Saudi Arabia opens first luxury rehab center for al Qaeda militants

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Saudi Arabia is hoping to rehabilitate jihadists with a little rest and relaxation at its luxury spa for reformed al Qaeda militants in Riyadh.

In between sessions with counselors and talks on religion, prisoners will be able to relax in the spa, sauna, Olympic-sized swimming pool, workout facility or television hall, according to Agence France Presse.

The Prince Mohammed bin Nayef Centre for Counselling and Care was set up seven years ago to reform jihadists jailed during a Saudi crackdown on the local arm 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 Gen. Mansur al-Turki told AFP.

Another center has opened in Jeddah and three more are planned for the country. The new facility in Riyadh, however, is the first to offer inmates a taste of luxury as an incentive to moderate their beliefs, AFP reported.

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