The new complex is the work of the Prince Mohammed bin Nayef Center for Counseling and Care, a body set up seven years ago to rehabilitate extremists jailed during a Saudi crackdown on the local branch of Al-Qaeda.
“Just under 3,000 [Islamist prisoners] will have to go through one of these centers before they can be released,” interior ministry spokesman General Mansur al-Turki told AFP during a tour of the new center.
They have so many militants, there are plans for three more facilities to add to the two that already exist. The other one is in Jeddah, but the Riyadh one is the luxury facility which will house 228 inmates, all from the "deviant group", a euphemism for Al-Qaeda extremists.
The plan for those 228 lucky ones:
During the day, the prisoners will attend seminars on religious affairs, aimed at steering them away from thoughts of jihad.
“In order to fight terrorism, we must give them an intellectual and psychological balance... through dialogue and persuasion,” said the director of the rehabilitation centers, Said al-Bishi.
He said a total of 2,336 Al-Qaeda prisoners have now been through Saudi rehabilitation schemes.
“The percentage of those who rejoin the deviant minority does not exceed 10 percent,” Bishi said, a proportion he described as “encouraging.”
Of course, there are detractors who believe that the religious counseling part of the rehabilitation programme is too similar to Al-Qaeda's, and that there have been those who returned to the jihadist battlefield, like Saeed al-Shehri, after being 'rehabilitated.' I guess the allure of jihad and the eventual 72 virgins has more appeal than all those massages, laps around the pool, and those conjugal visits with one of their wives might have.
Social scientist Khaled al-Dakheel told AFP:
“We cannot know if the program will succeed in eradicating terrorism and extremism."
“There must be pluralism and an acknowledgement of the rights of others to be different.”That certainly doesn't exist in Saudi Arabian Wahhabism.
Source: Al Arabiya.