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