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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 October 2005, 14:49 GMT 15:49 UK
Yemen: Using Islam to fight terror
Judge Hamoud al-Hitar
The judge's non-violent approach has attracted worldwide attention

BBC Radio 4's Crossing Continents was broadcast on Thursday, 13 October, 2005, at 1102 BST.

The programme was repeated on Monday, 17 October, at 2030 BST.

Yemen is the ancestral homeland of Osama Bin Laden.

Its lawless tribes sent thousands of mujahideen to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan, and many of those jihadis later joined al-Qaeda.

Now, the country has pioneered a unique method of "Islamic dialogue", designed to re-educate former al-Qaeda fighters in prison.

It claims that as a result there has been no terrorist attack there for three years.

BBC Radio 4's Crossing Continents travels to Yemen to meet Muslim scholar Judge Hamoud al-Hitar, who says he has "converted" hundreds of terrorist suspects.

Tim Whewell speaks to one of his former pupils, Nasser al-Bahri, the former chief personal bodyguard to Osama bin Laden.

And Sheikh Abdel-majid al-Zindani, a revered cleric branded as a terrorist mastermind by the West, gives his first interview to the Western media.

The programme gains exclusive access to the Sheikh's "university", which attracts students from all over the Muslim world who want to take a "purer" version of Islam home with them.

Presenter: Tim Whewell
Producer: Daniel Tetlow
Editor: Maria Balinska

Yemeni anti-terror scheme in doubt
11 Oct 05 |  Crossing Continents
Have your say: Fighting terror
11 Oct 05 |  Crossing Continents
In pictures: Inside Yemen
12 Oct 05 |  In Pictures
Shia rebels go on trial in Yemen
15 Aug 05 |  Middle East
Yemen jails embassy bomb plotters
08 Aug 05 |  Middle East
'Net closes' around Yemen rebels
05 Jul 04 |  Middle East
Yemen's new anti-terror strategy
16 Dec 03 |  Middle East
Embassy closes amid terror fears
09 Apr 05 |  Middle East
Fresh Yemen clashes 'kill scores'
08 Apr 05 |  Middle East
Country profile: Yemen
07 Jul 05 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Yemen
20 Jul 05 |  Country profiles

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