- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Saudi Islamic radicals are treated to gourmet meals and Olympic-sized swimming pools when they take part in the nation’s rehabilitation program.

The Mohammed bin Nayef Center for Advice, Counseling and Care offers those who take part in the program with art therapy, laundry services and saunas.

“What is the secret? It is that the ideas we carry cannot be cured by weapons only. It also requires an ideological cure,” said Badr al-Enezi, who successfully went through the program and is now a mentor for newly arriving radicals, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.

The center, which was founded in 2007, “rehabilitates extremists through months of indoctrination by moderate Islamic clerics, sociologists and psychologists,” AP reported.

The kingdom has put added emphasis on the program in recent months, partly because 40 Saudi civilians and security personnel have died in connection with attacks inspired by the Islamic State group.



The center has treated roughly 3,000 radicals since its opening, but 390 of those individuals became recidivist offenders, AP reported.

“Some critics would say that this isn’t true de-radicalization, this is just a diversion. It’s smoke and mirrors. What I’ve seen so far is that it’s just a token gesture. It’s very good for the optics and very good for public relations,” said John Horgan, author of “The Psychology of Terrorism, AP reported.

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