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Jihad Rehab: Money, Cars, Houses, Wives

From Judith Miller at Fox News:

Former Gitmo Prisoner, Rehabilitated in Saudi Arabia, May Soon be Released

By Judith Miller

Thursday , February 18, 2010

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — To American officers at Guantanamo Bay, Ahmed Zaid Salem Zuhair was inmate No. 669 — a hardcore, veteran Muslim terrorist suspected of having killed an American in Bosnia. But here in Saudi Arabia, he is a "beneficiary," a former religious deviant who, having learned the true meaning of Islam, has been rehabilitated

Saudi officials said last week that if all goes according to plan, Zuhair may soon join the ranks of 302 of some 4,200 Saudis imprisoned on terrorism charges who have been released in the past two years under a controversial Saudi program that aims to transform would-be and even hardened "jihadists" into peaceful, law-abiding, God-fearing Saudis.

The program was widely praised by American and foreign counterterrorism officials until 11 of its graduates, nearly half of them former prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, showed up in Yemen, the latest battleground in the militant Islamists’ holy war against regional and foreign "infidels." Two of the former Guantanamo prisoners, Said al-Shihri and Mohammed al-Awfi, emerged last year as founders of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, which has targeted Saudi Arabia and claimed credit for the alleged attempt by the Nigerian "underwear bomber" to blow up an American airliner over Detroit last Christmas. Four others came from the same group of Guantanamo detainees who were turned over to the kingdom in November 2007

The bottom line, say Saudi officials, is that the overwhelming majority of veterans of the Mohammed bin Nayef Center for Counseling and Care — roughly 80 percent — have not returned to terrorism

The expensive, intensive program, which is now being offered at nine of the kingdom’s 13 security prisons and has an annual budget of between $40 and $50 million, has been so successful that the Interior Ministry plans to open five new counseling and care centers throughout the kingdom. In Riyadh, the current care center, which specializes in small group and one-on-one mentoring, is scheduled to move an expanded new facility on the outskirts of Riyadh in about two months. The new, 48,000-square-yard site, located on what was once a Saudi resort called "Lotus," will house the last and crucial stage of this multi-phase program until a permanent facility is built. The new center, still under renovation, offers recovering inmates swimming pools and even a jacuzzi, a soccer field and other sports facilities, a library and computer center, and villas for conjugal visits, which the program encourages. When their families are not visiting, "beneficiaries" sleep four-to-a room in bungalow villas made of stucco and wood. All are air-conditioned, and many have individual fireplaces to combat the desert’s winter cold

Gen. Mansour al-Turki, the Ministry of Interior’s spokesman, stressed that the program’s goal was to woo beneficiaries away from violence, not necessarily to make them less rigid in their beliefs. "You can be very strict on religious doctrine, without resorting to violence against those who disagree with you," he explained. "You can be extreme — but without denying others their rights."

The first stage of the program, which is voluntary, occurs long before a prisoner is scheduled to be released. Prisoners are told that participation does not affect when and whether they will be released. So far, only about 15 percent of prisoners jailed for terrorism-related crimes have refused to participate, he said. In this "advisory" phase, prisoners take a series of courses on Islam and its history and other subjects while being closely monitored by prison psychologists and counselors. Their families’ needs are evaluated and prisoners are encouraged to spend time with them.

Only after a prisoner has served his full term is he transferred to the counseling and care center, which serves as a halfway house between prison and the street. In what officials call this "pre-release care program," a beneficiary is given history, religion and other courses, a sports program that includes afternoon soccer games with fellow inmates and the center’s counselors and guards, a fitness program, and even art classes in which he is encouraged to paint or draw images that reflect whatever he feels. The center displays its beneficiaries’ art — darker images of prison cells are gradually replaced by paintings of flower-filled vases and dolphins frolicking in the sea by moonlight as the course progresses

The final stage is a post-release "care" program, in which the program’s graduates are encouraged to keep in touch by providing counseling and support for them and their families. The government gives families in need a stipend of between $900 and $1,000 a month for at least a year after a beneficiary leaves the center. The government’s effort to ensure that former prisoners have a car, a home and even a wife are designed to encourage stability, officials say

We laugh, but isn’t this the logical fulfillment of Mr. Obama’s theories on terrorism? Doesn’t he contend that people only turn to terrorism because they are poor and the victims of social injustice?

And isn’t that the thinking behind his latest attempt to buy off the Taliban in Afghanistan with money and government jobs? (Which, come to think of it, is his solution for everything.)

Still, given Mr. Obama’s beliefs about the causes of terrorism, it would make more sense and probably save money to open resorts like this all across the US, and indeed the rest of the world, for anyone who feels they have might turn to jihad because of the lack of other opportunities. Or maybe we should just send any and all potential and actual terrorists to Bermuda.

After all, these Saudi art classes, the $1,000 a month stipends, the free houses and cars and government supplied wives – that all sounds very nice. But we would still prefer a million dollar beachfront bungalow on the most exclusive island in the world.

Why just paint dolphins when you could be swimming with them on the US taxpayers’ dime?

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, February 18th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Jihad Rehab: Money, Cars, Houses, Wives”

  1. proreason says:

    “The bottom line, say Saudi officials, is that the overwhelming majority of veterans of the Mohammed bin Nayef Center for Counseling and Care — roughly 80 percent — have not returned to terrorism”

    Well then, we should be able to expect that the nuclear blast, when it comes will only be 20% as large as it otherwise would have been.

    That’s a good feeling.

  2. GetBackJack says:

    I think of this every time I stick a gasoline fueling nozzle into my truck’s gas tank.

    Because, without Democrat and Republican obfuscation, obstinance, political ideology, Greenism, pandering to left-wing traitors and all the other ‘reasons’ we don’t produce our own fuel …. there would be no radically financed terrorism and damn sure no effing Saudi Arabia and their stone age paganism.

    Thanks, Congress.

  3. Right of the People says:

    Can we bring back the neutron bomb?

    A couple of those babies over the sandbox and we’d have all the oil we need at discount prices and solve the terrorism problem at the same time.

    The Saudis and the Oblah-blahs are very much alike. They can’t handle their sudden good fortune and are spending money like a drunk sailor on shore leave. Both of them feel throwing money at a problem will make it go away.

    Q: How are the Boy Scouts and the Obama Administration different?

    A: The Boy Scouts have adult supervision.

  4. beautyofreason says:

    “You can be extreme — but without denying others their rights.”

    Saudi Arabia knows a lot about rights – any Christian, Jewish, or non-Muslim person is barred from moving there, and barred from practicing their religion. Apostates are killed. People who signed a petition to build Saudi Arabia’s first church were deported from the country. And of course, it was not innovation or culture that made the Wahhabis rich – it was simple oil, and we built the pipelines for ’em.

    So I guess these so-called rehabs allow radical Islam to flourish, as long as the whole ‘behead the infidel thing’ remains a principle, albeit unpracticed. And I suppose these men will fulfill their Islamic duty to fund “charities” that promote jihad against Western people. But who cares – they get art therapy !

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