Post-Guantanamo, Saudi militants to paint, talk about their feelings at "terrorist rehab"

Published December 18th, 2013 - 10:44 GMT
"Now class, we are going to talk about our feelings..."  A rehab class for militants in Saudi Arabia (Photo courtesy of Kate Brooks for Time)
"Now class, we are going to talk about our feelings..." A rehab class for militants in Saudi Arabia (Photo courtesy of Kate Brooks for Time)

Saudi Arabia is famous for many things - Mecca, 1001 nights, dates...and now its "terrorist rehab" program is making headlines.

The Kingdom's Interior Ministry announced Tuesday that two Saudi detainees who have recently been released from the U.S. detention centre at Guantanamo Bay will be put into the country's rehabilitation program for militants, Reuters reported. 

Muhammad Husayn Qahtani and Hamood Abdulla Hamood spent 11 years in Guantanamo - despite not being charged with any crime - and were repatriated to their home country of Saudi Arabia on Monday.

Qahtani and Hamood were both captured in Pakistan in 2002. Their U.S. military documents claim that they fought alongside the Afghani Taliban and worked for Al Qaeda.

“They will be subjected to the regulations in force in the Kingdom, which include benefiting from the counselling and care programmes,” Interior Ministry spokesman Major-General Mansour Turki was quoted as saying by the official Saudi Press Agency, according to Reuters.

Perhaps the nightmares and memories of being banged up in "Gitmo" for 11 years on no solid charges will be diminshed by the rigorous activies the Saudi terrorist rehab camp will put these men though - they will attend art and sports classes, religious instruction and psychological analysis aimed at pushing them away from interpretations of Islam that favour political violence. Perhaps they'll even use that classic therapy method of snapping an elastic band against their wrist everytime they fawn over Osama Bin Laden?

And there'll be no any Amy Winehouse renditions - "They tried to make me go to rehab and I said no, no no..." as the rehab program lasts for a minimum of three months and attendance at the camp is compulsory for all Saudis convicted of offences relating to Islamist militancy after their release from prison, Reuters reported. 

According to the Saudi authorities, this rehab really works too - their statistics say that fewer than 10 percent of those who have gone through the treatment have "taken up arms after their release". However, those who slipped back into the militant fold include several who rose to the highest ranks of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula - widely considered the most dangerous and active branch of the Sunni extremist group. Oh dear. 

What do you think of Saudi's terrorist rehab? Should those who have been active members of extremist groups be given a second chance?

© 2000 - 2022 Al Bawaba (

You may also like