‘Preventative’ Security: The Houthis’ Secret Weapon
Yemen’s Houthis recruited a multitask secret security force, known as “preventative security”, to get rid of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, security officers in Sanaa informed Asharq Al-Awsat. The force receives direct orders from Houthi leader Abdul-Malek al-Houthi. For months, its members monitored the movements of the former president, including his phone calls and meetings. They were also gathering information about the pro-Saleh forces and the kind of arms they posses. Sources affirmed that Houthi, through his secret body, sought to purchase and rent hundreds of houses in the areas close to the residence of Saleh, his relatives and close leaders. Inside these houses, Houthis stored arms and sheltered hundreds of gunmen until the time was right to attack Saleh and his aides. Surveillance devices were planted in Saleh’s house, and some of his guards and media team were bribed to monitor all of his movements. They also greatly contributed in the raid against his house, as well as his murder, along with a number of his aides, on December 3. These same sides were responsible for coming up with a false story that claimed that Saleh was killed as he was fleeing Sanaa. There is very little information about the Houthis’ “preventative” security force. Houthi formed this security force in his hometown of Saada. It was trained by Iranian intelligence and the “Hezbollah”, before its activity expanded to reach all provinces, including the capital Sanaa. Sources pointed out that this security force’s operation is not restricted to rivals, but includes Houthi members as well. It monitors movements of these figures and presents daily reports on them to the militia leader.