De-radicalization and rehabilitation program : the case study of Saudi Arabia
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. With extremist jihadist ideologies, militants seek to inspire new generations of terrorists to perpetuate the terrorism cycle. Shortly after 9/11 terrorist attacks, thousands of arrests of jihadis prompted states to devise "de-radicalization programs" aimed at balancing traditional security efforts with techniques that address ideological sources of violent extremism. Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Singapore and Indonesia have all devised ideological-based de-radicalization programs to delegitimize the radical ideologies of extremists. These programs are increasingly seen as part of a wider counterterrorism effort and a broader spectrum of policy options in "the war of ideas" that helps promote the internal fragmentation of violent radical groups and delegitimize their rhetoric and tactics. Various approaches are adopted by these countries, contingent upon their resources, preferences and political context. One major finding common to all rehabilitation programs is that while they have succeeded to deprogram scores of former jihadis, the programs have mostly focused on minor offenders failing to address hardcore terrorists. Hailed as one of the most advanced de-radicalization programs in the world, Saudi Arabia claims some significant degree of success for its rehabilitation program. However, it is unclear how much the switch was based on a genuine ideological transformation rather than on pure strategic calculation. In addition, due to the newness of de-radicalization programs, it is too early to ascertain with veracity the effectiveness of such programs. Methods to evaluate recidivism or to assess the effectiveness of those programs have yet to be established and are subject to further research.
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