Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Intel: Why Turkey outed an alleged Saudi 'hit squad'

Jamal Khashoggi: photos of 15-man ‘assassination squad’ surface in Turkish newspaper Report: U.S. Knew of Saudi Plan to Capture WaPo Columnist, Failed to Stop It
Stacy Diaz | 11 October, 2018, 20:14

And several of Khashoggi's friends said over the past four months, senior Saudi officials close to the crown prince had called Khashoggi to offer him protection - and even a high-level tjob working for the government - if he came back to his native country. But he said the U.S.is demanding answers: "We're demanding everything, we want to see what's going on here". He has said he spoke with the Saudis about what he called a "bad situation", and also said the USA was working "very closely" with Turkey.

In it, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy states his belief that if the recent disappearance of journalist Jamal Khasshoggi shortly after visiting the Saudi consulate in Turkey is found to be murder, it should mean "a fundamental break in [the USA's] relationship with Saudi Arabia".

The Post, citing anonymous U.S. officials familiar with the intelligence, said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered an operation to lure Khashoggi from his home in Virginia to Saudi Arabia and then detain him.

Earlier Wednesday, Corker, who as the Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has seen US intelligence reports, said that "the likelihood is he was killed on the day he walked into the consulate" and that "there was Saudi involvement" in whatever happened to Khashoggi.

Trump told reporters a day earlier that he had raised Khashoggi's case with Saudi Arabia "at the highest level" and a couple of times in recent days and said he and his wife expect to invite Cengiz to the White House soon. The Post, citing anonymous U.S. officials familiar with the intelligence, said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered an operation to lure Khashoggi from his home in Virginia to Saudi Arabia and then detain him. The Saudis wanted to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and lay hands on him there, this person said.

Paul said he hopes Khashoggi's disappearance " motivates everybody to reassess our kinship and everything we do with Saudi Arabia".

Asked about a Washington Post report that USA intelligence had intercepted top Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture Khashoggi, Trump told Fox, "It would be a very sad thing".

Khashoggi, 59, is a longtime leading Saudi journalist and former government advisor who went into exile last year after 33-year-old Prince Mohammed rose to power underneath his father the king. Saudi Arabia, however, has been a major U.S. ally in the Middle East since WWII, including serving as the launching pad for the 1991 Gulf War and, most recently, as the linchpin of regime change efforts directed against Iran and Syria.

Around the time Khashoggi entered the consulate, a second private plane from Riyadh took off for Istanbul.

The Saudi consulate referred Reuters to authorities in Riyadh who have not responded to questions about the 15 Saudis, who Sabah said travelled on diplomatic passports, arriving in Istanbul hours before Khashoggi disappeared.

A combo of frame grabs created on October 10, 2018 and taken off a police CCTV video allegedly shows members of a group of Saudi citizens that Turkish police suspect of being involved in Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance, October 2, 2018. "We will probably know in the very short future".

On his first worldwide trip as president, Mr Trump visited Saudi Arabia and announced $US110 billion in proposed arms sales.

Bird has also called on the trustees of the Natural History Museum in London not to provide the museum as a venue for the Saudi Arabia annual national day celebration, organised by the Saudi embassy, and called for a protest outside the building.

Turkey can not remain silent over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying by Hurriyet newspaper on Thursday, adding Turkey is investigating all aspects of the case.

The administration also relies on Saudi support for its Middle East agenda to counter Iranian influence, fight extremism and support an expected peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians.