25 recidivism cases among Saudi ex-Guantanamo prisoners

25 former Guantanamo Bay detainees have rejoined Islamic extremist groups after going through a rehabilitation program in Saudi Arabia aimed at decreasing religious radicalism within the country, according to Abdulrahman al-Hadlaq, a top Saudi security expert. Out of the 25 former Guantanamo detainees who returned to extremist activities, 11 were believed to have joined an al-Qaeda group in Yemen, while the rest have been killed or re-arrested.

The Saudi expert reports that about 300 men have completed the rehabilitation program, with an overall recidivism rate of about 10 percent. Out of the 300 men who have completed the rehabilitation, 120 were formerly held at Guantanamo Bay, making the recidivism rate among former Guantanamo detainees about twice that of those who were not detained by the US. Hadlaq blamed the discrepancy in the rate of recidivism on the close personal ties developed between former detainees at Guantanamo, as well as the harsh tactics used by the US, which he stated led to more extremist views.

“Those guys from other groups didn’t suffer torture before, the non-Guantanamos (participants). Torturing is the most dangerous thing in radicalisation. You have more extremist people if you have more torture,” Hadlaq told reporters in a rare briefing about Saudi anti-terrorism efforts.

Overall Hadlaq indicated that the rehabilitation program, which includes religious re-education and financial support, is considered a success.

One Response

  1. […] report concludes that individual de-radicalization and disengagement programs, such as those in Saudi-Arabia, Singapore, Indonesia and other nations, “can make a difference.” The researchers say […]

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