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The USS Cole shortly before being attacked on October 12, 2000, in the port of Aden, Yemen. U.S. Navy Photo

EXCLUSIVE: ‘We Will Attack American Warships,’ Houthi Agent Tells Soldier of Fortune Publisher

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by Susan Katz Keating

A social media user claiming to be a Houthi agent in Yemen told Soldier of Fortune publisher Susan Katz Keating that the group will attack American warships in the Red Sea, aided by collaborators on board the vessels. Additionally, the agent said that Houthis are behind the Nov. 25 drone attack on the Malta-flagged CMA CGM Symi., and responded to questions about the kidnapped crew of the hijacked Galaxy Leader.

The attacks on American Navy vessels will be launched with the help of paid confederates working against their fellow Americans, and via “corridors under the sea and with the cooperation of fellow Saudi guerrillas,” the agent told Keating in Arabic.

“What is coming is greater that will confuse Israel and America,” the agent wrote. The writer added, “we will hunt down the destroyer after our forces succeeded in clearing the Red Sea of ​​the Israeli presence.”

READ MORE: Israeli Owned Ship Was Attacked by Iranian-Made Drone While Sailing Indian Ocean

Soldier of Fortune was not able to independently verify any of the claims, nor the identity of who was posting the comments. The claims may or may not be valid, but are worth noting, one U.S. intelligence official said early Sunday.

“When these types of things are claimed, you can’t disregard them, especially in light of attacks in the region, against ships in particular,” the official said.

The agent, who uses the handle @Mhmmd_taher, made the comments on the X social media platform in response to questions posed by Keating.

The exchange unfolded in English and Arabic, with the participants using Google Translate to read one another’s messages. The conversation continued for more than an hour before the Yemeni correspondent abruptly deleted several posts.

In the Nov. 25 exchange, Keating asked the Yemeni if he were involved in the drone strike on the Symi.

He responded: “Stupid question. How do I participate on a plane without flying?”

“Were you involved in launching the drone?” Keating asked.

“The participants cannot be seen by anyone with the naked eye,” the Yemeni wrote in Arabic. “Extremely complex operations will isolate Israel from the sea. Soon the American destroyer and aircraft carriers will be arrested…”

“Google Translate says you wrote, American carriers will be arrested,” Keating responded. “Do you mean captured?”

“The American destroyer at the far end of the Red Sea near Jordan tried for the third time to confront Yemeni aircraft flying to protect Israel and failed,” the agent wrote. Therefore, we will hunt down the destroyer after our forces succeeded in clearing the Red Sea of ​​the Israeli presence.”

When asked about the kidnapped crew of the Galaxy Leader, the Yemeni responded with what were claimed to be images of the men in captivity.

“Can I talk to one or more of the captives?” Keating wrote.

“Can I talk to Palestinian prisoners held by Israel?” the Yemeni said.

“I am not in charge of any prisoners. I am a journalist,” Keating wrote.

“And so do we…citizen, I am not an expert,” the Yemeni wrote, according to what appears to be a poor translation from Google.

Last week’s incident involving the Galaxy Leader took place within days of the Houthis threatening Israeli vessels. 

“We will sink your ships,” the group said in a graphic that showed an Israeli commercial ship on fire.

A Houthi spokesman, Yahya Sare’e, announced that the group’s military units will target all ships owned or operated by Israeli companies or carrying the Israeli flag. 

Drones were launched on Thanksgiving Day against the U.S. Navy’s USS Thomas Hudner

“On the morning (Yemen time) of November 23, the USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) shot down multiple one-way attack drones launched from Houthi controlled areas in Yemen,” U.S. Central Command said in a statement. “The drones were shot down while the U.S. warship was on patrol in the Red Sea. The ship and crew sustained no damage or injury.”

When asked how the Houthis planned to attack the American warships, the Yemeni told Keating the strikes would occur via “corridors under the sea and with the cooperation of fellow Saudi guerrillas.”

When asked if the undersea corridors meant submarines, the Yemeni wrote that people aboard the U.S. Navy ships would be paid to work against their fellow Americans.

“Through corridors under the sea and with the cooperation of fellow Saudi guerrillas who cooperate with us in exchange for stopping the attacks on Aramco,” the Yemeni wrote.

“How much are they paid?” Keating asked.

The Yemeni then deleted many posts, and stopped responding.

Susan Katz Keating is the publisher and editor in chief of Soldier of Fortune.

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