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Rehabilitating Terrorists Through Counter-Indoctrination: Lessons Learned From The Saudi Arabian Program

NCJ Number
International Criminal Justice Review Volume: 21 Issue: 2 Dated: June 2011 Pages: 118-133
Adam Lankford; Katherine Gillespie
Date Published
June 2011
16 pages
This study examined Saudi Arabia's terrorist rehabilitation program.
For years, experts have agreed that Saudi Arabia runs the best terrorist rehabilitation program around the world. However, recent events, including Al Qaeda's December 25, 2009, attempt to blow up Northwest Flight 253, which put 289 innocent lives in danger and was apparently planned by a program graduate, have raised serious doubts. This study reexamines the leading socialpsychological explanations for terrorist indoctrination to determine whether Saudi Arabia's rehabilitation program seems properly designed to reverse the indoctrination process. By identifying both the elements of indoctrination that the Saudi Arabian program appears to counter and the elements which it fails to address, this study provides new recommendations for how terrorist rehabilitation programs can be significantly improved around the world. (Published Abstract)