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UK to imitate Saudi terrorist rehab program

Judge said Islamic scholars would be appointed in prisons

Britain’s High Court is looking into applying the Saudi rehabilitation program to give counseling to extremists, according to a press report Sunday.

The new program will be modeled after the munasaha (Arabic for "advice") program in which the Saudi government enrolls repentant terrorists and returnees from Guantanamo or militant camps outside the kingdom, the London-based newspaper al-Hayat reported Sunday, said

The program would place an Islamic scholar or an imam in each prison to provide counseling to inmates with extremist ideologies According to High Court Judge Sir Christopher Pitchers, who headed a delegation that met with Saudi Minister of Justice Abdullah bin Mohammed Ibrahim Al Sheikh.

"We will need the help of Saudi Arabia," Pitchers was quoted as saying. "However, it is the British government that should decide, not the court."

He referred to the positive results the Saudi program has yielded, especially with respect to terrorist operations..

"If a terrorist attack takes place in the U.K., we could benefit from the experience of Saudi Arabia in countering terrorism. We can also help them if we can. Mutual interest is the purpose of this visit to Riyadh," he said.

The Saudi advisory program is supervised by the Saudi Ministry of Interior has garnered support and acclaim from the West, according to several reports in the Western media.

The advisory program is hailed by many countries as an extremely important step that precedes rehabilitation. Repentant extremists stay at hostels that have all the required medical, psychological, and cultural facilities to prepare them to re-integrate in society and switch to a moderate ideology.

Program officials continue to follow up with the prisoners after they are released, and Saudi officials have said their approach has been quote successful so far.

If a terrorist attack takes place in the U.K., we could benefit from the experience of Saudi Arabia in countering terrorism

Christopher Pitchers