An intelligent plan for dealing with potential terrorists?

I was reading a Time article about an ongoing Saudi operation to deal with potential terrorists. They’ve set up a series of bases where they gather people who have been indoctrinated by radical Muslim groups and they essentially de-program them. They’re kept inside the base but it’s a relatively open and non-hostile environment. And there are Muslim clerics who talk to the people and discuss the indoctrination they received at radical training centers. These clerics are capable of quoting the Koran and pointing out the false interpretations that the radicals used to convince the trainees. They’re basically using the same tools to bring these people back that were used to radicalize them in the first place. The program seems to be fairly successful and several of the former radicals have been released into the community on parole.

I’m not 100% sold on this program. Not least of my concerns is the facts that Wahabis are supposedly de-radicalizing these people. But at least it seems to be a rare good idea for how to deal with the mass of potential terrorists running around in the Middle East.


The Saudis have had a few guys publicly recant their terrorist ways so I have to say there is a limited success here. I’ve talked to a few Saudis about such things and they claim that Wahabism doesn’t cause terrorism. They blame it on the flavor of Islam they get from Pakistan/Afghanistan which they claim is much more aggressive. In defense of the Saudis, I have to point out that Wahabism has been around a long time without causing much bloodshed in other countries.
Having said all of that, if I bump into someone that just got out of one of these camps I’m going to be a bit leery of the guy.



Sounds like a good idea to me,better to try and maybe fail then not try and definitely fail.

I’ve always thought that something on similar lines should have been tried on terrorists of other persuasions.

IMPO most terrorists dont start off with extreme views but are personally more susceptible to persuasion,peer pressure etc. then the average members of their community(whatever that community that may be,Basque,Irish whatever)

If they’re susceptible to persuasion once then maybe they are susceptible to deprogramming if its performed correctly.

Some of the Western Europeans who’ve been caught plotting bombings have been characterized as more or less brainwashed. Remember Richard Reid the shoe-bomber? So I think this is a good idea. And somewhat conservative Saudi clerics may have more credibility with these guys than anyone.

Wait, they send people to these bases that have actually been convicted of some terror related crime, or just for being “indoctrinated by radical Muslim groups”? The way you summarize the article kind of makes it sound like they just sweep up people that have been attending the wrong mosque and try to “de-program” them.

The former case seems like it might at least conceivable be a good plan, the latter sounds way too much like a gov’t re-education camp for thought crimes.

Yes. And in fact the people who do the de-programming are also ex-terrorists/jihadis who have previously been through the program. That way they have more cred with the new guys.

I found the article posted online.