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 arrests AQAP militant in Wadi Hadramawt; Saudi Arabia invites southern Yemeni military officials to Riyadh for “consultations”; IRGC provides technical assistance to maintain Houthi helicopters

Somalia: Turkish-trained Gorgor forces clear an al Shabaab hideout in central Somalia; US-trained Danab forces claim to capture an al Shabaab landmine expert

Yemen Security Brief:

The Yemeni Interior Ministry arrested an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militant in Wadi Hadramawt, eastern Yemen, on September 8.[i] The Interior Ministry said the militant escaped prison in Seiyun during a prison break in April 2022.[ii] The ministry called the arrested militant “one of the most dangerous” AQAP members, without providing further evidence.

Yemeni media outlet al Mashhad al Yemeni reported on September 8 that Saudi Arabia invited an unspecified number of “army and security leaders” from Shabwah and Abyan governorates for “consultations” after recent fighting in southern Yemen.[iii] The army and security leaders have reportedly not yet responded to the invite.

Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps personnel reportedly assisted the Houthi movement in the maintenance of Houthi helicopters to make them airworthy.[iv] The first helicopter flew in Taiz during the week of August 15. The Houthi director of security in Taiz is the head of the project.

Somalia Security Brief:

Turkish-trained Gorgor Special Forces and local militia forces cleared an al Shabaab hideout and seized reportedly stolen livestock in the Daarow mountains, Hiran region, central Somalia, on September 9.[v] Gorgor officials claimed to kill six al Shabaab militants during operations.[vi]

US-trained Danab forces carried out clearing operations against al Shabaab in four villages in the Lower Jubba region, southern Somalia, on September 8.[vii] Danab officials claimed that Danab killed two al Shabaab militants and captured an al Shabaab leader responsible for planting mines.[viii] Officials also said Danab cleared the area of mines.

[i] 26 Sep (ROYG), “The arrest of an al Qaeda member in the Hadramawt valley and desert,” September 8, 2022,

[ii] Liam Karr, Brian Carter, and Max Ryabinin, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 15, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 15, 2022,

[iii] Al Mashhad al Yemeni, “Saudi summons a number of army and security leaders in Shabwah and Abyan,” September 8, 2022,

[iv] Mzahem Alsaloum, Twitter, September 9, 2022,

[v] Radio Dalsan, “The government forces executed an operation that killed members of Al-Shabaab in Burta Daarow,” September 9, 2022,

[vi] Caasimada, “A planned operation that killed members of Al-Shabaab,” September 9, 2022,

[vii] SONNA, “DANAB forces kills 2 terrorists and captures landmines expert in Lower Jubba region,” September 8, 2022,

[viii] Radio Risaala, “The DFS said it ha captured an Al-Shabaab officer in charge of burying mines,”  September 8, 2022,

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