Countering Terrorism in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia : An Examination of the Prevention, Rehabilitation, and After-Care strategy (PRAC)

Date of Submission


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice (Ph.D.)


Criminal Justice


Howard Stoffer

Committee Member

Christopher M. Sedelmaier

Committee Member

David W. Webb

Committee Member

Chris Haynes

LC Subject Headings

Terrorism--Prevention--Evaluation, Saudi Arabia, University of New Haven

Call No. at the Univ. of New Haven Library

AS36.N290 Crim. Just. 2016 no.1


Countries across the globe have faced numerous challenges arising from Al-Qaida affiliated terrorist groups. One such challenge is in how to address the threats posed by the growing number of terrorists in their custody. Accordingly, a handful of countries have responded by developing prison based “deradicalization” and disengagement programs. One program that has gained considerable media attention is the Saudi Ministry of Interior’s Prevention, Rehabilitation and After-Care (PRAC) strategy.

The present study explored PRAC on site and in-depth using a mixed method sequential explanatory design -follow-up explanations model. Stage one utilized an interrupted time series design to empirically examine if a relationship exists between the introduction of the PRAC strategy and a decrease in terrorist related activities within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Here, monthly counts of terrorist related operations were collected three years prior to the PRAC strategy’s introduction and three years afterwards. Stage two adopted a single case study design using semi-structured interviews with MOI policy-makers and PRAC strategy officials to gain insight into strategy objectives, components, and implementation. Moreover, the subsequent qualitative analysis helped explain the quantitative data through coding and theme development. The results of the quantitative analysis revealed a statistically significant decrease in both terrorism and Saudi security casualties after PRAC implementation. Furthermore, the qualitative interviews and ensuing analysis provided a much deeper insight into the PRAC strategy, how it reduced terrorism, and why the strategy worked based on several emergent themes. Policy recommendations and directions for future research are also discussed. With these results, this study hopes to add to the existing, yet limited, knowledge the field has in respect to these types of programs, and comes at a time when the threats from AQ affiliated terrorist groups appear to be on the rise.