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Saudi Arabia begins international police anti-terror training - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Saudi security forces patrol Riyadh’s al-Munissiyah district in 2006. (AFP)

Saudi security forces patrol Riyadh’s al-Munissiyah district in 2006. (AFP)

Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—Saudi Arabia’s success in tackling terrorism has led eight European countries, in addition to Turkey, Singapore and South Africa to send police officers to train in the kingdom.

More than 40 counter-terrorism police officers from around the world have been enrolled at Prince Naif University for Security Sciences (NAUSS) in Riyadh to receive training in anti-terrorist operations.

Khaled Al-Harfash, NAUSS spokesman, told Asharq Al-Awsat that Saudi instructors from the university began a five-day training program yesterday for police officers from Germany, Spain, Romania, Singapore, France, Austria, Britain, Turkey, South Africa, Netherlands, and Sweden.

The university has signed over 120 cooperation agreements with security institutions and academies all over the world to develop the abilities of police officers, he added.

“By sending their counter-terrorism police officers to be trained by specialized Saudi academic cadres, these countries want in the first place to acquaint themselves with and adapt the Saudi experience in fighting terrorism through the Munasaha rehabilitation system devised for terrorists. The trainees will familiarize themselves with the rules of crisis management during a terrorist attack, develop their skills in influencing terrorism through media, as well as recognize the dangers of world terrorism. At the same time, the training program will deal with terrorism from the perspective of the Islamic Shari’a law.”

Saudi Arabia has adopted a unique approach to rehabilitating terrorists it calls Munasaha. Derived from the word Nasiha (“advice”), Munasha is aimed at tackling the ideological justifications militants use to justify terrorism.

The rehabilitation initiative was established by the Saudi Interior Ministry—in coordination with the ministries of Culture, Information, Islamic Affairs, Endowment and Dawa and Education.

Overseen by Saudi intellectuals, scholars and religious figures, the Munasaha program seeks to correct misconceptions and misinformation held by those who had been detained on terrorism charges, informing them of the correct teachings of Islam, and ultimately helping them move away from their extremist views.

This process—which takes place at the Prince Muhammad Bin Naif Care Rehabilitation Center—is based upon open dialogue and transparency; the majority of those who attend this facility or go through the Munasaha program renounce their former beliefs and convictions.