15-member Saudi 'intel squad' sent to target WP's Khashoggi identified

Tabitha Dunn
October 10, 2018

It remains unclear if the Saudi government meant to arrest or kill the journalist known for his writings criticizing the Saudi leadership, or whether the US government informed Khashoggi that he was the target of the Saudi government, the report said.

Although Khashoggi knew that his opinions had angered certain people, he entered the consulate "without doubting he would be safe there", his fiancee wrote, but after three hours of waiting "fear and concern" overcame her.

The footage all seemed to come from surveillance cameras, which would have been posted throughout the district housing the Saudi consulate and other diplomatic missions.

Mr Khashoggi was visiting the consulate to finalise his divorce so he could marry his Turkish fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.

Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper and other media alleged Wednesday that the Saudi Consulate's 28 local staff were given leave on October 2 on grounds that a "diplomats' meeting" would be held there on that day.

This image taken from CCTV video obtained by the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet and made available on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 claims to show Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, on October 2, 2018.

Two Turkish officials confirmed the list was accurate.

The findings, of which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was informed, may put additional pressure on the Saudi government which so far denied any involvement in the alleged killing or abduction of the journalist.

But on Wednesday morning, after Turkish pro-government media outlets reported the names, photos and details of 15 Saudis which they said were leaked by Turkish authorities, the Saudis changed their minds, according to the sources. Turkish officials fear that the team killed the journalist, who was critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

15 suspects, video footage offer new clues in case of missing Saudi reporter

In a column published Wednesday in the Washington Post, where Khashoggi was a contributing writer, his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, said despite the crackdown on dissidents in Saudi Arabia, he didn't think anything would happen to him when he returned to the consulate in Turkey after an initial meeting on September 28.

Hatice Cengiz has appealed to the USA for help in an emotional article in the Washington Post.

Self-exiled Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi said earlier this year that the Saudi government has been moving toward nationalist radicalism.

Crown Prince Mohammed's brother and the Saudi ambassador to the US, Prince Khaled bin Salman al-Saud, has insisted all the reports about his disappearance or death "are completely false and baseless".

He later returned October 2 after being promised the necessary paperwork so the two could be married.

Khashoggi had fled his homeland in September a year ago and had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States, where he had applied for U.S. citizenship, Cengiz said.

Mr Trump, who took his first overseas trip as USA president to the kingdom and whose son-in-law Jared Kushner has close ties to Prince Mohammed, said he had not yet talked to the Saudis about Khashoggi. However, a police search revealed that they did not take the luggage on their return.

Embassies and consulates under the Vienna Convention are technically foreign soil and must be protected by host nations.

"Two possibilities, either he was killed at the consulate and his body transported out on to the planes onward to Dubai/Cairo - then Riyadh, or he was abducted at the consulate and renditioned back to Saudi Arabia".

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