Dubai: Saudi Arabia has released 166 former al Qaeda members after they underwent a long-term state-sponsored counselling programme, a media report has said.
"A group of 62 members of the deviant group were released in Jeddah after they completed the counselling programme at the Prince Mohammed Bin Naif Centre for Counselling and Care," General Mansour Al-Turki, spokesperson of the Interior Ministry told Arab News.
They added that another 104 former militants were also released in Riyadh. Al Turki added that the counselling programme called `Munasaha`, was meant to reintegrate them into the society.
"The prisoners have been released on the condition that they would participate in a follow-up programme for emotional rehabilitation and reintegration into society," he said.
As per the report, there were no women among the released. It said that all released members will be monitored by government agencies and members of the counselling committees of the centre.
It added that help will be provided to the former militants reintegrate into society, get their original jobs or secure new jobs and have business opportunities.