Saudi crown prince ordered op against missing journalist

Ivan Schwartz
October 11, 2018

U.S. intelligence services intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture Saudi journalist and government critic Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared in Turkey last week.

Aksam said they left their hotel later in the morning.

The dissident Saudi journalist's Turkish colleagues and several Turkish officials have voiced concerns that he was murdered in the consulate.

On Wednesday, Turkish television released CCTV footage of him entering the consulate.

In response, an official source at the Saudi consulate denied that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate and denounced what he described as "baseless accusations". "All the related developments, ins and outs from Turkey, have been put under the spotlight", Erdoğan added.

According to his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi first arrived at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on September 28.

Saudi Arabia remained silent as the images, though not offering definitive proof about Khashoggi's fate, played across television networks in Turkey and around the world. "They can even catch bird or a mosquito with the advanced systems they have", the president said.

A demonstrator dressed as Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, center, with blood on his hands protests with others outside the Saudi Embassy in Washington, Oct. 10, 2018.

Khashoggi left Saudi Arabia past year saying he feared retribution for his criticism of Riyadh over the Yemen war and its crackdown on dissent, and since then wrote columns for the Washington Post.

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President Trump said Wednesday that he has spoken to the Saudi government "at the highest levels" about the situation. Media captionCCTV footage shows missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

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That same day, President Trump was asked about Khashoggi's disappearance and didn't have much to say apart from "I am concerned about it".

A source in the investigation team set up by the Turkish General Directorate of Security to investigate the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi revealed that the prosecutor in Istanbul will issue charges of hiding or killing a person against 15 Saudis who Turkish sources have said were security officers who arrived on board two planes and were in the consulate at the same time as Khashoggi. Trying to stay calm, I immediately called Yasin Aktay, an adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and one of Jamal's oldest friends.

"What happened to this respected and noble man, Jamal Khashoggi, is a crime of lowness, vulgar and treachery, and a crime against humanity, the right of the press, free of speech", he said. He walked into the consulate of Saudi Arabia, his native country, without doubting he would be safe there. This is what this is meant to do, to send a strong message from us.

His message struck a nuanced tone in the U.S., where he tried to acknowledge the reforms undertaken by Bin Salman while also highlighting the flaws.

"There is a delay over the Manbij deal". His work was published in the Washington Post.

Spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also spoke to Salman in a "follow up call" that sought to "reiterate the United States request for information".

The Manbij deal between Turkey and the US focuses on the withdrawal of the YPG from the city in order to stabilize the region.

The crisis comes as Turkey's economy is in crisis and it is isolated in the Middle East and among its allies, including with the United States over Syria policy and the detention of an American pastor.

Other reports by GizPress

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