Imprisoned al-Qaeda militants, along with suspected terrorist recruits, are to be weaned off their terrorist ideals with a spot of counselling and spa treatments in a luxury rehabilitation center in Riyadh
Saudi Arabia is to offer a unique way of luring al-Qaeda militants it describes as a "deviant group" away from their chosen path of terror. Authorities in the Kingdom hope that luxury rehabilitation centers can be used to show the militants the error of their ways and turn them into reformed characters.
According to al-Akhbar the idea was initiated by the Prince Mohammed bin Nayef Center for Counselling and Care, which was set up seven years ago to rehabilitate Salafist extremists. Prisoners will be able to enjoy an Olympic size swimming pool, sauna, gym and television. RT features some photographs of the facilities available in the Riyadh complex, the first of five planned centers.
Interior ministry spokesman General Mansur al-Turki said "Just under 3,000 (Islamist prisoners) will have to go through one of these centers before they can be released." Prisoners will enjoy family visits and receive two-day breaks with their wives as a reward for good behaviour.
Said al-Bishi, director of the rehabilitation programme, said "In order to fight terrorism, we must give them an intellectual and psychological balance... through dialogue and persuasion." Al-Bashi also said that of the 2,336 Al-Qaeda prisoners who have already been through the Saudi rehabilitation programme "the percentage of those who rejoin the deviant minority does not exceed 10 percent."
The luxury on offer may well appeal to jihadists such as Thomas U. Digital Journal reported the German skinhead ran off to join the Pakistani Taliban but soon became disillusioned with the unhygienic lifestyle and the absence of mod-cons.