Gulf of Aden Security Review – November 15, 2021

Yemen: Reported US drone strike kills two AQAP fighters; Saudi-led coalition destroys al Houthi mine in the Red Sea; al Houthi drone targets Saudi Arabia Somalia: Kenyan anti-terrorism police arrest a Somali-American in Nairobi; Kenyan president places security agencies on high alert; al Shabaab judge surrenders to security forces; AMISOM tribunal sentences soldiers to death for civilian killings; new NISA security division removes IED Yemen Security Brief

Two US drone strikes killed two al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) fighters and injured another on November 14 near the Shabwah-al Bayda governorate border in central Yemen.[i] The first strike injured an AQAP fighter and his wife. The second strike killed two AQAP fighters and a civilian inside a vehicle. AQAP detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting an al Houthi vehicle near Rasad in northern Abyan governorate in southern Yemen on November 12.[ii]

The Saudi-led coalition destroyed an al Houthi naval mine in the southern Red Sea. The coalition did not specify an exact location.[iii] The al Houthi movement launched one explosive-laden drone targeting Khamis Mushait, southern Saudi Arabia, on November 15.

Saudi air defenses intercepted the drone.[iv] Somalia Security Brief Kenyan anti-terrorism police arrested a Somali-American in Nairobi, Kenya, on November 13.

Ali Abdullahi Hussein attempted to bribe a police officer with 180,000 shillings (£1,606) for information about the busiest clubs in Nairobi.[v] Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta put security agencies on heightened alert on November 12 due to the “unfolding security situation in the East African region.”[vi] This statement likely refers to the crisis in Ethiopia, which Kenyatta aims to mediate, but may also indicate additional security threats in the Horn of Africa region.[vii] Senior al Shabaab judge Mohamed Hassan Moalim, known as Abu Ali, surrendered to government forces in Qoryooley in the Lower Shabelle region.

Moalim was the head of the al Shabaab court in Kurtunwarey, Lower Shabelle region.[viii] Moalim is the first al Shabaab judge to surrender to security forces in at least the past five years. An African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) military tribunal sentenced two Ugandan AMISOM soldiers to death and three others to 39 years in prison for killing civilians. The convicted soldiers killed seven civilians following an ambush by al Shabaab fighters in Goloweyn village, Lower Shabelle region, on August 10, 2021.[ix] The Somali government supported the sentencing, AMISOM will repatriate the soldiers from Somalia to Uganda to serve their sentences.[x]

The new Eritrean-trained National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) Duufaan security forces successfully removed an al Shabaab IED in Odweyne, Daynile district, Mogadishu. This was the Duufaan forces’ first security operation.[xi]


[i] Al Arabiya, “Two al Qaeda suspects among three killed in Yemen drone strike,” November 14, 2021, https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2021/11/14/Two-al-Qaeda-suspects-among-three-killed-in-Yemen-drone-strike. [ii] Elisabeth Kendall, Twitter, November 15, 2021, https://twitter.com/Dr_E_Kendall/status/1460299387549143042?s=20.

[iii] Khabar Agency, “The Arab Coalition: Removed and destroyed a total of 207 naval mines, which were randomly distributed by the Houthi militia,” November 14, 2021, https://www.khabaragency.net/news158353.html. [iv] Al Arabiya, “Saudi defenses intercept a Houthi drone launched towards Khamis Mushait,” November 15, 2021, https://www.alarabiya.net/saudi-today/2021/11/15/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D8%B9%D9%88%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%AA%D8%B9%D8%AA%D8%B1%D8%B6-%D9%85%D8%B3%D9%8A%D8%B1%D8%A9-%D8%AD%D9%88%D8%AB%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A3%D8%B7%D9%84%D9%82%D8%AA-%D8%AA%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%87-%D8%AE%D9%85%D9%8A%D8%B3-%D9%85%D8%B4%D9%8A%D8%B7. [v] Radio Dalsan, “Somali American Terror Suspect Arrested After Offering Police £1800 To be Shown Nairobi’s Most Congested Club,” November 14, 2021, https://www.radiodalsan.com/en/somali/somali-american-terror-suspect-arrested-after-offering-police-1800-to-be-shown-nairobis-most-congested-club/.

[vi] Kanze Dena Mararo, “President Kenyatta Calls For Heightened Vigilance Among Security Agencies,” Kenyan Presidential Spokesperson’s Office, November 12, 2021, https://www.president.go.ke/2021/11/12/president-kenyatta-calls-for-heightened-vigilance-among-security-agencies/. [vii] Al Jazeera, “Ethiopia war: Kenyatta in Addis Ababa, AU calls for a ceasefire,” November 14, 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/11/14/au-envoy-warns-ethiopia-talks-will-fail-without-ceasefire. [viii] Halbeeg, “Senior al-Shabaab judge surrenders to Somali authorities,” November 13, 2021, https://en.halbeeg.com/2021/11/13/senior-al-shabaab-judge-surrenders-to-somali-authorities/.

[ix] Harun Maruf, “Somali Governor Says AU Soldiers Killed Civilians After Al-Shabaab Ambush,” Voice of Ameriva, August 16, 2021, https://www.voanews.com/a/africa_somali-governor-says-au-soldiers-killed-civilians-after-al-shabab-ambush/6209636.html. [x] Somali Dispatch, “Somali government welcomes sentencing of AMISOM soldiers,” November 13, 2021, https://www.somalidispatch.com/latest-news/somali-government-welcomes-sentencing-of-amisom-soldiers/. [xi] Somali National News Agency (SONNA), “NISA forces thwart terrorist attacks on civilians + photos,” November 14, 2021, https://sonna.so/so/ciidamada-nisa-oo-fashiliyay-miinooyin-ay-argagixisadu-ku-dhibaateyn-rabeen-shacabkasawirro/.

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