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Mar 26

Terrorist De-Radicalization Programs: How Do They Work, and Are They a Good Idea?

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Starting in 2006, the United States began transferring select terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for participation in their terrorist de-radicalization program. Some of the terrorists who have graduated from the Saudi program have engaged in further combatant activity against the United States and our allies, including two al Qaeda leaders in Yemen. President Obama has suspended the transfer of Yemenis held at Guantanamo Bay in part because the government of Yemen does not have the capacity to mitigate the threat those detainees pose, and does not have a credible terrorist de-radicalization program. How do terrorist de-radicalization programs work? What do they do? Are they successful? Should we send more Guantanamo detainees to them?

Marisa Porges served as a policy advisor on counterterrorism issues at both the Department of Defense and the Department of the Treasury. Her current research focuses on long-term approaches to mitigating terrorist threats, including detainee rehabilitation. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross is the author of the memoir My Year Inside Radical Islam (2007). His research areas include homegrown terrorism, radicalization, al-Qaeda's safe havens, jihadist ideology, and energy security.

More About the Speakers

Marisa Porges
International Affairs Fellow in Residence,
Council on Foreign Relations

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross
Center for Terrorism Research,
Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Hosted By

Charles "Cully" Stimson Charles "Cully" Stimson

Manager, National Security Law Program and Senior Legal Fellow Read More