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Who are the Houthis? Why did they seize a merchant ship, fire missiles, and launch drones against shipping in the Red Sea, resulting in U.S. Navy intervention?

The short answer is that the Houthis are an Islamic Shiite tribe and political group in Yemen that hates Jews and Western Civilization. The Houthis’ slogan is “God is the greatest; death to America; death to Israel; curse the Jews; victory to Islam.”


“God is greatest” in Arabic is “Allahu Akbar.” It means the Muslim god (Allah) is the greatest and superior to all other gods; thus, Islam is supreme over all other religions. Allahu Akbar is a commonly used battle cry by Muslims when confronting infidels. An infidel is any person, not a Muslim.


After the October 7 terror attack by Hamas against Israel, the Houthis declared war on Israel. Rockets were fired towards Israel that were intercepted by U.S. Navy ships in the Red Sea. The latest missile/drone attacks have been on ships owned by Israelis. The Houthis have also fired rockets at Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for their support of the Yemen Sunni government.


The Houthis are an Iranian proxy, as are Hezbollah and Hamas. The Houthis control the northern part of Yemen, which borders the Red Sea. Most of the southern portion of Yemen is controlled by Sunni Muslims supported by Saudi Arabia and recognized by the U.N. and United States as the official government of Yemen. Another southern portion, which includes the port city of Aden, is controlled by the United Arab Emirates-supported Southern Transitional Council. Al-Qaeda and Islamic State also control a small area of Yemen. See map for present status.


Yemen has been in civil strife since the 1990s, when the Shia Houthis rebelled against the Sunni central government on charges of corruption and supporting Saudi, Israeli, and American interests against the Yemeni people. In 2015, the Saudis intervened in support of the central government.


Iran, a Shia theocracy, supports the Houthis in their rebellion against Sunni Yemen with military training and equipment, including missiles and drones. “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” are refrains used by Iran and its proxies.  They are all jihadists seeking the triumph of Islam over the infidels.


The Houthis were declared a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) in the waning days of the Trump administration. One month after Biden’s inauguration, the designation was removed. The Biden administration is now considering whether to re-designate the Houthis as an FTO. One concern, however, is the negative implications on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) providing humanitarian assistance to Yemen. Furthermore, the FTO designation may be considered a badge of honor by the Houthis and elevate their prestige and recruiting.


If hijacking the Bahamian-flagged “Galaxy Leader” cargo ship, partially owned by an Israeli shipping magnate, and holding 25 crew members hostage is not an act of terror, what is? If shooting missiles and flying drones against numerous countries is not an act of terror, what is?




The Houthis are just one of the many Islamic terror groups in the world listed in the CIA World Factbook. The Islamic terror groups all claim to be following the words of the Quran and Hadiths (collections of Muhammad's sayings) in spreading Islam through the sword. Many current leaders in Muslim countries want nothing to do with terror groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), or Hamas as they threaten their rule. Gazan refugees embedded with Hamas are not welcome in any fellow Muslim Arab country. In 1971, the PLO was forced to leave Jordan for Lebanon.


Islamic terror groups not only hate Jews, they hate infidel Christians and Hindus.

●     African terror groups Boko Haram, ISIS, and Al Qaeda are slaughtering thousands and kidnapping girls and women who are put into slavery in Nigeria, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Sahel countries.

●     In the Philippines, the Islamic State recently bombed a Catholic church, killing four and injuring over fifty. The group has conducted an insurgency for years, seeking an independent Muslim state in the southern Philippines.

●     India has ongoing terror attacks and forced marriages of Hindu women with Muslim men. Millions of Hindus were killed throughout history in the many Muslim invasions of India.




  1. Recognize Islamic terror groups as fundamentally anti-American and anti-Western Civilization.

  2. Support governments that are fighting Islamic terror groups.

  3. Stop the invasion of millions of illegal immigrants into the U.S.?

  4. Invest in the U.S. military.


Peace Through Strength!


Author Laurence F. Sanford is a veteran of the United States Navy and the Central Intelligence Agency and now serves as Senior Analyst for the American Security Council Foundation. Please support ASCF’s education efforts by donating to the American Security Council Foundation at

  • foreign terrorist organization

  • FTO

  • Biden administration

  • Trump administration

  • Israel

  • October 7 raid

  • Hamas

  • Iran proxy

  • Yemen

  • Saudi Arabia

  • Non-governmental organizations

  • NGOs

  • Galaxy Leader

113 views2 comments


Just think how much good all the money we spent on Ukraine could have done here in tyhis country. For starters it could have been used to protect us from a possible massive cyber attack that China may be planning.


Our foreign policy in the Middle East has been a total disaster since we allowed the Shah of Iran to be overthrown in early 1979. We need to stop "nation building," and stop fighting all these foreign wars which do us no good. Screw the military industrial complex! Countries in Europe and Asia need to deal with this stuff, not the United States. We now have a situation where countries like Germany only have enough military supplies to fight a war for two or three days--because they are counting on the U.S. to bail them out . . . !

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