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Militant Islam Monitor > Satire > "Jihadi rehab" through finger -painting in Saudi Arabia

"Jihadi rehab" through finger -painting in Saudi Arabia

January 26, 2009

Al Qaeda Rehab: Playing with Finger-Paint or Fire?

Shevat 1, 5769, 26 January 09 01:23by Avraham Zuroff

(IsraelNN.com) Al Qaeda terrorists are playing with crayons and finger-paint to secure their release from the Guantanamo prison in what is dubbed "Jihadi rehab," but several already have returned to terror.

The prison is located in the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba.

The Saudi government is running the rehabilitation program outside of Riyadh on the grounds of a former resort. To date, the Saudis have "treated" 700 former terrorists. The program's founder, Dr. Awad Alyami, says that his new art students use coloring as a way to get "negative energy out on paper." Alyami added, "It's safe here. It's on the paper, it's not outside."

Return to Former Habits
U.S. pundits have not remained silent in response to Jihadi rehab. Critics are cautiously waiting to see results, and not just artwork as proof that the former terrorists have decided to disavow radical Islam.

At least six former terrorists have returned to their former habits. Said Ali al-Shitri, a graduate of the Saudi painting program after his release from Guantanamo prison, was able to con his way out of the system. After setting sites on Yemen as a top al Qaeda terrorist leader, American officials claim that he was responsible for the 2008 attack on the U.S. embassy there, which killed 17 people, including one American.

"You never know when somebody is a true believer, and I think that is what happened in this case," says former CIA officer John Kiriakou. "Now they may go through the motions like any other prisoner might, only to pretend to be rehabilitated," Kirakou added.

Eligibility for the two-month long terrorist rehab program after completing jail time for their Jihad-related crimes includes passing exams that show a willingness to change their ways. Most participants either operated as insurgents in Iraq or were caught on their way to conflict zones such as Iraq or Afghanistan.

Perks for Good Behaviour
The incentives to disavow terrorism are high. If they behave, the men, who are offered religious counseling, are also promised a new home and car.

Dr. Alyami was initially reluctant to help. "I had that idea that these are criminals. They blow up buildings and stuff and if I go there, they might go after my kids one day When I went there, I saw how simple-minded these kids are they were just like tools being used," the art therapist said.

President Obama reversed one of Bush's most controversial policies of holding onto political prisoners in the Guantanamo Bay prison. As the new administration prepares to release the inmates, the question remains whether to prosecute the detainees in the U.S. or to extradite them to their countries of origin. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/129611

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