Regain Yemen organization issued its Fifth report revealed the extent of Iranian interference in the telecommunications sector in Yemen and its exploitation in favor of the Houthi group in the intelligence, investment and financial aspect.
The report reviews documents and information that talk about the Houthis’ implementation of an intelligence investment project supervised by Iranian experts from the Iranian companies Alma and BRTEl, and on the part of the Houthis, Abdullah Misfer Al-Shaer as a party representing them, in addition to the acting CEO of “Y” and the director of “Viber Phone” Ibrahim Hashem Yahya Al-Shami, and Abdullah Hussein Abdullah Al-Shahari (representative of Yoyo Company) with the aim of managing the telecommunications sector in Yemen and how to develop its investments, while the Houthi group assigned other leaders in the intelligence side, namely:
Mohammed Hussein Badr Al-Din Al-Houthi
The director of the Military Communications Department, the general supervisor of the Iranian-Houthi partnership project
Mohamed Nasser Ahmed Musaed (Abu Essam)
Director of the Department of Jihadi Communications
Abdul Khaliq Ahmed Mohammed Hataba
Deputy Director of the Military Communications Department
Mohammed Mohsen Hussein Al-Mutawakel
The main link between the Houthis and the Iranians in the partnership project
Iranian-Houthi Partnership Project
It is an intelligence investment project supervised by Iranian and Hezbollah experts in partnership with the Houthis, which have assigned a number of mnagers and figures, most notably:
According to sources and documents obtain by “Regain Yemen”, the Houthis have entrusted the participatory tasks to a number of Houthi leaders, most notably, Mohammed Muhsin Hussain Al-Mutawakil (Abu Badr Al Mutawakil), and assuming another name (Mohammed Muhsin Al-Shahari), to be the main link between the Houthis and the Iranians in the intelligence and security partnership project.
Abdullah Mesfer Al-Shaer, was also entrusted with the tasks of representing it on the Iranian side as an investment, in addition to the acting CEO of Y-telecom Company, director of Viber Phone Company, Ibrahim Hashem Yahya Al-Shami, and Abdullah Hussein Abdullah Al-Shahari (representative of YoYo Company) with the aim of managing the telecommunications sector in Yemen, developing its investments and exploiting it on the intelligence side.
A number of meetings were held between the two sides.
The Viberphone company created by the Houthis is the intermediary company that provides communications services in Yemen with the representative of the Iranian side, the Iranian company Alma and BRTel, which provide advisory services and logistical support, intelligence and investment to the Houthi militia, in addition to technical advice.
The project represents the main engine and logistical scheme for the telecommunications sector in Yemen, which has harnessed all possibilities for it in order to achieve the militia’s investment, military and intelligence goals.
The Houthis worked to circumvent international sanctions that affected Saleh Mesfer Al Shaer, by enabling his brother Abdullah from the telecommunications sector and his own investments through Shibam Holding Company, which currently manages a group of Houthi investments, including the telecommunications sector.
After Houthis seized Sanaa in 2014, they tightened their control over state institutions, including the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, and replaced ministry agents, general managers, and leaders of various institutions from ideological leaders affiliated with the Houthi militia, who are supervised by specialists in communications from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the Lebanese Hezbollah. All companies and institutions that provide government communications services, such as TeleYemen, Yemen Net, the General Corporation for Telecommunications, the General Authority for Postal and Post Savings, and Yemen Mobile.
The telecommunications sector constitutes one of the most important financial and logistical resources for the Houthi militia to continue their war against the Yemeni people. Houthis also use it against opponents, and in:
- Violating the privacy of citizens and opponents by spying on their communications and monitoring their movements in order to blackmail them and recruit them to serve them.
- Spying on the leaders and members of the government army and monitoring their movements for the purpose of gathering information and targeting them.
- Using it in the fighting fronts by cutting off the communications services in order to enhance their capabilities and superiority at the expense of government forces.
- Effective use of telecommunications services for their media discourse by blocking websites and forcing citizens to follow the news organizations affiliated with them, aiming at eradicating the Yemeni identity and charging society with their destructive ideological beliefs.
- Harnessing the large revenues of the telecommunications sector in financing.
The report revealed for the first time the secret details of the Houthi acquisition of MTN company in Yemen and its transformation into You Company under the guise of the United Yemeni Omani Company.
The report also published a blacklist of Houthi leaders involved in controlling the telecommunications sector in Yemen.