Saudi Arabia's Jihadi Rehab

Photographs by David Degner

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Inside Saudi Arabia’s Re-Education Prison for Jihadists

Al-Ha’ir Prison and The Prince Mohammed bin Nayef Center are two of Saudi Arabia’s five facilities holding its more than 5,000 inmates charged with terrorism-related offenses.

They are part of a reform program staffed by psychologists and religious officials who try to deradicalize inmates by teaching them what Nasser al-Ajmi, a psychologist with the center, called “correct Shariah thought.”

The prisons include many comforts and freedoms, including an on-site hotel, which is designed to give well-behaved inmates respite from prison life and help them reconnect with their wives and children, and perhaps even conceive new ones.

This positive reinforcement is emblematic of the Saudi approach to its homegrown jihadists, an approach which would likely not find favor with the West.