yemeni 135th Infantry Brigade, killing four soldiers and wounding seven soldiers and six militants. Following the clashes, the Yemeni Air Force bombed AQAP sites in al Qatan, Hadramawt.[2]
  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a statement on September 7 congratulating Ayman al Zawahiri, leader of al Qaeda, on the formation of al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and calling for Muslims to join the new affiliate.[3]
  • Suspected AQAP militants opened fire on an al Houthi funeral in Rada’a, al Bayda on September 8, killing two al Houthi militants and wounding six others.[4]
  • The Yemeni Air Force bombed al Houthi convoys and weapons stores in al Jawf and Amran on September 9.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab military spokesman Abdul Aziz Abu Musab proclaimed allegiance to newly-appointed emir Ahmad Umar, also known as Abu Ubaidah, in a statement released on September 8.[6]
  • Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for SVBIED that killed 12 civilians near an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) convoy transporting Somalia officials to Afgoye, Lower Shabelle region on September 9. Al Shabaab spokesman Abdul Aziz Abu Musab indicated that the attack targeted U.S. military advisers and a South African mercenary.[7] 
  • An unspecified explosive detonated near Villa Baidoa in Mogadishu on September 9. Casualties and the target of the attack remain unknown, although the incident marks the second explosion near Mogadishu since the September 5 announcement of al Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane’s death.[8]

[1] “Al Houthi discuss deaths in their ranks and vow to respond,” Aden al Ghad, September 9, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Al Houthi reveals continuation of negotiations with government and accuses Hadi of defending fuel subsidies,” al Masdar, September 8, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Yemen police fire on Houthi protesters,” al Jazeera, September 9, 2014. Available:
[2] “Al Qaeda attacks military checkpoint in junction in al Qatan,” Barakish Net, September 9, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Soldiers wounded and killed in VBIED explosion in Hadramawt and air strikes on al Qaeda sites,” al Masdar, September 9, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Killed and Wounded in suicide attack launched by gunmen on Yemeni military center in Hadramawt,” Aden al Ghad, September 9, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“10 al Qaeda militants and soldiers killed in clashes in al Qatan, Hadramawt,” Sahwa Net, September 9, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
AQAP Twitter account, September 9, 2014.
[3] AQAP Twitter account, September 7, 2014.
[4] “Two people killed and six people wounded in shooting in Rada funeral,” al Watanye, September 8, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Air raids targeting al Houthi positions in al Jawf and cars loaded with gunmen returning to Amran,” al Masdar, September 9, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Tribal source: warplanes bomb al Houthi weapons stores in Harf Sufyan, Amran,” al Masdar, September 8, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Shabaab’s Military Command Pledges to New Leader After Death of Godane” SITE Intel Group, September 6, 2014. Available at SITE.
[7]Mohamed Ibrahim, “Somalia: Rebels Kill at Least 12 in Attack on Convoy,” New York Times, September 8, 2014. Available:
“Somalia: Al Shabaab kills over dozen  in car bomb attack,” Garowe Online, September 8, 2014. Available:
[8] “Breaking News: Explosion rocks Mogadishu,” Goobjoog News, September 9, 2014. Available:
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