Leading Al Houthi ideologue Hassan Ali Al Emad. Image Credit: Photo: Facebook

Cairo: Yemeni border guards had detained a leading ideologue in the rebel Al Houthi militia on his return from allied Iran, local media and activists reported.

Hassan Ali Al Emad was arrested last week by border security personnel at a border crossing in the Yemeni governorate of Al Mahrah on his return disguised from Iran, they added.

So far, there has been no confirmation from the Yemeni government or Al Houthi militia.

Al Emad is married to an Iranian woman and has a house in Tehran, according to media reports.

He is closely linked to Iranian authorities and is in charge of coordinating with a committee set up by Tehran to support Al Houthis.

Al Emad also runs a group of organisations and charities promoting the Iranian agenda in Yemen, which has been devastated by a war that Al Houthis ignited more than six years ago.

In 2006, he was a key member of a cell that plotted to assassinate Yemen’s then president Ali Abdullah Saleh, according to the Saudi-owned television Al Arabiya. Salah was killed by Al Houthis in 2017.

The rebels plunged Yemen into a ruinous war in late 2014 when they unseated the internationally recognised government and seized parts of the country, including Sana’a.

In March 2015, Saudi Arabia spearheaded a military campaign against Al Houthis in response to a request from the Yemeni government.