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Friday, 26 May 2017

Inside Saudi Arabia's rehab centre for jihadists

Lined up against the wall of a tent, their backs against embroidered cushions, electronic tags around their ankles, the nine Yemeni al-Qaeda prisoners fidgeted nervously, folding and unfolding their hands.
Most of these men, who we were not allowed to photograph, have spent the last 15 years of their lives incarcerated in US military detention in Guantanamo Bay. The most recent arrived here in April.
They were picked up on the battlefield in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2007 and eventually released by the US to Saudi custody, on the understanding they would be deradicalised here before re-entering society as free men.
So what, I asked them this week, did they make of President Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia and his speech on Islam and the need for religious tolerance which they watched on TV? There were smiles and knowing glances exchanged.
"I don't know if he was being sincere," said one, touching his chest. "I would have to check his heart to see if he was telling the truth!"
"There were many words," said the oldest amongst them, his grey, wispy beard trailing down to his chest, "but we will judge him by his actions."
Another made the point that there was now a different US administration in the White House from the one (George W Bush's) that sent them to Guantanamo Bay.
Source By BBC.COM


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