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Send Them to Rehab? Program Could Answer Gitmo Problem

Following President Obama's order to close Guantanamo Bay prison within a year, the US is looking for responsible ways to relocate prisoners. Since one suggested location — Alcatraz — won't do, US lawmakers might consider "jihad rehab."


CNN reports that a Saudi rehab program, which uses religious teachers to re-educate Islamic radicals, could solve the US's dilemma of closing the prison while also keeping Americans safe. Saudi officials say that of the 218 participants that were arrested for engaging in terrorist activities only nine have been rearrested. That's less than .05 percent, and much better than the 11 percent re-engagement rate for prisoners released from Guantanamo. The program tries to neutralize dangerous ideology, explaining that killing goes against Muslim teachings, and also helps prisoners lead a normal life once they leave. One participant described his life before the program: "They told me Americans kill Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan. . . and they brainwash me. . . They said it's the honorable thing to do to go fight Americans."

Since keeping detainees at Guantanamo Bay with limited rights could have increased anti-American sentiment among many prisoners, a more enlightened approach might serve everyone's interests.

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