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Yemeni jihadist rehabilitation program

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 the judge 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 al-Hitar and Nasser al-Bahri, one of the program's more well-known graduates.[1] Al-Bahri and his brother-in-law, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, long held as detainees in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, were featured in the film documentary The Oath (2010) by the American filmmaker Laura Poitras.

Al-Bahri said that his meetings with al-Hitar were "tainted" because they took place in prison, and were under police surveillance. Shephard wrote that, using the term used by those who study rehabilitation of jihadists, al-Bahri was not "deradicalized" but rather "disengaged".[1]

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. ^ a b c Michelle Shephard (2009-09-19). "Where extremists come to play". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 2009-09-19. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  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. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Invalid |deadurl=No (help)