Experts Divided on Deradicalization Efforts – CQ Homeland Security

Determining whether deradicalization programs actually work depends on whether the person doing the evaluation believes combating terrorist ideology is a primary or a secondary concern, experts said Friday.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, director of the Center for Terrorism Research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said the importance of ideology is a blind spot for those evaluating deradicalization efforts.

That’s a problem, he said, because such programs can pose a threat to society if they release inmates who continue to be susceptible to dangerous ideologies. Saudi Arabia’s program, which accepts prisoners from the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is perhaps the best-known model and poses just such a hazard, he said.