“‘I would like to say to the American people that Islam forbids killing innocent people,’ said the seemingly deprogrammed al-Shayea through an interpreter.”
“Seemingly deprogrammed” is good. Al-Shayea, like so many others, doesn’t bother telling us whom he considers innocent. Unfortunately, some jihadists have said that no non-Muslims are innocent. For Al-Shayea to be truly “deprogrammed,” he would need to be specific about non-Muslims being innocent.
From FoxNews (thanks to all who sent this in):
WASHINGTON “” A new program in Saudi Arabia is offering young terrorists rehabilitation from a life of violence in the name of jihad. A Saudi government-sanctioned program to try to reverse the terrorist way of thinking has already begun to help some participants who have survived their own crimes.
Ahmed al-Shayea, for instance, is recovering not only from being a member of Al Qaeda, but from the burns over most of his body and missing fingers that are the result of an attack he carried out three years ago in Baghdad.
Al-Shayea is the among the newest members to join hundreds of other Islamic fighters, including detainees released from Guantanamo Bay, at a halfway house located on the outskirts of the provincial capital of Al Janderea.
“I would like to say to the American people that Islam forbids killing innocent people,” said the seemingly deprogrammed al-Shayea through an interpreter.
Al-Shayea had dreamed of being a suicide bomber like the ones he saw in Al Qaeda propaganda videos. He was unemployed, 19 years old and lured to Baghdad by a school friend. He nearly blew himself up while driving a tanker filled with explosives outside the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad. The attack killed nine Iraqis.
He ratted out his Al Qaeda handlers, including the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who had flown al-Shayea and 23 other Saudis to Damascus, provided them safe houses in Syria and then smuggled them into Iraq.
“No doubt, they used me as a tool to kill innocent people,” he said of his handlers.
Iraqi Muslims, Al-Shayea? Or non-Muslims?
Al-Shayea and other inmates say the Internet is much to blame for their indoctrination. Twenty-year-old Saddam Saleh said he got his fatwa, the religious edict that serves as marching orders, from a questionable cleric who he found over the Internet.
“That is what caused all this problem that I am in right now,” he said.
The former jihadists are given a second chance through the three-year-old program sponsored by the Saudi interior ministry. During their recovery, the men stay in a rehabilitation center that looks more like a spa than a halfway house. The Saudi facility maintains a pool, a library, a volleyball court, gardens and other leisurely quarters.
Similar government-sponsored pilot programs are also being tried in Egypt and Yemen.
The staff uses art therapy, sports and reading to rehabilitate the “students” through a “12-step program.” Among their lessons is a new education about Islam.
“We tell them that they should give the right picture of Islam. They should not kill or bomb or do anything against Islam,” said Dr. Ahmad Hamad Jilan of the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs.
Jilan and other instructors teach the inhabitants that jihad should not be waged against any non-Muslims with whom an Islamic nation has a truce or peace treaty. Jihad must also be approved, he said, by the state and by one’s parents….
This leaves intact the possibility of jihad — religious-based warfare — against non-Muslims with whom there is no treaty, as long as it is approved by the state.
The halfway houses are designed to show the West as much as anyone that they are taking the problem seriously. So far, the effort is trickling down.
But is it really addressing the real problem?