Yemeni jihadist rehabilitation program

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In January 2009 the President of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh announced plans to start a new Yemeni jihadist rehabilitation program similar to the Saudi jihadist rehabilitation program.[1] According to Michelle Shephard, reporting for the Toronto Star in September 2009, Yemen had been an innovator in jihadist rehabilitation, with an effort led by Hamoud al-Hitar, called the "Committee for Religious Dialogue". Shephard wrote in September 2009 that she found no sign of the new program during a recent visit.

Shephard wrote that the earlier jihadist rehabilitation program had been shut down in 2005 due to a lack of funds and lack of interest. She interviewed both al-Hitar, and Nasser al Bahri, one of the program's more well-known graduates.[1] Al Bahri said that his meeting with al-Hitar were "tainted", because they took place in prison, and were under surveillance. Shephard wrote that, using the term used by those who study rehabilitation of jihadists Al Bahri was not "deradicalized" -- he had merely been "disengaged".

The Economist magazine reported that Socotra, a distant off-shore Yemeni island, was being considered as a possible site for the rehabilitation program.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Michelle Shephard (2009-09-19). "Where extremists come to play". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 2009-09-19. 
  2. "Could Guantánamo’s biggest bunch of prisoners be sent to Socotra?". Hadibu, Socotra: Economist magazine. 2014-02-01. Archived from the original on 2014-01-31. Retrieved 2014-02-03. "In November a Yemeni newspaper, el-Ule, ran a story about a “new Guantánamo” to be set up on Socotra; a cartoon mixed the island’s dragon-blood tree (pictured above) with the Guantánamo inmates’ orange uniform."