Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi

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Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi
حسين بدر الدين الحوثي
Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi yemen afp220.jpg
Born 1956
Died 10 September 2004 (aged 47–48)
Marran district, Saada Governorate, Yemen
Nationality Yemeni
Known for Founder of the Houthi movement
Religion Shia Islam (Zaidiyyah)
Military career
Allegiance Ansar Allah
Years of service 2004
Rank Commander
Battles/wars Houthi insurgency in Yemen

Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi (Arabic: حسين بدر الدين الحوثي;‎ 1956 – 10 September 2004), also spelled Hussein Badr Eddin al-Houthi, was a Zaidi religious leader and former member of the Yemeni parliament for the Al-Haqq Islamic party between 1993 and 1997. He was instrumental in the Houthi insurgency against the Yemeni government, which began in 2004. al-Houthi, who was a one-time rising political aspirant in Yemen, had wide religious and tribal backing in northern Yemen's mountainous regions. The Houthi movement took his name after his death in 2004.

Personal life[edit]

Al-Houthi was born in 1956 in the Marran area of Sada'a region. His father, Badr al-Din al-Tabatabai, was a prominent Zaydi cleric who briefly took control of the Houthi movement following his son's death.[1]

According to an al-Houthi disciple, he had lived part of his life with his family (including his father and younger brother Abd al-Malik)[1] in Qom, Iran. He claimed also that al-Houthi's relationship with Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran, and Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's leader .[2]

Political Activities[edit]

Member of Al-Haqq[edit]

Al-Houthi was a member of the Yemeni Zaydi political party Al-Haqq (The Truth). When the party supported South Yemen separatism, they became a target of the government and al-Houthi fled, allegedly, to Syria and then to Iran. After his return to Yemen he broke with Al-Haqq to form his own party.[3]

Forming the Believing Youth movement[edit]

Al-Houthi founded the Believing Youth movement(Arabic: شباب المؤمنین‎) in the 1990 or 1992 to teach young persons about Zaidi and its history to revive Zaidism in Saada Governorate.[4][5][6] This group is primary core of Ansarallah.[5]

Forming the Houthi[edit]

Al-Houthi was accused by the Ali Abdullah Saleh government of trying to set himself up as imam, of setting up unlicensed religious centers, of creating an armed group called Houthis and of staging violent anti-American and anti-Israeli protests, as al-Houthi's followers felt Yemen's government was too closely allied with the United States.[7][8]


On 18 June 2004, Yemeni police arrested 640 Al-Houthi followers who were demonstrating in front of the Great Mosque of Sana'a, and two days later the Yemeni government offered a bounty of $55,000.00 for al-Houthi's capture and launched an operation aimed at ending his alleged rebellion.[9] In July, Yemen Army forces killed 25 al-Houthi supporters and upgraded the bounty to $75,500.00 (10 million rials).[10] After months of battles between Yemeni security forces and the Houthis, on 10 September, the Yemeni Interior and Defense Ministries released a statement declaring that al-Houthi had been killed with twenty of his aides in the Marran district, Saada Governorate.[8][11]


On 5 June 2013, tens of thousands of Yemeni Shias attended the reburial of the remains of al-Houthi in Sa'dah, where armed rebels were deployed in large numbers. The new Yemeni government had turned over the remains of al-Houthi to his family on 28 December 2012[12] as a goodwill gesture to bolster national reconciliation talks. The previous government of Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had stepped down in 2012 after the Yemeni Revolution, originally buried al-Houthi in 2004 at the Sana'a central prison to prevent his grave becoming a shrine for the Zaidis. A representative of Yemeni president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi attended the funeral, but a Houthi spokesman accused the central government of refusing to give visas to several dignitaries who wanted to travel to Yemen to attend the ceremony, and of tearing down pictures of al-Houthi put up in the Yemeni capital.[13]

The Houthis take their name from the family name al-Houthi. His brothers Abdul-Malik, Yahia and Abdul-Karim are leaders of the rebels.


  1. ^ a b Ludovico Carlino. "Militant Leadership Monitor". p. 12. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  2. ^ Yemeni Shi'ite Cleric and Houthi Disciple 'Issam Al-'Imad: Our Leader Houthi is Close to Khamenei; We Are Influenced Religiously and Ideologically By Iran Special Dispatch No.2627, MEMRI, 2 November 2009
  3. ^ Manuel Almeida (8 October 2014). "Profile: Who are Yemen’s Houthis?". Al Arabiya News. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "Yemen's Abd-al-Malik al-Houthi". BBC. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "al-Shabab al-Mum'en / Shabab al-Moumineen (Believing Youth)". Global Security. Retrieved 29 April 2015.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "global" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  6. ^ Freeman, Jack (2009). "The al Houthi Insurgency in the North of Yemen: An Analysis of the Shabab al Moumineen". Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 32 (11): 1008–1019. doi:10.1080/10576100903262716. ISSN 1057-610X. 
  7. ^ "Yemen continues anti-cleric drive". BBC News. 9 August 2004. Retrieved 5 February 2008. 
  8. ^ a b "al-Shabab al-Mum’en / Shabab al-Moumineen (Believing Youth)". Retrieved 5 February 2008. 
  9. ^ Iris Glosemeyer and Don Reneau, "Local Conflict, Global Spin: An Uprising in the Yemen Highlands," Middle East Report, No. 232 (Autumn 2004), pp. 44-46
  10. ^ "Yemen kills cleric's followers, offers reward". The Sydney Morning Herald. 11 July 2004. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "Yemeni forces kill rebel cleric". BBC News. 9 October 2004. Retrieved 5 February 2008. 
  12. ^ Yemeni Regime Releases Body of the Shiite Leader of al Houthi Movement After 9 Years, 2 June 2013
  13. ^ "Yemenis bury remains of founder of Houthi rebel group". Reuters. 5 June 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
Preceded by
Leader of al-Shabab al-Muminin
June 2004 – September 2004
Succeeded by
Abdul-Malik al-Houthi