Turkey releases names of 15 Saudi suspects in Khashoggi murder

Danny Woods
October 11, 2018

USA intelligence intercepted communications between Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture journalist Jamal Khashoggi prior to his disappearance last week in Turkey in a case now roiling global investigators and threatening to damage relations between Washington and Riyadh. USA intelligence intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture Khashoggi before he vanished, according to the Post, which cited two people familiar with the information. "We want to bring her to the White House", Trump told reporters. He also said the U.S. was working "very closely" with Turkey, "and I think we'll get to the bottom of it".

U.S. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul on Wednesday demanded a halt in military support to Saudi Arabia until a Saudi journalist who disappeared in the Consulate in Istanbul was "returned alive". The senator called that statement "not credible" and he said it's now up to the Saudi government to clarify the situation.

"The recent disappearance of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi suggests that he could be a victim of a gross violation of internationally recognized human rights", they wrote in a letter to Trump. "We're probably getting closer than you might think but I have to find out what happened".

Saudi Arabia denies involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance, and the Trump's administration's response has been far more cautious than that coming from Capitol Hill.

It is said some of the men went into the Saudi consulate before Mr Khashoggi.

In his last interview three days before his disappearance, he said he did not think he would return to Saudi Arabia.

Earlier, the Washington Post reported that United States intelligence intercepts outlined a Saudi plan to detain Khashoggi. Turkish authorities have said he was killed by members of an elite Saudi "assassination squad", an allegation the Saudi government has dismissed.

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Khashoggi, a former Saudi government advisor, had fled Saudi Arabia last September and had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States, where he had applied for citizenship.

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.

Angry lawmakers likely won't cause the administration to turn away from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Washington Post reports that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered an "operation" against government supporter-turned-critic Jamal Khoshoggi, which would see him lured back to the kingdom and arrested.

Mostly, users have been sharing shock at the news, but amongst the posts of mourning, as well as hopes that the news might prove untrue, Saudi loyalists have been flooding social media with theories of their own. It was not clear whether the Saudis meant to arrest and interrogate Khashoggi or to kill him, or if the United States warned Khashoggi that he was a target, this person said. Although his opinions had angered certain people, he said, the tensions between himself and Saudi Arabia did not amount to hate, grudges or threats.

"The recent disappearance of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi suggests that he could be a victim of a gross violation of worldwide recognized human rights", the letter said.

He added, "The Saudis continue to claim that they aren't targeting civilians inside Yemen, but how can we believe them when they apparently just hunted down and murdered an American resident whose only offense was writing critical articles about the Saudi royal family?" The administration also relies on Saudi support for several aspects of its Middle East agenda.

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