Everything We Know About 'Timhouthi Chalamet,' the Yemeni Influencer Celebrating Red Sea Ship Raids

A handsome Yemeni influencer's account vanished from TikTok after posting a tour of a captured cargo ship.

The fight over Red Sea shipping channels between Western militaries and Houthi revolutionaries is playing out online as well as on water. 

On January 15, a user on X reposted a TikTok of a young man sailing around the Galaxy Leader, a cargo ship seized by Yemen’s militant Houthis last year. “Yemeni pirates posting casual tiktok’s while the entire western imperial core are having a meltdown about their blockade on their ships is the funniest shit of 2024, surely,” the user wrote in a caption. As of this writing, the video has been viewed more than 13 million times, with social media users dubbing the handsome man “Timhouthi Chalamet.”


The video was filmed by a Yemeni influencer who calls himself Rashid al-Haddad online, and there’s no clear evidence that he actually participated in the raid that captured Galaxy Leader. But he does look good when posing next to the ship. Al-Haddad, who frequently posts photos of himself wearing warfighting gear and carrying weapons on social media, appears to be part of a new online trend where influencers post content to promote their side of a given conflict. 

The TikTok account featured in the Tweet is now gone, and was last scraped on Tuesday morning by the Internet Archive. It’s unclear if TikTok removed it or not. The social media company did not immediately return Motherboard’s request for comment.

“Timhouthi” is just one part of a larger phenomenon of the Red Sea conflict playing out online. Houthis post videos of their raids on Telegram, which get shared on X. Yemeni politicians and military leaders post their speeches online. Influencers like al-Haddad post media of the captured ships and remix the speeches. Capt. Chris Hill captain of the U.S.S. Eisenhower, which is bombing Yemen, is posting pictures of his ship’s crew posing with cookies

TikTok isn’t al-Haddad’s only outlet: he appears to run numerous social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Threads, YouTube, and Snapchat, with thousands of followers. For example, his YouTube page posted its first video a year ago and has over 26,000 subscribers. On Threads, he refers to himself as a “media personality, actor and photographer” and highlights his cross-platform follower counts. In some of the photos he’s wearing military-style garb and carrying an AK-47. He also frequently posts messages of support for Palestine; Houthi militants, frequently referred to as “pirates” in the West, are striking at Western ships in retaliation for their military support of Israel’s ongoing siege of Gaza. But many of the videos on his Instagram reels are self-made fancams where still photos of him in fashionable dress cycle over electronic music.


There’s no proof that al-Haddad participated in the capturing of Galaxy Leader, but Houthis did capture the vessel on November 19, 2023. Footage of the influencer touring the ship first appeared on his Instagram on November 29, 2023. In the wake of its viral success, accounts linked to al-Haddad remixed footage from his Galaxy Leader trip and pushed it to the top of his feeds.

There have been rumors that Galaxy Leader has become a tourist destination in Yemen, and al-Haddad’s posts from the ship may reinforce this idea. In multiple videos on Instagram, he walks the deck and bowels of the ship showing it off and posing. In the background of many of these videos, you can see other people doing the same. The ship appears to be crawling with people posing and taking photos. Al-Haddad’s posts may just be the first that have taken off in the West.

Motherboard found several social media accounts—on Instagram and TikTok, for example—linked to al-Haddad that have been taken down, either by the user that owns them or by the platforms. The Houthis were designated as a terrorist group under the Trump administration, a decision that was rescinded under Biden in 2021. The Houthis are still not officially designated as a terrorist group in the U.S., although Biden referred to them as a “terrorist group” last week.

Fickle western social media audiences love a mix of the military and sex. The Israeli military knows this, which is why it’s been pushing thirst traps of its soldiers online for years. In the U.S., there’s been a marked increase in e-girls wearing American military regalia posting about life in uniform. The most famous of these is Lujan, an influencer who posts sexualized imagery while explaining the ins and outs of propaganda. “On a real one, stop sexualizing the houthis,” comrademika, the user who posted al-Haddad’s viral TikTok, said in a follow-up post on X.

While al-Haddad posts and social media thirsts, the U.S. continues its bombardment of Houthi locations in Yemen, where militants have been striking at American and British ships in retaliation for their military support of Israel’s ongoing siege of Gaza. Two U.S. Navy seals are presumed dead after a raid looking for ballistic missiles in the Red Sea. The 25 member crew of the Galaxy Leader remains in Houthi custody