(AFP) – Nov 2, 2008
RIYADH (AFP) — Prime Minister Gordon Brown shook hands with former detainees from the US's Guantanamo Bay detention camp at a deradicalisation centre in Saudi Arabia Sunday.
Brown visited a half-way house on the outskirts of Riyadh for suspected Islamic militants designed to bridge the gap between high security prison and release.
He met six of the roughly 1,200 people at the facility including Juma al-Dossary, 35, and Ganim al-Harbi, 34, who both spent six years in Guantanamo.
Brown shook their hands and wished them well during the visit, which came on the second day of his four-day tour of Gulf states during which he is trying to persuade them to extend funding for the International Monetary Fund.
The facility, where those attending undergo training in fields including religion and psychology, also has a swimming pool, gym and other sporting facilities.
Britain was one of Washington's key allies in the "war on terror" and has thousands of troops stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Saudi Arabia announced earlier this month that it would try almost 1,000 defendants in the first court cases of Al-Qaeda suspects after more than five years of deadly Islamist violence.
Al-Qaeda figurehead Osama bin Laden was born in Saudi Arabia -- although he has since been stripped of his nationality -- and 15 out of the 19 plotters of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US were Saudis.
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