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Youssef Al-Madani; the Second Man in the Houthi Group Who Reports Directly to Iran

2021/06/05 14:06:00 |
Youssef Al-Madani was looking forward to the power and leadership
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Houthi leader Youssef Al-Madani became on the list of American sanctions, Because of his continued attack on the Marib Governorate, eastern Yemen, which accommodates the largest camps for the displaced and fleeing from the war.

According to what the American Treasury Department said on May 20, 2021, Youssef Al-Madani is a prominent military leader in the Houthi group, and the commander of the Fifth Military Region in Al-Hudaydah, Hajjah, Al-Mahwit and Raymah in western Yemen.

The ministry included him according to a statement on the list of sanctions as part of a separate procedure, according to Executive Order No. 13224, which allows the imposition of sanctions in cases of counter-terrorism.

The statement explained: “Youssef Al-Madani is being listed on the basis that he poses a significant danger, he is committing terrorist acts that threaten the safety of American citizens, or the national security, or foreign policy, or economy of the United States”.

Leadership Ambition

His name is Yusuf Ahsan Ismail Al-Madani (Abu Jibril), he was born in Mastaba District, Hajjah Governorate, Abu Dawar village, in 1977, Al-Madani is one of ten brothers, and he is the middle of them.

He joined formal education in the mid-1980s, but failed in the study, so his father pushed him to the religious schools in Saada Governorate, there is he learned from the Houthi authority, Majd al-Din al-Muayyad, with his brother Taha Al-Madani, who later became one of the most prominent Houthi leaders.

His brother, Taha, was killed in December 2017, in an incident that was the harshest on the Houthi group, where it lost its most prominent leader since its inception.

Youssef Al-Madani was looking forward to the power and leadership, so he leaved study with al-Muayyad, he joined the “Al-Shabab al-Mu'min” Brigades founded by Hussein al-Houthi in the Maran Mountains in Saada, there he was able to obtain a leadership position within the brigades, which later became the first nucleus of the Houthi group.

In 2002, he was sent to Iran through Syria, there he received extensive military training with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, after about a year he returned to Yemen, and he proved his military competence of the group.

 Therefore, at one time he acted as a link between the Houthi group on the one hand, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the Lebanese Hezbollah on the other hand, they are all allies.

He handled the process of communicating and supervising the training of the Houthi group’s rebels, whether in internal camps in Yemen, or through sending them to Revolutionary Guard camps in Iran and Syria.

He also supervised the process of bringing experts and trainers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Yemen, and he supervised the logistical operations offered to the Houthi group.

After the Houthis broke into the capital, Sanaa, he released the Iranians detained at the Yemeni authorities, who were accused of espionage and smuggling Iranian weapons to Yemen, the latest of which was through the Jihan 1 and Jihan 2.


Companion and Son-in-Law

Al-Madani was very loyal to the Houthi ideology and to the founder of the group, Hussein Badr al-Din, which drew him close to him, until he became his son-in-law and his daughter's husband, where he was the most famous leader of the “Al-Shabab al-Mu'min” Brigades, which is considered the nucleus of the Houthi movement during its presence in Saada.

Soon, the first war broke out between the Houthi group and the state in 2004, in which was killed the founder of the group, Hussein al-Houthi, where the Al-Madani fled, at that time he was one of the most prominent field leaders of group, and the wanted for the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in addition to the leader Abdullah Al-Razami.

After the killing of Hussein al-Houthi, the ranks of Houthi were scattered, but Al-Madani managed to go back and rearrange the papers, he and his companions fought six more rounds of war that lasted until 2009.

In November 2017, Saudi Arabia included Yousef Al-Madani on a list of 40 wanted Houthi leaders, it said they were responsible for planning and supporting terrorist activities, and allocated $ 20 million for anyone who provides information leading to his arrest or determining his whereabouts.

In December 2017, the news of his death was reported, videos talking about this spread in the battle of the West Coast in Al-Hudaydah Governorate. However, the videos were for the Houthi leader Ali al-Shahari, not for Youssef al-Madani.


Right Arm

Al-Madani was the right-hand man of the group's founder, Hussein Badr al-Houthi, he is also on the same level as the current leader of the group, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi.

Although Abdul-Malik al-Houthi was one of al-Madani's soldiers during the training of the “Al-Shabab al-Mu'min" brigades, then the so-called six rounds of war (2004-2009).

Observers believe that Al-Madani sees himself more entitled to lead the group than Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, he is now considered the second man in it.

He was the most prominent field commander who carried out the coup against the state in September 2014, he had supervised the assassination of Major General Hamid al-Qushaibi, commander of the 310th Armored Brigade in Amran Governorate, during its overthrow, which the event that paved the way for the overthrow of Sanaa in their hands later.

Al-Madani was also the most prominent man in the moves that preceded the overthrow of Sanaa to the Houthi group, he was the one who led the moves that brought down the presidency, then surrounded the house of President Abd-Rabbuh Mansur Hadi

He also had an active and prominent contribution in the operations that happened in 2014, which led to the release of the Iranian suspects detained at the National Security headquarters, accused of smuggling weapons to the Houthi group.

In a leaked call broadcast by Al-Jazeera in 2015 following the crisis between the Houthi group and the legitimate government, between the former President Saleh and the leader of the Congress Party, Abdul Wahid Abu Ras, Saleh had suggested that Youssef al-Madani be pushed as prime minister instead of Ahmad Awad bin Mubarak.

Saleh said at the time: “That Al-Madani master bin master is a loyalist to the Houthi group, and one of the prominent social figures”.




Treasury Sanctions Senior Houthi Military Official Overseeing Group’s Offensive Operations


Yemen-related Designation; Counter Terrorism Designation