Political Analysis

Houthis political leaders are targeted for political interests

National Yemen

Dr. Ismail Ibrahim al-Wazeer

Asma al-Mohattwari

April 9th, 2014 Houthis have been exposed to the fourth assassination attempt targeting its leaders and political figures in recent months. Dr. Ismail Ibrahim al-Wazeer, Chairman of the Shura Council for al-Haq Party, and a law professor at Al-Zidia University, survived a failed assassination attempt by unknown gunmen on April 9th in Sana’a. Dr. al-Wazeer escaped with minor injuries. However, the assassination attempt resulted in the deaths of two of his guards.

This assassination attempt came about eleven weeks after the assassination of Dr. Ahmed Sharaf on January 21, 2013. He was a National Dialogue Conference (NDC) member, and a candidate for membership in the drafting of the new constitution. Sharaf was shot to death on his way to the NDC.

It also came nineteen weeks after the death of Dr. Abdul Karim Jedban, member of the Yemeni parliament and Houthi representative in the NDC, who was killed by unknown gunmen in front of the al-Shoukani mosque. Although Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula promised to target Houthi leaders, the organization also considered Salafi fighters in Dammaj to be suspects.

According to some observers, the assassinations could have been revenge killings for events such as the events surrounding Sheikh Abdullah al-Ahmar’s sons in Hashed, Amran province. It is also worth noting that Hamid al-Ahmar threatened to end all representation of Houthis in the NDC in 2013, and Dr. Hassen Zaid, Secretary-General of al-Haq Party, personally received a threat from Hamid al-Ahmar.

Houthi leader Abdulmalek al-Houthi said that if the responsible authorities do not serve the country, then they share the crime of resulting assassinations, especially since most of the killings have taken place near military checkpoints. Al-Houthi says that al-Islah Party is unqualified to run the Ministry of the Interior.

Al-Houthi added that the assassination of Dr. al-Wazeer, leader of Anser Allah, shows that there is government collusion and tolerance in the attacks. He pointed out that the government has frequently tried to shut down inquiries into previous attacks, and that many assassinations have not even been investigated.

“They are not keen on actual success through their ministries, and it looks like this is where they have achieved the most failure. They only work to gain the most people to come to an election at a certain stage.”

Dr. Zaid said that the assassinations have not weakened the Houthis, instead making them stronger, and blamed Salafi jihadist groups for the attacks. Many Yemenis fear that the assassinations will give Houthis a reason to enter Sana’a.