Hussein al-Houthi (d. 2004)

Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi (d. 2004) was a Zaidi Shiite religious leader in Yemen. al-Houthi began the Shiite rebellion in northern Yemen known as the Sa'dah conflict, which began in 2004.

Nearly all Yemenis are Muslims, and the population is split between the the Zaidi sect of Shi'a Islam or to the Shafa'i sect of Sunni Islam. The Shia (Shiites) form approximately 30 percent of the Yemeni people, while the majority of Yemenis are Sunni, and form 70 percent of the total population. The Shia Zaidi sect are found in the north and northwest, and the Shafa'i school of Sunni Muslims are found in the south and southeast. There also are a few thousand Ismaili Muslims, mostly in the north.

The Zaidi Shia sect of Islam began about 1,000 years ago. Yemen has not had an imam since the Zaidi Imam Hamid al-Din was overthrown as ruler in 1962. The coup that ended the Yemeni Imamate began a six-year civil war that also involved Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who each backed a rival faction. The clashes with Sheik al-Houthi's followers centered in the Marran mountains of the Saddah area, which isabout 100 miles north of the Yemeni capital of Sana'a, and is close to the border with Saudi Arabia. The Saddah area is the main center of the Zaidi Shia sect.

Sheik Hussein al-Houthi who was a former member of the Yemen parliament for the pro-monarchy al-Haqq (Truth) Islamic party, later led a religious and political movement known as Shabab al-Moumineen (Believing Youth). Al-Houthi's followers in the Shabab beleived that Yemen's government was too closely allied with the United States, to the detriment of the Islamic faith.

In June of 2004, the Yemeni government offered a reward for al-Houthi's capture and launched a military operation aimed at ending his rebellion. After several months of battles between Yemeni troops and the rebels, the Yemeni forces killed Sheikh al-Houthi and some of his inner circle.

The Zaidi militants, known as Houthis, take their name in honor of their fallen leader, Sheik Hussein al-Houthi.

Links and Resource About Hussein al-Houthi :

 al-Shabab al-Mum’en / Shabab al-Moumineen (Believing Youth) --From Global

 Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi--Wikipedia Article

Al-Houthi's ghost--al Ahram, Sept. 22, 2004

Yemeni forces kill rebel cleric--BBC News, Oct. 9, 2004

Al-Houthi Brothers--global jihad